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EIU Media Relations

EIU Invites Students, Community, Alums to “Let the Good Times Roar” During 2017 Homecoming Festivities



Eastern Illinois University invites community members, alumni, and EIU friends and supporters to this week’s Homecoming festivities, taking place at a variety of locations on campus at 600 Lincoln Avenue, in Charleston.

EIU’s 2017 Homecoming celebration began Monday, October 16 with a Kickoff in the Quad and the coronation of the Homecoming Court in McAfee Gymnasium. Allison Oates, representing the National Association of Colored Women’s Club and Lincoln Hall, and Carl Winton, president of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and in the NAACP, were named Homecoming Queen and King. Will Outzen, representing Student Government, and Stephanie Beltran, representing the Latin American Student Organization, won Homecoming Prince and Princess. Jon Oliver and Kristin Brown, both kinesiology and sports studies professors, were named Faculty Homecoming King and Queen.

A full listing of additional events for students, faculty and staff, community members and EIU alumni is available at Some highlights include:

  • Weeklong Events
    • Billy in the Schools—Billy Panther will spread EIU pride during Homecoming Week at Charleston/Mattoon grade schools and middle schools. His appearances will feature coloring contests, prizes and giveaways.
    • “Roar Ride” Golf Cart Trivia Contest—The Panther Patrol will prowl the EIU campus looking for members of the EIU community wearing blue. Some lucky winners will receive prizes and giveaways for showing their school pride and spirit.
  • Tuesday, October 17
    • A “Welcome to the Jungle Family Fun Night” from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom of the Martin Luther King, Jr. University Union. An entertaining night of fun for the EIU and Charleston communities and their families with activities including BINGO, refreshments, carnival games, inflatables and other games and prizes for all ages. More information at
  • Friday, October 20
    • “You Do Blue Friday”: Fridays are designated school spirit days throughout the year, and this Friday is no different. Members of the EIU community are encouraged to show their Panther Pride by wearing EIU blue.
    • The “Together We Roar” Yell Like Hell Pep Rally will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. in McAfee Gym-South. This campus-wide pep rally will promote Panther spirit and pride in preparation for Saturday’s home football game. The EIU football team/coaches, cheer teams, Panther Marching Band, and Billy Panther will be on hand, and the event will feature pep rally competitions and giveaways and prizes throughout the evening.
  • Saturday, October 21
    • The 18th Annual Homecoming 2.5K Race begins at 9 a.m. with participants of all ages from the EIU and Charleston communities involved. Sponsored by the City of Charleston Tourism Department with EIU’s Department of Recreation Administration Festivals & Special Events class, prizes and awards will be given to the top place-finishers in each division. More information at
    • EIU’s 2017 Homecoming Parade begins at 9:30 a.m. The EIU Homecoming Parade is an annual tradition with over 100 campus and community entries consisting of floats, bands and decorated cars that will process through town, ending at the tailgate area of O’Brien Stadium. More information at
    • Alumni Tent City will be open from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the O’Brien Field Tailgate Area. Food and beverages, compliments of the EIU Alumni Association, will be served.
    • The 2017 Homecoming Game pits the EIU Panthers against Ohio Valley Conference foe Jacksonville State at 2 p.m. at O’Brien Field. This event will include a “Pack the Stands Blue” movement in support of the EIU football team, where a sea of blue-clad fans will receive a chance to win free prizes such as homecoming T-shirts, foam fingers, rally towels, beads and more. Game tickets are available at or at the gate for $20 each.
    • The 2017 Alumni Awards Dinner will begin with a 6 p.m. cocktail reception and a 7 p.m. awards dinner in the Grand Ballroom of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union. The dinner will honor nine EIU alumni for their outstanding achievements. Tickets are $30 a person and can be ordered at The deadline to purchase tickets is October 19.



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Contact Information

Media Relations
Josh Reinhart, Public Information Coordinator

2142 Old Main
Eastern Illinois University
600 Lincoln Ave.
Charleston, IL 61920
Fax: 217-581-8444

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