Homecoming week at Florida A&M University is more than just a celebration of school spirit; it’s a vibrant time of tradition, camaraderie and spirit that unites students, alumni and the entire community to create unforgettable memories.
For faculty at FAMU, preparing for homecoming week is an exciting yet challenging task. In this article, we’ll explore how teachers gear up for the exhilarating week, including adjusting their curriculum as they compete with a high-octane week of events, and their thoughts on this cherished annual event.
Homecoming week fills the FAMU calendar with a bustling schedule of events, and teachers are well aware of its importance. It’s no secret that students often seize the opportunity to skip classes during this lively week. To ensure that the class stays on track with the curriculum schedule, teachers often make adjustments. This can involve reorganizing lesson plans and schedules to cover essential content before or after the week-long celebration; or incorporating the festive spirit into the class lesson plan.
Deborah Thigpen, a visiting assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication who has spent two years at FAMU, wholeheartedly appreciates the importance of infusing the curriculum with elements that pay homage to the university’s history, culture and accomplishments during this special period.
“I assign meaningful assignments to serve as PR ambassadors that can be tied into homecoming traditions, by writing stories, volunteering and spearheading mini-media campaigns,” Thigpen said.
Thigpen has ingeniously structured her course to allow students the freedom to engage in homecoming festivities as PR professionals while still fulfilling their academic responsibilities. This innovative approach not only keeps students engrossed in their academic pursuits but also nurtures an environment where they can actively partake in the joyous celebrations.
“Scholars are encouraged to attend Grads Are Back forums, report on events, and take pictures,” she said. “There will be several notable guest speakers coming back. They are very relevant to students’ success and career goals and it’s important for students to interact with them.”
Don’t think that students are the only ones to experience all the fun. While teachers are primarily there to facilitate their students’ educational experience during homecoming week, many educators can’t resist joining in on the festivities themselves.
Kenyatta Rosier, a FAMU alumna and visiting assistant professor with a commendable 14-year tenure in FAMU’s School of Business and Industry, passionately shares her sentiments about homecoming week at FAMU.
“Each year homecoming evokes a sense of nostalgia and belonging, reminding me and other graduates of the formative years spent on campus,” she said. “Attending celebrations like the parties, parades, step shows, tailgates and donor events, creates a lively and festive atmosphere that creates even more cherished memories.”
It’s safe to say that the faculty at FAMU, much like their students, find themselves swept up in the whirlwind of homecoming week. Balancing academics with festivities, these educators create an environment that harmoniously integrates tradition, culture and learning. Their participation in the festivities further cements the unique sense of unity and pride that characterizes homecoming at FAMU, making it a truly unforgettable experience for all.