The Newman University Homecoming will be celebrated as a part of Heritage Month during the week of Feb. 20-25, as a multitude of campus departments have banded together to organize a week designed to encourage campus involvement.
Homecoming is often a term paired with images of tailgating in a parking lot while eating hot dogs and waving your team's flag during the long hours leading up to kick-off. Homecoming Week has instead created a new atmosphere focused on Newman community, its rich history, basketball, and many other exciting events.
Dean of Students Levi Esses describes this week as "an event that honors students, welcomes back alumni, and engages staff."
Heritage Month is a new tradition among the Newman University community, dating back only two years to 2015. The celebratory month runs its course Feb. 1-28 and encompasses events designed to honor the heritage of our founders, The Adorers of the Blood of Christ, as well as both our namesake John Henry Cardinal Newman and our Catholic tradition.
Cardinal Newman Week is an aspect of Heritage Month designed to celebrate John Henry Cardinal Newman, whose birthday falls on Feb. 21. This year, Cardinal Newman Week aligns with that of Homecoming Week, which allows for the events of Cardinal Newman Week to be spread amongst the stretch of homecoming activities.
Homecoming Week kicks off Monday, Feb. 20 with the showing of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, a movie chosen in co-ordinance with the homecoming theme, "Return of the Jet-I." Online voting for Homecoming King and Queen will also open Monday at 8 a.m. and run until its close on Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 5 p.m. Nominations for the Homecoming Court were taken from any senior graduating in either the spring or summer of 2017. The homecoming court was announced on Wednesday, Feb. 15 and includes:
- Sydney Daigle
- Maureen Hogan
- Ellise McGowan
- Hibah Ullah
- Kylie Werth
- David Baalmann
- Joshua Baalmann
- Alec Hampton
- Ruben Lerma
- Luke Sponsel
The Homecoming King and Queen will be announced at the Homecoming coronation, which will take place during halftime of the Feb. 23 men's basketball game against St. Mary's University.
Daily Homecoming activities have been organized to fill the days leading up to this announcement. The Campus Activities Board has planned a variety of activities to take place over the course of the week including an ice skating night at the Wichita Ice Center and a homecoming dance.
A pep-rally will also be hosted by the cheer team on Thursday, Feb. 23 and students who attend will receive free pizza and a free "Return of the Jet-I" t-shirt to be worn at that evening's basketball games.
Saturday, Feb. 25 will be the closing day of homecoming and is set to be filled with a vast showcase from university athletics as home games are set to be played by the softball, baseball, and both the women and men's basketball teams. The day will not only mark the closing of the 2017 Homecoming week, but it will also mark the end of a coaching era.
Men's Basketball Head Coach Mark Potter has spent 19 years leading the men's basketball program at Newman, and has announced his retirement following the conclusion of this season. Since his 1998 start, Potter has compiled an overall record of 330 wins to 229 losses with a total of 12 post-season conference appearances. In the years prior to Newman switching to NCAA Division II, Potter lead two teams to Midlands Collegiate Athletics Conference (MCAC) tournament titles in 1999-2000 as well as 2001-2002. Potter will be honored following the men's basketball game as it will be the last home game he coaches on the Potter Family Court.
Schedule of Events
Monday, Feb. 20
- 8 a.m. — Voting opens for King and Queen, online
- 8 p.m. — Showing of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Performance Hall
Tuesday, Feb. 21
- 2 p.m. — High Tea, Dugan-Gorges Conference Center
- 5 p.m. — Voting closes for King and Queen, online
- 5 p.m. — Evening Tea, Eck Lobby
- 7 p.m. — Ice Skating Night, Wichita Ice Center
Wednesday, Feb. 22
- 11 a.m. — Cardinal Newman Mass, St. John's Chapel
- 12 p.m. — Cardinal Newman Lunch, Heritage Room
- 7 p.m. — Lip Sync Battle, Performance Hall
- 9 p.m. — Pep Rally and Pizza, Fugate Gymnasium
- 9 p.m. — Bubble Soccer, Fugate Gymnasium
Thursday, Feb. 23
- 5 p.m. — Jets Fangate, Gorges Atrium
- 5:30 p.m. — Women's Basketball Game, Fugate Gymnasium
- 7:30 p.m. — Men's Basketball Game, Fugate Gymnasium (King and Queen Coronation takes place during halftime)
Friday, Feb. 24
- 8:30 a.m. — Jet Friday, Student Center
- 8 p.m. — Homecoming Dance, Jabara Theatre
Saturday, Feb. 25
- 10 a.m. — Breakfast, Gorges Atrium
- 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. — Softball Games, Softball Field
- 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. — Baseball Games, McCarthy Field
- 1 p.m. — Women's Basketball Game, Fugate Gymnasium
- 3:30 p.m. — Men's Basketball Game, Fugate Gymnasium (Recognition of Coach Potter to follow)