Villanova celebrates Homecoming 2007



Thomas Celona

CAT officials have expanded this year’s Homecoming festivities to encompass an entire week. With the creation of additional programming, Homecoming 2007 aims to develop school spirit and focus attention on the football team.

“We’re making it a week-long event,” said Christina O’Hearn, vice president of human resources for CAT. “We’re trying to get Villanova more excited about Homecoming.”

In the past, Homecoming has been a one-day event, consisting of the football game and a CAT-sponsored party in the Quad. Last year, Homecoming Week expanded slightly with the first Oreos at the Oreo event.

CAT Special Event Coordinators Kaitlin Cherundolo and Diana Crowell, along with the members of the special events committee, decided to change the format for this year’s festivities.

“So many different colleges have a big homecoming week,” Crowell said, noting that while Homecoming always attracts attention from alumni, students do not always have the same reaction.

“It’s always been a big event with alumni,” O’Hearn said. “It’s an event you should still partake in and celebrate Villanova while you’re still here.”

Aside from generating excitement among the student body, Cherundolo and Crowell also hope the expanded festivities will generate more attention for the football team at what has traditionally been a basketball-oriented school.

“The football team really should be recognized as well,” Cherundolo said.

In accordance with this goal of increased recognition, the football team is the focus of many of the week’s events.

The festivities began with the Homecoming Kickoff Tailgate Party from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Monday. CAT co-programmed the event with Dining Services and Athletics. The Pit was decorated in blue and white, and members of the football team were invited to have lunch. The kickoff promoted Villanova spirit as Homecoming began.

“Our goal for next year is to make it an actual Dining Services event,” Crowell said, noting the success of the event in its first year.

On Wednesday, members of CAT’s special events committee passed out Oreos at the Oreo from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“It was a big hit last year,” Crowell said. “It gets people excited.”

Tomorrow will be ‘Nova Nation Spirit Day.

“We want everyone to come out wearing blue and white,” O’Hearn said.

‘Nova Nation Spirit Day will include an opportunity for students to take pictures with Villanova mascot, Will D. Cat. Committee members will decorate the Oreo with balloon arches and streamers, and from 2-2:30 p.m., the Wildcat will be available for photographs.

Immediately after, CAT will hold the Superfan Contest, a competition between Villanova’s craziest and most spirited fans. While similar competitions have been held during basketball season, this will be the first one during football season. CAT board members will judge the contest, and the student deemed ‘Nova’s biggest fan will win a football autographed by Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Saturday will be the final day of Homecoming, featuring the traditional Quad party and football game, along with the introduction of a Pep Rally.

The Quad Party will be held between Sheehan and Sullivan Halls from 12-3 p.m. The party will feature inflatables, games, free food and a performance from Philadelphia area band Fooling April.

After a quick cleanup, a variety of student organizations will lead a pep rally from 4-5:30 p.m.

“We’re really going to get people all pumped before the game,” O’Hearn said.

The pep rally, held on the steps of Bartley Hall, will feature appearances by the Cheerleading Team, the Dance Company, the Dance Team, the Irish dancers, Rampage, the Tech Crew, the Spires, the Twirlers and the Villanova Band.

Homecoming Week will conclude when the football team faces off against William & Mary at 6 p.m. at the Villanova Stadium.

At half time of the game, some members of the ’97 football team will be on hand to be honored 10 years after their historic season. The ’97 team was the last to be ranked No. 1 during the regular season. Additionally, Westbrook was a member of the team, but it is unknown whether he will attend.

Once the week comes to a close, the CAT Special Events Committee will immediately begin working on next year’s festivities. According to Cherundolo and Crowell, students will receive a survey asking them about their reaction to this year’s events and ideas for additional events, including the possibility of creating a Homecoming court.

All of these new events will create a Homecoming experience unlike any Villanova has previously seen.

“Homecoming is about uniting the student body and supporting the football team,” Cherundolo said, excited about the opportunities afforded by the week-long celebration.