By CHARLES CANTRELL
PREMIER EVENT: This year the annual homecoming bonfire will honor TU’s Conference USA and Liberty Bowl champion football team with Coach Steve Kragthrope and will feature performances by Captain Cane, the TU band and cheerleaders and a fireworks display.
Courtesy University of Tulsa
A visit to the campus of The University of Tulsa will show why “Blueprint for the FuTUre” is the perfect theme for this year’s homecoming. Change and growth are everywhere.
“If you haven’t been back to campus lately this theme will make perfect sense when you return in September. You will come home, but to a home very much under renovation,” says TU President Steadman Upham.
Hardhats and blueprints abound on the school’s campus as steady progress is being made on a dramatic new south entrance off 11th Street. Construction on Collins Hall, TU’s new alumni and student services and welcome center is moving ahead. The Case Athletic Complex located in the north end zone of Skelly Stadium is rising. Final bricks are being laid on Bayless Plaza where a ring of stately stone columns will become the new home of the historic Kendall bell.
Construction has begun on new apartment buildings to create on-campus housing for 700 students. Almost anywhere one looks, a vision is taking shape and a plan is being implemented, and it’s not all about bricks and mortar.
Upham comments, “Beyond physical changes, we have drawn up exciting blueprints for our academic future. Over the past several months, the TU Board of Trustees and our administrators have been envisioning the TU of tomorrow. This collaborative process has brought into clear focus the need for TU to expand and focus new attention on interdisciplinary research in science and technology, foreign language and international study, fine and performing arts, athletic excellence and key learning resources such as our library system and computing infrastructure.” In addition, the school plans to increase merit scholarships for talented undergraduates, graduates and law students.
While the future will be very much on display this year, so will all the traditional happenings that make the TU homecoming special. Scheduled is the Annual Alumni Art Show and Reception sponsored by the Henry Kendall College of Arts and Sciences and the TU Alumni Association. Former student government participants can attend the Student Government Reunion Reception in the Sharp Chapel Atrium and Plaza.
Alumni, Students and friends of TU are invited to attend the annual Lettermen’s Golf Tournament at LaFortune Park. There will be numerous reunion parties and receptions and the list goes on (see schedule events on this page.) All will culminate at the annual bonfire and Taste of TU honoring the Conference USA and Liberty Bowl champion football team and Coach Steve Kragthrope. This year the homecoming rally will again showcase performances by the TU band, Captain Cane and cheerleaders with the added attraction of a fireworks display. Tailgate parties, live music and a sea of blue power will be evident as the Golden Hurricane takes on North Texas State in Skelly Stadium.
“This homecoming we celebrate a bright future and honor our storied past. We have so much to be proud of and we hope our alumni will come share in the excitement,” says Nancy Meyer, Homecoming 2006 Chair and Class of 1972.