By DJ Ramirez |

It’s that time of year again folks. It’s time for the Bears to come home.

Homecoming is a tradition special to the heart of Baylor University. It’s the main event of every fall semester, an event rich in history that reaches back over a hundred years. Baylor is known to be the nation’s first collegiate institution to host an event with the very first homecoming in the fall of 1909.

Photo Courtesy of Christina Munoz

But something as special as Homecoming takes a lot of hard work and preparation to organize and that job falls to the Baylor Chamber of Commerce.

“Homecoming is pretty great and unique in the fact that it is very traditions based, but with that, it’s not cookie cutter every year,” said Emma Ingram, the 2018 Homecoming Chair.

In the middle, 2018 Homecoming chair Laura Ingram smiles with other members of the Baylor Chamber of Commerce. | Photo Courtesy of Baylor Chamber of Commerce

Preparations begin in April when the homecoming chair appoints a general assistant and committee. Then the homecoming chair begins to look at the things that can be done to uphold the tradition while still finding a way to improve it.

This year, Ingram hopes to make Homecoming more inclusive and accommodating for everyone, going as far as acquiring a sign language interpreter to aid the deaf community during the pep rally.

During the week leading up to Homecoming, campus is celebrating with a special chapel and Dr. Pepper Hour. Chamber begins final preparations the weekend before by putting up signs all over campus. But the real festivities begin tonight during Mass Meeting.

Mass Meeting is an extra special event for Baylor freshmen. It’s when they learn the story of the Immortal Ten and receive the torch from upperclassmen as a symbol of Baylor spirit passing on. The event starts at 10:30 p.m. in the Ferrell Center.

On Friday, the bonfire is lit from 6 to 10 p.m. in Fountain Mall. On Saturday, the parade starts bright and early, coming through the heart of campus around 7 a.m. After the floats pass through campus, everyone will head to the Baylor vs. OU game at 11 a.m.

According to senior chamberman Ben Bailey, who was Homecoming Chair in 2017, Mass Meeting and the parade are the two biggest events of the week because they require the most preparation. It’s challenging work but every member of Chamber has a part to play in bringing Homecoming to life.

“Homecoming is really important because it is the time when we really make it so where Baylor is a home for new students especially,” Bailey said. “And it reminds current students and past students and their families why Baylor is special, why Baylor can be a home.”