Homecoming In Our Hearts: HBCU Homecoming Memories

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Get geeked, get geeked, It’s homecoming week! There’s nothing like an HBCU homecoming. In honor of the homecoming season, we wanted to take a trip down memory lane with alumni from some of our beloved Nashville Historically Black Colleges & Universities. We may not be able to come together in person, but it’s always homecoming in our hearts.

Share your own HBCU homecoming memory and be included in our trip down memory lane by clicking here to submit. We will be adding new memories all next week from October 19 – 25, 2020.

And, thank you to all who were so gracious enough to share their memories. This was a labor of love.

 

This picture was taken in 1973 at TSU Homecoming it was the first time we wore our New Uniforms that were shown in this picture. Robert Churchwell, Tennessee State Univerity ‘74

 

What makes Fisk Homecoming such a great event is, it truly is. Alumni coming back to our Fisk “time”. We pick up where we left off. It is as if we never parted. No matter where our paths have led us, we are ALWAYS “Sons and Daughters ever in the alter. Cortina Hosch, Fisk Homecoming ‘94

 

The Boat Ride is a fun Fisk memory for me. I was excited. We had a great timeline dancing and laughing. General Jackson boat rides will always be one of my favorite Fisk memories. Kausta Spann, Fisk University ‘02

 

I recall fond memories of walking the TSU parade route on Jefferson Street on Homecoming Day. Then came the battle of the bands. Later in the evening was the football game. It was truly amazing to see and cheer our team on playing their hearts out for our school.  It was a joy for all in attendance. Students, alumni, and friends came from far and near to enjoy the many festivities of this annual event. It was truly a “Thrill on the Hill.” Marsha Neal (Currie) Woods, Tennessee State University ‘60

 

Being crowned as Miss Fisk University was the highlight of my 2009 Homecoming experience. I felt like royalty walking around on campus. My cheeks hurt from smiling every time someone would yell , “I see you, Miss Fisk”. Coronation is traditionally held in the historic Fisk Memorial Chapel; however, due to foundation & infrastructure issues, my crowning would have to be held in the gym. Initially, I was devastated and many doubted that it could be done, but I made it my mission to make the best of this situation. The gym was bigger than the Chapel, so I decided to maximize that space. I am an Aquarius and we are known to be unconventional, so I chose a theme that represented not only me, but also the uncustomary practice of having the ceremony in the gym.  The theme, “Age of Aquarius”, represented taking control of my destiny and legacy, despite the obstacles–and I did just that! On November 11, 2009, the gym was transformed into a water wonderland! The student body, faculty and alumni were all astonished. I took those lemons & made a big ole batch of lemonade for the entire Fisk community to enjoy. Kandace Harris, Fisk University ‘10

 

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Coronation during Homecoming is a fond memory that I have of my experience at Fisk. During my first year of college, which was 1998, I was chosen to represent my home state of Texas as Ms. Lone Star State during the ceremony. In 2001-2002, I was selected to be Ms. Alpha Kappa Alpha. Homecoming at Fisk is a culmination of school spirit, the recognition of rising change makers, and community. I will always be grateful for my college experience! Fisk Forever! Allison Driver, Fisk University, ‘02

 

Best Homecoming Moment… OMG there are so many… but I have to say Homecoming 2017 takes the win for best. My 10 year anniversary of becoming a Delta and celebrating with my line sisters was unmatched. I had so much fun the first day of homecoming (Thursday) that I lost my phone. But the ultimate best moment of 2017 was after the parade all of my sorors who crossed Alpha Chi headed to the plot and formed a huge circle in front of Hale Hall and began to serenade. Being surrounded by so many illustrious women, was just an inexplicable feeling. Being around all my TSU family and reconnecting with old friends and classmates felt like a big family reunion. I will NEVER miss a year, with the exception of this one. TSU’s homecoming is unmatched. Verlisa Westbrook, Tennessee State University ‘09

 

1966 was the year I started A&I. At this time we were the Tennessee Agriculture & Industrial State College and this year our football team was undefeated, so homecoming was a true memory. Two years after my graduation, the official name became Tennessee State University. Bill Venson, Tennessee State University ’66

 

I love the parade. The essence of reuniting with everyone is the best. It’s a recharge on life, connections, family, friends, and loved one. The food is always good at TSU or around TSU, but for some reason, the food is always 10x better during homecoming. I also can’t forget the culture. We are black every day, but to celebrate it without having to think twice, without having to worry about impression management, where everyone is truly their most authentic self is such a beautiful thing. MaQueba Massey, Tennessee State University ‘15

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The HBCU homecoming experience is magical! If you know any HBCU alumni then I’m sure you’ve heard your fair share of homecoming stories. Every HBCU alum thinks their homecoming is the best. I’ve been around HBCUs my entire life. I was born in Greensboro, NC, and went to daycare at North Carolina A&T while my father was in grad school. My parents worked at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and Alcorn State University, so I spent years on both campuses. I also earned two engineering degrees from Tennessee State University and I’m finishing up a Ph.D. in Business Administration at Morgan State University. I can tell you all about the HBCU homecoming experience. Now that I’m a business professor at TSU, the idea of homecoming is a bit different for me. I have not missed a TSU homecoming since my freshman year. I planned to celebrate my 22nd consecutive homecoming at TSU this year, but COVID-19 had other plans. Isaac Addae, Tennessee State University ‘04

 

This is my college commencement from TSU. Some of my fondest memories weren’t captured on film such as homecomings, greek shows, and football games. Photo ops missed! Ida (Venson) Currie, Tennessee State University ‘74

 

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So many memories of leaving work early to truck it “Out North” to make the pep rally so that I can catch up with friends that are in town.  Showing up with your best fall gear on or TSU and/or greek paraphernalia on.  It was what was happening. Could not wait to kick it in the hole. Finding out at the fish fry where the day parties were going to be and continuing the party on throughout the night. To get up early to find that perfect spot to tailgate.  And we would be out all day going from tailgate to tailgate.  Checking out the Alpha tent, the Kappa tent, the AKA and Delta tents.  I love my alma mater.  Always a good time when the time comes each year. Hate we had to miss out this yearAlisa Hankerson, Tennessee State University ‘88

 

 

Homecoming! Homecoming! Homecoming!  This experience is beyond an understatement of the joy and happiness you feel when seeing all the educated and gifted black people celebrate an annual event together.  More importantly, I loved just being surrounded by collegiate graduates who were on the same mission in life with similar goals as it relates to spirituality, prosperity, self-growth, philanthropy, and family.  It makes life just that more motivating and acknowledging to know that you represent a legacy of black entrepreneurs and educators who are standing as witnesses watching you stroll the road of life to success! Verles Westbrook, Tennessee State University ‘09

 

Everything about TSU Homecoming is an experience, especially being a Nashville native. I grew up attending homecomings and being in the parade before I was even a student at TSU. TSU vs. FAMU. Also, next to homecoming, the Atlanta Classic (TSU vs. FAMU) goes down as the best time ever!Shana Venson, Tennessee State University ‘01

 

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Hands down my favorite Homecoming memory EVERY YEAR is the tailgate. If you didn’t make it to the pep rally or missed the day parties, the fellowship at the tailgate event tops no other! You are sure to see your favorite Tigers at this event! Lia Banks, ’01

And, shoutout to our intern Morgan who helped with this story and is a proud HBCU student at Howard University. Here is one of her favorite homecoming memories.

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My favorite Howard homecoming memory will always be my freshman year homecoming! Seeing the famous alumni on campus, going to YardFest, and tailgating on Georgia Ave all felt so surreal the first time around. I will always cherish the memory of my first HBCU homecoming. Morgan Goldsmith, Howard University ’21

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