Homecoming is an annual tradition of Missouri State and it’s particularly special for R.E.A.L. Bears who get the opportunity to volunteer for a multitude of Alumni Association events throughout the weekend. A few members took the time to write about their experience volunteering for a few events.
Summer Holmes, the vice president of internal programs wrote, “Competition filled the air during Homecoming week. One of the events R.E.A.L. Bears participated in was Office Decorating. R.E.A.L. Bears decided to decorate the Alumni Center Hospitality Room. The process started off slightly rough. The materials purchased were not working as needed. However, members involved did not give up; instead, they brainstormed to come up with a new plan. At the end, the tracings of Carrington and Missouri State were completed. Balloons were expanded and written with “Welcome Home.” Streamers were strung throughout the bottom windows. Bears were artistically drawn on the doors. The Hospitality Room was ready for Homecoming!” Unfortunately, the R.E.A.L. Bears did not win the competition, but it contributed to the school spirit for Homecoming.
Friday night, the Alumni Association hosted the Welcome Home Reception in the newly built Davis-Harrington Welcome Center. Holmes discusses the benefits of attending the Welcome Home Reception, “It’s always a favorite event to volunteer for during Homecoming. The food, the people, and the setting always allow an amazing chance to network and share your passion for the university. R.E.A.L. Bear members get the chance to talk to alumni about what the organization does and what they are studying at the university. This year, the Welcome Home Reception was even better than the last. The delicious food had a little something for everyone. The presentation included the Be A Bear t-shirt sales and donation to the Emergency Scholarship Funds; oohs and aahs filled the room with the donation and flattering design of the shirt. Many alumni in attendance exclaimed on the desire to gain one of the t-shirts before the final batch sold out. One R.E.A.L. Bear member shared her pleasure at the end of the reception with the chance to exchange business cards and to gather information on her potential career choice with alumni. Others shared similar experiences and left with smiles on their faces. The Welcome Home Reception will always be a favorite and highly attended event for R.E.A.L. Bears.”
The next morning, R.E.A.L. Bears woke up at the crack of dawn to attend breakfast events with alumni. Senior member, Caitlin Harris described her time volunteering for the event “There was not a big requirement of the volunteers at this event. I was asked to collect tickets at the food line. While collecting tickets I was able to admire the excitement of all the young children as they fill their plates with kid approved food. The best part was seeing how excited they got when Boomer was in the room. It was a neat experience as a student, to see alumni being involved with their alma mater and wanting to share the Missouri State experience with their children.” Some R.E.A.L. Bears went on to enjoy the rest of their Homecoming week. For some that included volunteering at the skyboxes.
Miranda O’Connell describes the skyboxes at the Homecoming football game. “The skyboxes were definitely feeling the homecoming spirit this year. A good number of alumni came back for the weekend, from both near and far. The skyboxes were full of past football players, important professors, future Bears, and even Senator Roy Blunt made an appearance. Although the Bears came short of a win, those who were rooting for them never lost their enthusiastic, passionate, and lively energy.”
R.E.A.L. Bears volunteer every year at Homecoming to support its sponsor, the Missouri State Alumni Association. As undergraduate students, we look forward to visiting the campus for Homecoming in the future.