Posts tagged ‘Homecoming’

“The Heart of Homecoming,” by Matthew Rice

homecoming_mateo_bluPenn State football-player-turned-artist Matthew Rice ’05 knows that some people might look at his newest painting, “Heart of Homecoming,” and wonder why there are only five lines in the stitching on the football. Real footballs, of course, have more.

The reason is simple—deceptively so.

“I think very deep when it comes to the things I’m creating,” he says. “I wasn’t thinking how many lines a real football actually has. I dedicated five years to Penn State. In my vision, I see each stripe as a level of dedication, a level of transition that I went through not only as a person, but how I started my whole artistic journey.”

Rice—known professionally as Mateo Blu—knows that not everyone will see the same thing in his painting. And that’s exactly how he wants it, not just with this work, but with everything he creates.

“I may set a certain mood,” he says, “but there’s (more…)

October 11, 2013 at 11:54 am 1 comment

The Penn Stater Daily — Oct. 11, 2013

Yeah, it’s raining. The Campus Weather Service just tweeted about a new record for daily rainfall. But it’s still a pleasant day around here—it’s the start of Homecoming weekend. There are already students staking out their positions on College Avenue for the Homecoming parade, and there was a Berkey Creamery truck parked here at the Hintz Family Alumni Center when I walked in this morning, so it looks like we’ll be well-stocked for this afternoon’s ice cream social. Stop by!

And in the meantime, check out these stories to get you in a Penn State mood:

It’s a wedding night—er, hockey night—in State College: My favorite one-liner in the buildup to the opening of the Pegula Ice Arena comes from Terry Pegula himself, who apparently hasn’t been inside the arena. Joe Battista ’83, the director of hockey operations, says Pegula ’73 explains it like this: “Why spoil it? I’ll wait for the wedding night.” All the pieces are in place, with Army getting the all-clear to travel despite the government shutdown for tonight’s sold-out opener. If Pegula—or anyone reading—needs a little help getting his bearing on the first trip to the building, this infographic from the Centre Daily Times is terrific.

A silent leader, and a must-read: You’ve got to check out this profile of defensive tackle DaQuan Jones, which is one of the nicest pieces I’ve read about a Penn State football player in a while. The author: Collegian writer Anna Orso, who got Jones to open up about how he took care of his siblings while their mother was in jail and about an unusual path to Penn State—and becoming a leader for the Lions, who of course play Michigan at 5 p.m. Saturday in what is shaping up as the season’s first sellout.

Flipping out: How does Blue Band drum major Chris Siergiej practice the flip? Only after 800 milligrams of ibuprofen, and only early in the week. You don’t want to pound your legs too much before the big game. Learn more about this and other tidbits about life as the drum major in this Q&A with Schreyer Honors College intern Julia Kern.

Virtual Homecoming: If you’re not coming to town, you can still experience the Homecoming parade. For the ninth consecutive year, students from the College of Communications are producing a live webcast. Tune in here at 6 p.m. And click here to read about the students in COMM 383A, Webcast Production, and the faculty member, Maria Cabrera-Baukus.

Lori Shontz, senior editor

October 11, 2013 at 10:16 am Leave a comment

Come Tailgate With Us on Saturday

DSC_5452_med_grilled_stickiesGoing to the Michigan game this weekend? The Alumni Association staff is hosting a big indoor tailgate  before the game.

We do it every Homecoming weekend—we call it the Alumni Zone, and we invite all interested alumni. I’ll be there, and so will a lot of other Alumni Association staff, as well as several hundred Penn State alumni and their families who have already RSVPed to say they plan to attend.

I went to the A-Zone last year for the first time, and had a blast. There’s lots of food, lots of stuff for the kids to do, and lots of music—including the Alumni Blue Band. The Lion mascot is there, roaming around, happily posing for photos. There are celebrity guests too; this year they include former Penn State quarterback Michael Robinson ’04, ’06, Homecoming grand marshal John Amaechi ’94, former Lady Lion basketball standout Kelly Mazzante ’04, and coaches Patrick Chambers, Guy Gadowsky, Charlene Morett ’79, Mark Pavlik ’82, and Russ Rose.

DSC_5554_med_Alumni_Blue_BandYou can get a feel for the fun by looking at some of the photos from last year, and you can check out the menu, the celebrities list, and the activities offered by going here. The event runs from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Multi Sport Facility, below the stadium. Alumni Association members pay a discounted admission charge, but all alumni and friends are welcome. Hope to see you on Saturday.

Tina Hay, editor

October 10, 2013 at 3:31 pm Leave a comment

Homecoming Week: the art of creating a float


Sophomore Kelsey Ohlbaum pomps during Homecoming week. Float construction and pomping started on Sunday and ends Friday.

Chicken wire, wood, and tissue paper.

Sounds like a strange combination, right? Not during Homecoming week.

Those three items—along with some glue, nails, and hard work—create a float for the Homecoming parade, which will wind from Beaver Stadium to College Avenue in about 2.5 hours starting at 6 Friday evening. It’s all in the art of “pomping.”

Here’s what you need:

1. Pomps

Pomping guidelines are very specific and can be found on the Homecoming website in the Homecoming Rulebook. According to the website, pomps are 5 1/2” x 5 1/2” sheets of colored tissue paper and must be ordered through Penn State Homecoming. Organizations purchase a variety of colors based on what your theme is. Veterans to Homecoming know to order more than what you need because you can only order through Penn State Homecoming—if you run out, you can’t just make a trip to Walmart.

Nittany Co-Op supplies the pomps, which cost $2.05 per pack. Homecoming suggests ordering pomps in 12s or 24s because the pomps are prepackaged this way. You may need as many as 30 boxes of pomps to cover the entire float.

2. Wood

The float cannot exceed 8 feet wide x 20 feet long x 15 feet high. The float has guidelines in the Homecoming Rulebook, as well. At check-in, each float must have safety chains, quick links, a triangle reflector, and a 10 pound fire extinguisher. The rulebook also suggests that someone guards your float at all times.

3. Chicken wire

Chicken wire hangs all around the constructed float to structure it. The wire is also ordered through Penn State Homecoming, where a 50-foot roll costs $16.90. One piece of tissue paper goes through each hole in the wire. Before pushing the paper through, you paint the wire with glue—$11 per gallon—to ensure the pomp sticks.

You can imagine, the cost to build a float is quite expensive.

“Generations Evolve, Tradition Remains” is Homecoming’s overall theme, and each organization interprets that in its own way, pending Homecoming’s approval.

Building the actual float is the real task. It generally takes a few hours to construct the structure of the float. It’s simply wood and nails, but easier said than done. The chicken wire hangs around it, giving it a shape. Then using tape, sketch the design you want. The tape separates what color pomps will go through the chicken wire, which is pomping—filling chicken wire with rolled-up tissue paper.

Pomping is not difficult, nor does it take skill. It’s actually rather mind-numbing. Deciding on a theme, building and placing colors take some creativity, but anyone can pomp. Trust me, if I can do it, you can do it.

Pomping does, however, require a lot of time, dedication, and people to complete. With my co-ed fraternity, which has about 50 members, we are required to pomp for a minimum of five hours each. It takes a lot of man-power to get through the week successfully.

But you can take a boring situation and make it fun with music and friends, and seeing your final product is a good feeling.


Pomping black and pink tissue paper creates a poodle.

Organizations with floats are allowed five people on a float with two people walking in front of the float with a banner. I, personally, will not be in the Homecoming Parade, but I will be there watching. I will comfortably find my spot on Shortlidge with the brothers from my co-ed fraternity. I’m not supposed to say what my fraternity’s theme is, but let’s just say our float is “electrifying.”

Sarah Olah, intern

October 9, 2013 at 4:51 pm 1 comment

The Penn Stater Daily — Oct. 7, 2013

From news to features, your daily dose of everything Penn State.

A big win in Bloomington: Okay, so the less said about Saturday’s game the better. But at least one Penn State “football” team enjoyed a successful trip to Indiana this weekend. Jordan Tyler and Owen Griffith each scored first-half goals and goalkeeper Andrew Wolverton saved a second-half penalty to give the Nittany Lion soccer team a 2-0 win over Indiana. How big was this one? The Hoosiers are the defending national champions. It was Penn State’s first win at IU since 2005, and first-ever shutout at Armstrong Stadium. Most important, it puts the Lions at 2-0 in Big Ten play and atop the league standings. Next up for Penn State: a Friday night Homecoming game against Michigan.

Happy Homecoming: And yes, it’s Homecoming Week. We’ve got our interns, Sarah Olah and Maggie McGlinchy, heading out around town and campus this week to bring your more coverage—keep an eye out for that as the week goes on. In the meantime: The official 2013 Homecoming Cookbook, featuring 60 recipes from Penn Staters, is on sale now at the HUB. The cookbook will also be available Friday at the Hintz Family Alumni Center, and at Homecoming store locations along the parade route. The Homecoming Committee plans to make it available for online purchase starting next week.

And while you’re making Homecoming plans: Don’t miss the official Alumni Zone Tailgate this Saturday at the Multi-Sport Facility. (more…)

October 7, 2013 at 8:47 am Leave a comment

The Penn Stater Daily — Sept. 30, 2013


Photo courtesy of Matthew Bellingeri / The Daily Collegian

From news to features, your daily dose of everything Penn State.

It’s a Dirty Jog, But Somebody’s Got to Do It: About 10,000 runners burned calories and got coated with pastels Sunday at Penn State’s first Color Run, sponsored by the Homecoming Committee. As an occasional jogger, I’m not sure I understand why you’d want people to douse you with powdered paint while you’re out for a run. But I was downtown Sunday evening and saw hundreds of happy participants post-race, so I guess it must be a good time.

One for the Money, All for the Kids: THON has released its annual fundraising summary, (more…)

September 30, 2013 at 10:36 am Leave a comment

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