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EIU Homecoming

2023 Homecoming Events

All Homecoming Week

  • Paint the Town Blue!


    The “Paint the Town Blue!" campaign is held throughout the City of Charleston in support of EIU Homecoming Week. Sponsored in conjunction with the City of Charleston's Tourism Department. Paint the Town BLUE! is a spirit campaign for local Charleston residents, civic groups and businesses showcasing community support of EIU Homecoming Week. Charleston community businesses, civic groups and residents are invited to showcase Panther Pride throughout EIU Homecoming Week for awards and bragging rights.

  • Panthers Royale! TikTok Dance Challenge


    It’s time to dance and win!

    Show-off your best dance moves to celebrate EIU Homecoming Week for a chance to win great prizes!

    Record and post a TikTok video wearing a 2023 HC Spirit T-shirt and on Friday, Oct. 6, video entries will be randomly selected to win a Homecoming prize!

    TikTok accounts must be public and follow us @eiu_homecoming and tagged with #EIU, #PanthersRoyale and #EIUHOCO2023.

  • Campus Food Pantry Can Drive


    In partnership with the EIU Campus Food Pantry, EIU Homecoming Week will feature the Campus Food Pantry Can Drive to address food insecurities and hunger among EIU students. The EIU Campus Food Pantry is an on-campus resource designed to assist EIU students with food and other basic necessities.

    The EIU community is invited to show their generosity throughout EIU Homecoming Week by donating canned goods at the Homecoming events throughout the week, giving monetary donations, and volunteering their time.

    Want to volunteer at the EIU Campus Food Pantry? Sign up for a time slot here.

  • Real Panthers Decorate Blue


    It’s time to deck the halls, walls, doors, windows and more during EIU Homecoming Week. EIU departments, colleges, and faculty/staff will have the opportunity to show off their EIU pride for prizes, awards and bragging rights in a friendly series of homecoming competitions throughout EIU Homecoming Week!

  • Spirit Banners


    RSOs can display their EIU Homecoming spirit by designing a Homecoming Spirit Banner. RSOs are encouraged to design a banner that promotes the Homecoming “Panthers Royale!” Theme. Spirit Banners will be put on display Monday, October 2 at noon on the Williams Field gates on Fourth Street. Judging will be based on creativity, originality, theme, spirit, and overall appeal.

Monday, Oct. 2

  • Homecoming Kickoff: Bagels & Bingo With Billy, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

    Library Quad (Rain Location - Doudna Main Concourse)

    Kick off EIU Homecoming Week with a celebration on the Library Quad. EIU students, faculty, staff and alumni are invited to join the EIU Homecoming Kick-off festivities featuring FREE food, prizes, giveaways, and yard games that will include ring toss, giant card games, tic-tac-toe, BINGO and more. 

  • Homecoming Royalty Coronation, 7 p.m.


    7 pm, Martin Luther King Jr. University Union, Grand Ballroom

    The EIU Homecoming Royalty Court as selected by the EIU student body will consist of Homecoming King and Queen, Prince and Princess, Faculty-Staff Lord and Lady and Little Prince and Princess who will reign over the EIU Homecoming Week celebration. The selection of the EIU Homecoming Royalty Court is based on an application process, video presentation, and student voting.

    Through the crowning of the EIU Homecoming Royalty Court, EIU recognizes and honors those exceptional individuals who best represent the pride, spirit and tradition of EIU Homecoming Week. 


Tuesday, Oct. 3

  • Hoco On The Go, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.


    Doudna Fine Arts Center Overhang

    Enjoy Homecoming as it travels around campus! Catch us on the way to and at our locations for information on upcoming Homecoming events. Lots of information, lots of novelties and more. Stop by the table, ask questions, and answer trivia for mini giveaways!

  • Family Fun Night, 5-7 p.m.


    5 - 7 pm, Martin Luther King Jr. University Union, University Ballroom

    Looking for a fun Homecoming event the whole family can enjoy? Check out the Homecoming Family Fun Night at EIU featuring lots of awesome family-fun activities: stuff-a-plush, BINGO, arts and crafts,  games, giveaways and refreshments. Homecoming Family Fun Night is the perfect way to keep the whole family engaged and make family time fun time!

Wednesday, Oct. 4

  • Faculty/Staff Blue-B-Que Luncheon, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.


    11 am – 1 pm, Doudna Fine Arts Center, Main Concourse & Outdoor Atrium

    The annual EIU Blu-B-Que promises to be fun for all EIU faculty and staff. EIU employees are invited to come together over a complimentary meal and Homecoming prizes and giveaways.

    Faculty and staff who bring canned goods to donate to the EIU Campus Food Pantry will receive extra tickets for great Homecoming prizes and giveaways!

  • Cosmic Bowling Mixer, 7-9 p.m.


    7 - 9 pm, Martin Luther King Jr. University Union, EIU Bowling Lanes

    When the lights go down, the fun begins! The EIU Bowling Lanes in the MLK Jr. Union will be the place to be, featuring 12 lanes of glow-in-the-dark bowling fun! Highlights of the event include backlighting, mock-tails bar, popcorn, pizza, free shoe rental, discount games and Homecoming prizes and giveaways.

Thursday, Oct. 5

  • HOCO on the Go, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.


    11 am - 1pm, Coleman Hall Breezeway

    Enjoy Homecoming as it travels around campus! Catch us on the way to and at our locations for information on upcoming Homecoming events. Lots of information, lots of novelties, and more. Stop by the table, ask questions, and answer trivia for mini giveaways! 

  • Casino Night, 7-9 p.m.


    7 - 9 pm, Martin Luther King Jr. University Union, Grand Ballroom

    Feeling lucky? The MLK Jr. Union will be transformed into a high stakes Panthers Royale Casino night! EIU students can try their luck at the roulette wheel, craps, poker, blackjack tables and cash in chips for a chance to win mystery boxes, grab bags and great prizes! This fun-filled night will also feature an oxygen bar, mocktail bar, music videos, photo booth station, and refreshments. 

Friday, Oct. 6

  • EIU Class of 1973 50th Class Reunion Events, 4:30-6:30 p.m.

    University Ballroom, MLK Jr. University Union

    Join members of the EIU Class of 1973 for a reunion weekend as they commemorate their golden anniversary. This celebratory EIU alumni event will feature - Social Hour, Livingston C. Lord Society Pinning Ceremony, Homecoming Parade, Alumni Tailgate, Football Game and Alumni Awards DinnerFor more information visit the Alumni Services website. 

  • Block Party Pep Rally, 7 p.m.


    O'Brien Stadium Parking Lot

    Don’t miss the best Block Party in Town! O’Brien Field Parking Lot will be filled with Panther Pride during the Homecoming Block Party. Homecoming Block Party brings together EIU alumni, students, staff, faculty and the Charleston community to showcase EIU Pride. The event is designed to build community spirit and will feature food trucks, tasty foods, beer and seltzer tent, giveaways, live DJ and special performance by EIU’s very own Panther Marching Band.


Saturday, Oct. 7

  • Rotary All-You-Can-Eat Pancake Breakfast, 6:30-10 a.m.


    Rotary Pancake Breakfast

    Dirty's Parking Lot

    $6 Adults 
    $3 Children 11 & Under

    The Rotary Pancake Breakfast is one of the most endearing Homecoming traditions during EIU Homecoming Week. Charleston Rotarians will serve sunrise pancakes and drinks during the Homecoming parade to welcome EIU alumni, students, faculty, staff and Charleston residents prior to the start of the EIU Homecoming Fun Run and Parade events.

    Sponsored by the Charleston Rotary Club, the proceeds benefit local charities.

  • 2.5K Fun Run, 9 a.m.

    Race Route

    Get in the Homecoming spirit during the annual EIU Homecoming 2.5k Fun Run. Participants of all ages from the EIU and Charleston communities will race around the Charleston Square to the finish line in front of Old Main. Sponsored by the EIU Student Recreation Department, prizes will be given to the top place-finishers. 

    Sign up here!
    Fun Run/Walk Route

    The 2.5K (1.5-mile) run/walk begins at 9 a.m. at the corner of Seventh Street and Lincoln Avenue. Participants will make their way north on Seventh Street, race around the square (Monroe Avenue), and then return to Lincoln Avenue by heading south on Sixth Street to the finish line across the street from Old Main.

  • Homecoming Parade, 9:30 a.m.

    2023 EIU Homecoming Parade Route
    7th Street - Division Street

    The EIU Homecoming Parade is an annual tradition that consists of an estimated 100 campus and community parade entries. Highlights include Homecoming Parade Grand Marshall, decorated cars, bands, novelties and floats.

    The EIU Homecoming Grand Marshall is a prestigious honor bestowed upon individuals who have made significant contributions to the EIU mission, vision and community. The 2023 EIU Homecoming Parade Grand Marshall recipients are EIU alumni Rita and Tim McCollum, EIU class of 1973. Tim McCollum is a retired teacher from Charleston Middle School during which time he received the Presidential Award for Science Teaching for Illinois and was a finalist for the NEA National Teacher of the Year Award. Currently Tim is the student teaching coordinator for the EIU College of Education and past president of the EIU Alumni Association Board of Directors and the EIU University Foundation Board of Directors. Rita McCollum was a school psychologist for the Charleston schools. Previously, Rita has served as a member of the EIU College of Sciences Advisory Board.

  • Tailgate and Alumni Tent City, 11 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

    Homecoming Tailgate

    O'Brien Stadium Tailgate Area

    EIU faculty, staff, students and alumni are invited to attend the game day experience before the big game during EIU Homecoming Week. EIU Panther Pride will be on full display during the football tailgate festivities in Tent City featuring EIU academic receptions, Panther Marching Band, food, games, music, and fun for all ages. EIU students, faculty/staff, alumni and members of the Charleston community are encouraged to stop by Tent City for drinks and snacks before cheering on the Panthers! 

  • Football Game: EIU Panthers vs. Tennessee-Martin, 2 p.m.

    EIU Homecoming Football GameO'Brien Stadium

    Game On! EIU Homecoming Week will culminate in game day at O’Brien Field where head Coach Chris Wilkerson and the EIU Panthers will take on University of Tennessee-Martin. Cheer on your EIU Panthers towards victory over the UT Martin Skyhawks! For more ticket and tailgating information visit the EIU Panther Athletics website.
  • Alumni Awards Dinner, 7 p.m.

    Martin Luther King Jr. University Union, Grand Ballroom

    The EIU Alumni Association will recognize the alumni who have distinguished themselves with outstanding service, contributions and achievements. EIU Alumni awards to be bestowed include Outstanding Young Alumnus, Distinguished Educator and Distinguished Alumna/us This time-honored EIU tradition will recognize EIU Alumni recipients with an awards dinner, reception and special presentations. For more information, visit the EIU Alumni Services website. 



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