America’s Greatest Homecoming

Take-Home Message: Good traditions should endure.

October represents a special time for every member of the Cowboy family. It’s a month when older siblings enjoy the privilege of introducing new and future members of the family to time-honored traditions that make Stillwater, Oklahoma the home of this yearly family reunion.

Each year, over 80,000 past, present, and future Cowboys join together to celebrate a rich legacy of familial cooperation, alumni and undergraduate achievement, and of course, Cowboy football.

To mark this celebration, students begin preparing many months in advance. In September, the campus evolves into a hub of chaos, hype, industriousness, and creativity, It remains this way until the Friday evening before the homecoming football game. On this evening, the hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of preparation culminate into the debuting of over a hundred and twenty years of history on display through the form of house decorations, hand-crafted signs, and a sea of orange.

On this special night, both distant and immediate members of the family join together, filling the streets to observe the spirit of Stillwater, Oklahoma on display. The dozens of house decorations merely serve as placeholders for of over a century of accomplishments, generosity, and commitment to excellence.

These massive, meticulously-tended to decorations serve as worthy placeholders, though. Each portrays its own unique definition of what it means to count yourself among the Cowboy family. Spanning at up to 80 feet and standing nearly 20 feet Ito the air, these brilliant emblems of cooperation, ingenuity, and creativity narrate the stories of many past family role models.

These incredible decorations take time, thoughtfulness, strategy, and resourcefulness. They join together around 200 students, per decoration, who have never before worked together, laboring round-the-clock, toward a creation that grows from infancy to adulthood in under two months. It is truly a beautiful microcosm of industry, engineering, innovation, and thrift.

To put things into even more stark perspective, consider these statistics: Eachecoatyion utilizes approximately 130 boxes of pomp (tissue paper), at 7,200 sheets per box, totaling 936,000 sheets, each cut into 1/4″ squares. That’s  3.744 million pieces of paper, not to make mention of the hundreds of feet of aluminum pipe, and likely miles of welding rods used to bbirth these behemoth artistic structures.

Though college as the establishment represents something different to each of us, I am proud to count myself a part of this Cowboy family, and to have had the opportunity to have participated in this rich tradition. I look forward to witnessing these masterpieces on display, and joining in with the tens of thousands of my Cowboy siblings as we celebrate 125 years.

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