It happens every year. The mountains turn gold and the Cougars converge on the Brigham Young University campus wearing blue and white to celebrate Homecoming. Expect them to arrive anytime between Oct. 20 and 24.
The 2009 Homecoming theme, “Reach for the Summit,” reflects the character of BYU Founder Eugene Lusk Roberts, BYU’s first athletic director and a passionate hiker.
Roberts may be somewhat forgotten by time, but every time BYU sports fans yell, “Go, Cougars!” they are unwittingly honoring Roberts, who began calling BYU athletes “cougars” when he wrote sports columns for a Salt Lake City newspaper — and the name stuck.
Honoring Roberts at opening ceremonies Tuesday and during BYU “Spectacular!” Thursday and Friday is merely one aspect of the festive week. After a rousing opening ceremony on Tuesday that will feature head football coach Bronco Mendenhall, the Cougar Marching Band and President Cecil O. Samuelson and Sharon Samuelson, the band will guide the crowd to Brigham Square for a free Homecoming barbecue.
Later that evening, at 6 p.m., hikers will meet at the Hinckley Center to be transported to the base of Y Mountain to hike the Y.
Noonday activities and a Mr. BYU competition will highlight Wednesday, and similar noon activities and college lectures by honored graduates Thursday at 11 a.m. will be scattered throughout the campus.
The annual showcase of BYU’s premier student performing groups, “Spectacular!” will unfold on the Marriott Center floor Thursday and Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Reunion groups will start coming in Friday as the university prepares for a weekend of races, a parade, a free pancake breakfast and the BYU/TCU football game.
For a complete schedule of events, visit homecoming.byu.edu.