UMass Amherst does have a homecoming every year, but this year, it’s expanding! Fellow students are most looking forward to the MinuteFan Tailgate at the Coca-Cola Pavilion, the Homecoming Parade, and, of course, the UMass versus Villanova football game, although there are many more activities planned, such as open houses and a dance! The parade will be the first in recent years and will weave through the south side of campus from the Mullins Center area into the tailgating area of the stadium just in time for kickoff of the football game. As always, the Minuteman Marching Band is a point of pride for the University. (Listen to them lead students, alumni, faculty & UMass friends in our fight song here!) In addition, for the first time ever, students will be voting for royalty. You can see the profiles of the King and Queen nominees and vote here.
This post will be formatted a little differently than usual. All the talk of UMass Amherst pride got me researching about the University’s history, so wanted to share few fun facts I learned!
-School Colors: Before UMass Amherst became what it is today, it was known as the Massachusetts Agricultural College. The very first colors associated with Massachusetts Agricultural College in 1863 were actually red and blue. The school colors of maroon and white made their first appearance sometime in the 1870s when the college premiered its first football uniforms. We’ve maintained this time-honored tradition ever since!
-Sam the Minuteman Mascot: Sam the Minuteman is the #1 UMass fan! He holds the record for most athletic events attended in one year, showing up for all home football, hockey, men’s basketball and women’s basketball games and occasionally checking out our soccer, field hockey, lacrosse, baseball and softball as well. See Sam in his ESPN commercial and become one of his Facebook fans.
-Beanies: In the past, freshmen sported their UMass beanies around campus until the football team scored their first touchdown of the season.
-Rope Pull: The campus pond was created in 1892 when a small dam was built across Tan Brook in the center of campus. The following year the traditional rope pull across the pond began. Class pride was at stake as teams of 60 men positioned themselves on opposite sides of the water with a 600-foot rope between them. Freshmen took on sophomores and juniors battled seniors for bragging rights!
Be sure to check out a comparison between today’s campus traditions and traditions of yesteryear here! :)