Student Alumni Association members/R.E.A.L. Bears have always been students who truly know what it is to be proud Bears. Those who join the student alumni group not only leave a legacy for future Bears, but relive the traditions of past Bears.
Homecoming is one such time-honored tradition. The university’s first football game occurred in 1909. In 1921, the first Homecoming was established, featuring the first Homecoming football game. At that time, Homecoming featured alumni reunions, a football game, a play by the College Theatre, and beginning in 1940, the selection of the first Homecoming queen. Over the years a variety of events for students, alumni and friends have been added. However, many customs and that air of excitement that makes the fall weekend special, have remained.
In partnership with the Missouri State Alumni Association, R.E.A.L. Bears continue to take a lead role in hosting the annual Homecoming celebration. The group has supported events and activities during Homecoming weekend since the organization began in 1987. R.E.A.L. Bears are a part of long-time traditions such as the Homecoming Dinner and Awards Ceremony, VIP Breakfast, 50 Year Class Reunion, Golden Bears Reunion and football skyboxes, as well as newer traditions such as the MarooNation alumni tent in Bearfest Village. From welcoming event attendees to decorating for the Homecoming Dinner to making guests’ game day experience in the football skyboxes a memorable one, R.E.A.L. Bears are demonstrating their Bear pride. “R.E.A.L. Bears are the face of every student to our alumni,” said Julie Ebersold, Executive Director of Alumni Relations. “Homecoming is a time when alumni and friends from all over the country return to campus. Our students help make their time here special.”
Missouri State Homecoming 2011 was held October 28-29. The Maroon On! Game On! themed weekend included a number of the traditional festivities. R.E.A.L. Bears were once again on hand, showing their true (maroon and white) colors. “Being a part of Homecoming with R.E.A.L. Bears is the highlight of my fall semester,” said current member Mandy Morgan. “I am so thankful to be a part of an organization that has become my second family, and has opened doors for me to meet wonderful graduates of Missouri State. Through their unique stories, I can see how Missouri State pride transcends across alumni of all ages. Each and every Homecoming experience is one I will treasure forever. I cannot wait to visit campus after my graduation and meet with students to share my stories with them, hopefully instilling that same sense of pride that other alumni have instilled in me.”
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