100th Homecoming is One for the Ages

October 19, 2023

Homecoming is always an exciting time at EWU, but this year’s event will be one for the ages as Eastern celebrates 100 years of Homecoming.

Everyone is invited to join EWU for events commemorating this once-in-a-century milestone that run through Sunday, Oct. 22. On Friday, be sure to check out the historical Homecoming “Walk Through the Decades” exhibit from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. in Hargreaves Hall. On Saturday, EWU plays Weber State on the red turf (4 p.m. kickoff) with fireworks afterward. (Visit our 100 Years of Homecoming webpage for more information and a full calendar of events.)

The weeklong celebration started with the Eagle Family Homecoming Kickoff at 11:30 a.m., Monday, Oct. 16. The kickoff included games, crafts and music, along with EWU student-athletes passing out free pizza in the PUB. It went on to include the Oct. 18 lighting of the water tower, made possible by a generous gift from Eric and Denise Clements, parents of alumnus football player Cody Clements ’21 and ’22 and his older brother, Brice Clements ‘06.

Kelsey Hatch-Brecek, director of Alumni Relations, says students, faculty and staff should seize the opportunity to get involved in these “once-in-a-lifetime events.” Faculty and staff decorated their offices, while everyone was encouraged to wear Eagle apparel all week. On Monday and Wednesday, free Homecoming T-shirts were distributed on the PUB skirt to students planning to attend the Eastern versus Weber State Homecoming game. Registration for a free student ticket to the game is required.

“We anticipate a large group of alumni and community members on campus,” says Hatch-Brecek. “It’s important to show Eagle pride.”

With the influx of visitors, out-of-town guests are encouraged to book accommodations in advance. Best Western Plus Peppertree Airport Inn is offering EWU fans deals on rooms until Oct. 6, with code EWU 100 Year. 

At the “Light the Eagle Tower ” gathering, President Sheri McMahan, along with Eric and Denise Clements, led a countdown to illumination while spectators participated in the fun with red-and-white glow sticks. (If you missed this special event, there’s still plenty of opportunities to enjoy the newly illuminated tower, which will be lit from dusk till dawn year-round.) After the lighting celebration, attendees walked down the hill to join Eagle student-athletes at Reese Court for the inaugural Eagle MadNest, an event featuring the EWU Women’s, Men’s and Wheelchair Basketball teams and plenty of free goodies, swag and contests. 

A longstanding Homecoming favorite, one made extra special by the 100th anniversary, is the annual downtown bed races. In the past, only students, faculty and staff have been able to participate in the tradition, but now community members and alumni also joined in the fun. Located in downtown Cheney, teams of five competed by pushing beds on wheels down 1st Street and back.

This all leads up to gameday, Saturday, Oct. 21, against Weber State (4 p.m. kickoff). Make sure to reserve your student section tickets in advance, or purchase tickets online. It’s a “blackout game”– so wear your free Homecoming shirt or other black Eagle gear as you support the Eagles. 

Before the game (1-4 p.m.), head to the Alumni Association and Family Programming’s Engagement Zone (located outside of The Inferno Store) where you’ll find tailgating games, free swag and homecoming stickers. Collect all five game-day stickers and get a free Red Turf Nation gift at the end of the season.

Visitors and locals alike can also explore businesses throughout Spokane and Cheney that are offering discounts to EWU fans. 

Wrapping up a week full of events will be EWU’s first ever post-game fireworks show. Celebrate the end of a successful 100th Anniversary Eagle Family Homecoming week— and hopefully a win against Weber— with fireworks over Roos Field. 

Events You Don’t Want to Miss:

Walk through the Decades | Oct. 20 | 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

Eagle Family Dinner | Oct. 20 | 4-7 p.m.

Alumni & Family Engagement Zone | Oct. 21 | 1-4 p.m.

Game Day! EWU vs. Weber State | Oct. 21 | 4 p.m.

Postgame Fireworks | Oct. 21 | following the football game

Visit our 100 Years of Homecoming webpage for more information and a full calendar of events.