WMU News

Homecoming parade salutes community partnership

Oct. 10, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan University will mark its centennial and salute its ties to the Kalamazoo community Saturday, Oct. 11, with a Homecoming parade that winds through city streets, bringing students and business leaders, politicians and musicians, alumni and past presidents together for a morning of fun.

The Homecoming parade, once a staple of WMU Homecoming celebrations, was reprised this year through a special partnership between the University and the city of Kalamazoo. The event will begin at 10:45 a.m. on the downtown Kalamazoo mall and wind its way along Lovell Street to end at the intersection of Lovell and Oakland Drive.

Vintage cars, marching bands, Motown musicians and state legislators will join in the event, which also will include WMU's Homecoming court, Bronco cheerleaders, the University's dance team and Buster Bronco. Each of WMU's seven presidents will be represented, along with Kalamazoo city leadership.

The parade is sponsored by Downtown Kalamazoo Inc., the WMU Centennial Celebration Committee and by WWMT-TV, Ch. 3, which will carry live coverage of the event from 11 a.m. to noon.

"We planned this event to honor the University's centennial and the 100-year relationship between WMU and the Kalamazoo Chamber of Commerce," says Ruth Heinig, co-chairperson of WMU's Centennial Celebration Committee. "It's just grown in so many ways, and we've been able to tie our celebration to a number of other centennial celebrations."

In addition to WMU and the Kalamazoo Chamber of Commerce, other 100th anniversaries being noted in the parade will be:

The centennial of flight, which will be marked by a float created by the Kalamazoo Air Zoo and the WMU College of Aviation.

The 100th anniversaries of three automobile companies--Ford, Buick and Cadillac.

Harley Davidson's 100th anniversary, represented by 65 motorcycles from the Southwest Michigan Harley Owners Group.

The 100th anniversary of the discovery of helium in the United States, marked with some 400 brown and gold balloons.

The centennial of a number of local organizations, including the First Reformed Church of Portage, the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and Paris Cleaners.

The parade also will include participation by the 320-member Bronco Marching Band, the 70-member Bronco Alumni Band, 20 WMU students groups, the Velvelettes singing group, opera star Susan B. Anthony, WMU international students and Michigan Teacher of the Year Bill Cecil.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 269 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
269 387-8400