LBC hopes centennial Homecoming week is one to remember

The organization plans to walk in the Homecoming parade and host a alumni mixer.
David Wettroth / Graphic Designer

Last night, the Legion of Black Collegians hosted a “Timeless Encounters” formal ball as part of the Homecoming celebration, which includes a week of events that began Monday.

Nathan Stephens, Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center senior coordinator, said he thinks the theme for Homecoming this year is remembering the past with hopes of progression to the future.

The celebration officially began when voting for the LBC royalty court opened at 8 a.m. Monday. In the evening, LBC and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. welcomed entrepreneur Demetrius Walker, who owns a clothing line of inspirational T-shirts, to Memorial Union to speak about uplifting the black community.

“I thought the speech was awesome,” LBC member Symonne Sparks said. “When I wear one of those shirts, my attitude changes to become more positive, and I think it also changes the attitude of those who see me wearing it.”

The following night in Memorial Union, attendees participated in a movie and trivia night from 7 to 9 p.m. Spike Lee’s “School Days,” which tells a tale about black Greek Life organizations on college campuses, was featured.

The royalty court voting closed Wednesday, and LBC hosted the Homecoming Ball in the Hampton Inn.

“It was really good to see people come together at the ball,” Sparks said. “It’s a traditional event, but there are new people at this school every year who may not know about it at first, so it’s nice to introduce them to the tradition.”

The gala began when students were treated to an elegant dinner beginning at 7 p.m., and ended with the announcement of the 2011 LBC Homecoming Court.

Stephens said the ball was a beautiful event.

“It was incredible for students on the royalty court to be recognized by their peers for their accomplishments,” he said. “It’s different from the traditional Homecoming Court because instead of thousands of students voting for candidates they don’t really know except on applications or talent segments, you have a smaller community voting for candidates they likely know as peers.”

The Missouri Students Association/Graduate Professional Council Black Programming Committee are hosting a comedy show in Jesse Auditorium at 7 p.m. Friday night. The show will feature Spoken Reasons, B-Phlat and Brandon T. Jackson. Following the comedy show, the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center will host an alumni mixer with a “Karaoke Night” theme.

Sparks said she knows the comedy show will be a good time, but she is looking forward most to the National Panhellenic Council step show Saturday in Plaza Amphitheatre.

“It’s so awesome to see people come together at the step-show,” said Sparks, who will perform in the show with Freestyle Your Expression. “Last year at step show was the first time I ever saw people come together on that large of a scale.”

On Saturday, LBC will walk in the Homecoming Parade, which begins at 8:30 a.m. Following the 11 a.m. NPHC Step Show, a tailgate memorial for Clarence Wine Sr. will take place at the Black Culture Center at 10 a.m.

From 8 p.m. to midnight Saturday, an encore alumni re-mixer will be hosted at the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center with a “That’s so '70s Party” theme, in honor of the class of 1984, which includes Vivian King and Marvin Cobbs, the first African-American Homecoming Court King and Queen. Stephens said a re-crowning ceremony will be held.

The Homecoming activities don’t end on Saturday. The morning after will feature a worship service at St. Paul A.M.E. Church followed by a Brunch and Gospel Explosion at the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center. The brunch and gospel explosion will feature LBC’s own Gospel Choir.

“Even though we’ve met the 100-year mark, Homecoming is timeless,” Sparks said. “The atmosphere is timeless because it’s traditional and inspirational. These events are places where people can gather, be thankful and forget about troubles. You can’t put a time limit on that kind of happiness.”

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