R.E.A.L. Bears kicked off Homecoming week by receiving first place in the Can We Build It Challenge, Monday October the 12th. To mirror the homecoming theme, Bears Breaking Barriers, they created a wrecking ball with the Missouri State bear head in the middle, out of canned food collected by our members. Not only did they create a winning design, they contributed the cans as donations to Ozarks Food Harvest.
Homecoming weekend began Friday afternoon with the welcoming of the class of ‘65 in Kentwood Hall. Members greeted the alumni at the door and escorted them to the dining room for lunch. There, the members joined the alumni in sharing stories of how much the campus had changed over the last fifty years. The Vice President of University Advancement, Brent Dunn, opened the reunion with a warm welcome to the returning alumni. He spoke of the importance of connecting students to alumni, thanking R.E.A.L. Bears for all the work they do. Later in the evening, alumni gathered in the new Davis-Harrington Welcome Center for the Celebratory Reception. President Clif Smart made an appearance and opened the evening with a warm welcome to all the visiting alumni. Former Student Alumni Association (SAA) and R.E.A.L. Bear members joined the visiting alumni for the REAL Reunion. The current members enjoyed speaking with former members on what their experiences were like as a R.E.A.L. Bear. For the REAL Reunion, scrapbooks from former years of the organization were put on display for everyone to see. Everyone enjoyed seeing how much everything had changed, from the dated clothes to the big hair. The night was filled with great conversation and networking among the members, former members, and alumni.
Saturday morning, members greeted alumni and families at Breakfast With Boomer. They guided alumni to their seats and assisted them to any needs, while pumping everyone up for the Homecoming game. Lastly, the alumni and their families were read Where is Boomer? by Missouri State basketball players, Tyler McCullough and Camyn Boone and later, took pictures with Boomer himself. Later on Saturday, R.E.A.L. Bears hosted the Golden Bears Luncheon for alumni who graduated fifty or more years ago. The members welcomed the guests and served them throughout the event by managing the coat check and bringing them refreshments. Before the football game, alumni and students, including R.E.A.L Bears, gathered in BearFest Village for tailgating fun. In their tent, members tended to alumni by serving hot dogs and facilitating fun giveaways. Everyone had a great time eating and preparing for the excitement of the football game. To end the weekend, R.E.A.L. Bears hosted the skyboxes during the football game. They did a fantastic job at ensuring the alumni and other spectators were well taken care of. In spite of the Bears’ loss, the alumni enjoyed the comfort of the skyboxes as well as the hospitality of R.E.A.L. Bears. As the alumni exited the skyboxes, the members sang the Missouri State fight song. Once a bear, always a bear!