Michael Herrin and Suzanne Anderson, the Homecoming king and queen
Pioneer pride took center stage as Cal State East Bay celebrated Homecoming Jan. 26 through 31 on the Hayward Campus, beginning with the grand opening of the renovated Pioneer Bookstore and ending with a party in the University Union following a victory for the men's basketball team over Menlo College.
Marguerite Hinrichs, director of Student Life Programs and a member of the campuswide committee that coordinated all of the 2009 Homecoming events, said she was pleased with the high attendance, especially the parade Thursday afternoon. Athletic Director Debby De Angelis agreed, calling this year's festivities "the best in recent memory."
De Angelis also noted strong support from all of the campus offices and departments, as well as outside affiliates at the bookstore and Patelco Credit Union. The credit union sponsored a free throw contest at the Friday and Saturday night basketball games; both night's contestants sank shots from the half-court line to win $500.
This year's theme, "TKO: Total Knock Out" was chosen by the Student Athlete Advisory Committee. Hinrichs said it was symbolic of the "breakthrough that the campus is having, moving forward in so many ways."
Students, faculty and staff were treated to a number of on-campus Homecoming events, including performances by the ASI Pep Band, a lecture by renowned coach Alonzo Carter, a school colors fashion show and a tailgate party hosted by ASI before the Saturday basketball games.
The Pioneers won three of the four Homecoming basketball games, and current students beat the alumni team in a water polo match-up. The baseball team lost their Friday home game to Bethany University.
In addition to the games and parade, another highlight was Cal State East Bay Idol, a singing competition for the honor of performing at the basketball games. The winners were Rodrigo Cortes, Allison Lee, Vanessa Anderson and Daniel Doan. Anderson, a freshman psychology major, auditioned with "Summertime," a song suggested by her mother.
She said performing at the game was a fun experience, even if she was a little nervous. "Whenever I get up to sing in front of people I'll be nervous (in a good way) even if it doesn't look or sound like I am," she added.
In addition to the performances at Saturday's game, Michael Herrin and Suzanne Anderson were named Homecoming King and Queen.
Plans are already underway for next year, said Hinrichs, when the Pioneers will be competing in the NCAA Division II. The schedule is not finalized, but Homecoming 2010 is expected to take place in late January or early February.