AHC Exhibit for Homecoming Week, October 13-20

While you are out and about planning your attendance at all of the fantastic events around campus and Laramie, please don’t forget to stop by the UW American Heritage Center and check out our Homecoming exhibit on the main floor of the Centennial Complex (2nd floor).

Homecoming is an annual tradition in the United States. People, towns, high schools, and colleges come together, usually in late September or early October, to welcome back alumni and former residents.


Three University of Wyoming majorettes doing the can-can, Homecoming 1941. UW American Heritage Center photo file: University of Wyoming — Homecoming — 1941

Early homecoming events all had similar characteristics: a football game served as a center point; the events included rallies, parades, dances and dinners. The intention was to unite alumni and students to create a stronger sense of school pride, and they were wildly successful.

ah100263_early football

University of Wyoming football team with their mascot, 1895. Holliday family papers, Accession #347, Box 11 A, Folder 9, UW American Heritage Center,

Using these early events as an example, homecoming celebrations quickly became popular on college and university campuses and by the 1920s homecoming across the U.S. became an American tradition. The first University of Wyoming Cowboys Homecoming was in 1922, spear-headed by longtime UW geology professor Dr. Samuel H. Knight, whose papers are at the AHC.


Colorful collection material included in the exhibit are:

1920 scrapbook with Homecoming souvenirs from the Josephine Irby collection,

1933 Homecoming photos from the Ruth Finch Powers and the Holliday Family collections,

1985 and 1990 Homecoming parade photos from the Multicultural Resource Center records,

Newspaper clippings of 1932 and 1985 Homecoming parades found in the Ralph McWhinnie collection,

Handmade flag and “Letter Sweater” (1920) from the Margaret Plumb collection,

Student beret, scrapbook and dance cards (1919) from the Elma Brown collection, and

University of Wyoming jacket and track jersey (1920) from the Ralph McWhinnie collection.

– Submitted by Vicki Glantz, UW American Heritage Center Reference Department.

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