Augustana celebrates homecoming by coming together for a week full of activities

Gabby Gambino and Adam Gronewold crown Erin Ansusinha as Vi-Queen and senior Jake Sppechley as Vi-King at Augustanas 2017 Coronation and Sing competition. Photo by Maria Do.

Gabby Gambino and Adam Gronewold crown Erin Ansusinha as Vi-Queen and senior Jake Sppechley as Vi-King at Augustana’s 2017 Coronation and Sing competition. Photo by Maria Do.

Vikings come back to Augustana College to celebrate a week of yelling, singing, gaming, and most importantly, Homecoming.
Augustana students, faculty, staff, and alumni celebrated another Homecoming this past week. All week there were different events for students to attend and participate in. On Monday the week kicked off with the Homecoming Games. Tuesday had a live music event. Wednesday had the Talent show. Thursday student groups competed in a rope pull and Yell competition. Friday night was the Coronation and Sing competition. And finally on Saturday was the Football game. The Cardboard regatta was canceled due to rain.
Gabrielle Gambino Lyon, a senior and Homecoming Co-Chair for two years, was one of the people who planned and helped execute the entire Homecoming week. Planning for Homecoming starts spring term the year before. Traditionally, all of the events of the week stay the same from year to year.
Last year, however, they introduced the Homecoming games. Collegia Classica, a group that promotes appreciation for the study of Greek and Roman civilizations and cultures, with an idea for an Olympic-style game night for Augustana groups. This event helped to include smaller Augustana organization for Homecoming week and not just Greek Life groups.
“We just want everyone to really have a good time and appreciate their school and realize that we’re all a community, and that’s what’s most important,” Lyon said.
“It’s an exciting time and there’s a lot of fun. There’s healthy competition and it’s a good week to remember that you’re a Viking.” She plans on coming back for Homecoming after she’s graduated.
Paige Pierson, an Augustana alumna graduated in 2016, remembers her favorite parts about Homecoming, specifically the Cardboard Regatta. She was the Co-Executive Director of SLBP during her junior and senior year, so she oversaw the planning for the event.
When Pierson was a student she saw Homecoming as an event that tried to bring students together to celebrate their school. Now, and an alumna, she says that Homecoming, “it’s sort of an identity; I go back to my second home to remember the great times, the great people, share stories of my time at Augie. It’s a way to keep in contact with your old classmates and continue to make new ones by sharing your memories. It’s also a checkpoint in a way, we go back to look at where we are now and see how far we’ve come.”
Coronation for Homecoming court happened just before the sing competition on Friday night. The Homecoming committee receives the entry forms from student groups with their nominations for the Homecoming court, then they take all the nominations, set up a form so people can go the Brew and vote for their choice of Homecoming court. Four males and four females from the sophomore, junior, and senior class are nominated. Lyon believes that those nominated are seen by their peers as respectful and that the nominee is an embodiment of Augustana.
This year, seniors Jake Speechley and Erin Ansusinha were pronounced the Vi-King and Vi-Queen.
The Zeta Phi Kappa sorority won this year’s Sing competition using music from the musical Grease.
Gamma Alpha Beta made a special appearance during the Sing competition to celebrate their 100th anniversary. A fraternity known around campus for not really being known had their active members go on stage to invite a great number of their alumni to the stage as well, to sing a song.