September 17, 2018

Homecoming and a happy 150th birthday to Purdue: Full week of activities to kick off yearlong Giant Leaps festival

homecoming week Homecoming is the official start of the yearlong celebration of Purdue’s sesquicentennial birthday, 150 Years of Giant Leaps. (Purdue University graphic) Download image

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. —An always special time of year will be a little bit more so this year for alumni who built lasting memories of their time at Purdue on their way to career success, and for students who are looking to do the same.

It’s Homecoming. And this year, it’s the official start of the yearlong celebration of Purdue’s sesquicentennial birthday, 150 Years of Giant Leaps. The year will highlight Purdue’s remarkable history of giant leaps, while focusing on what giant leaps the university can take to address the world’s problems. The campaign is launching at Homecoming 2018 and among numerous events through Homecoming 2019 will be the various Ideas Festival events, which are the centerpiece of the Giant Leaps Sesquicentennial Campaign.

What better way than to kick off the engagement with alumni, Purdue friends and the campus community? Homecoming 2018 will feature a variety of activities for students, faculty and the public.

Activities will take place Monday (Sept. 17) through Saturday’s (Sept. 22) Homecoming football game against Boston College. The events include a trivia contest, the Boilermaker Night Train Parade and the crowning of the 2018 Homecoming royalty.

“We are so excited to be involved in the kickoff to the 150th celebration of Purdue University this year,” said John Brock, director of Spirit and Traditions of the Purdue Student Union Board. “We have so many great events planned for Homecoming Week. There is an event for everyone, including our Purdue community members and the Greater Lafayette area. Our most exciting change is the route for the Boilermaker Night Train Homecoming Parade on Friday (Sept. 21). It travels through most of the residence hall side of campus, and we are excited that our grand marshal, Kassandra Agee-Chandler, is returning to campus for this event.”

Agee-Chandler became Purdue's first African-American Homecoming queen when she was crowned in 1978. After graduating from Purdue in 1980, Agee-Chandler achieved success in a variety of endeavors, and she is now the founder and principal consultant at Systematic Design Consultants, a Houston-area boutique information-technology consulting firm.

Visitors and alumni also are welcome to download a special Giant Leaps 150th virtual campus tour. The “Purdue Campus Tour” is available at Android and Apple stores.  

Events during the week are as follow:

* Voting for Homecoming royalty, for Purdue students only, began Sept. 10 and will conclude at 11:45 p.m. Wednesday (Sept. 19). Students can vote for two royalty candidates on BoilerLink. A list of Homecoming candidates, along with their activities, involvements and photograph is available here.

* Blood drive, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday (Sept. 17) at Purdue Memorial Union’s South Ballroom. Anyone can stop by to donate blood for the Indiana Blood Center. Members of student organizations can mention which student organization for which they are donating to receive points. Each student organization that participates will receive points based on the number of donors that register. Snacks will be provided. The event is free and open to the public.

* Homecoming Kickoff, 3-7 p.m. Wednesday (Sept. 19) on the Krach Leadership Center lawn (rain location is France A. Córdova Recreational Sports Center’s Gold & Black Gyms 1-3). Purdue students only. Students can kick off the Homecoming celebration with free food, fun activities, crafts and music. The event is free with a Purdue student ID.

* ThinkFast Trivia, 7-8:30 p.m. Thursday (Sept. 20) at the Union Faculty Lounges (second floor). Purdue students only. Students can compete for the cash prize of $200, as well as the title of trivia winner for this year’s Homecoming. Snacks will be provided. The event is free with a Purdue student ID.

* Boilermaker Night Train Parade, begins at 8 p.m. Friday (Sept. 21). The parade route will begin at Memorial Mall and will end at the University Street and Stadium Avenue intersection. Participants will distribute goodies to those lined up to watch the parade.

* Homecoming activities, 9-11 a.m. Saturday (Sept. 22) on Stadium Mall. Various Homecoming activities will take place during the morning of the 2018 Homecoming game and all colleges will be represented with booths and various family-friendly activities. Also new this year is a Boiler Beer Garden.

* A very special surprise Giant Leaps announcement by Board of Trustees Chairman Michael Berghoff and President Mitch Daniels at 10:30 a.m. Saturday (Sept. 22) at the outdoor courtyard behind the Union Club Hotel at the Purdue Memorial Union.

* Purdue Football vs. Boston College, noon. Saturday (Sept. 22) at Ross-Ade Stadium. The crowning of the 2018 Homecoming royalty will take place at halftime.

* The football game will have many 150th and Giant Leaps celebrations including a science themed-halftime performance by the All-American Marching Band. 

Writer: Jaclyn Lawmaster, 574-301-9049, 

Media contact: Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723, 

Source: Angelica McLean, Purdue Memorial Union program advisor, 765-494-8991,

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