Monday, October 14, 2013

From Falderal to Homecoming: Celebrating UNCG During Autumn

Today's post was written by senior Rachel Sanders, a student employee in Special Collections and University Archives who has previously written posts about the freshman experience and Pearl Eugenia Wyche (class of 1903)

1979 Pine Needles
Over the course of UNCG’s history, there have been numerous changes to campus traditions and activities. One of the best examples of traditions that survived these changes is Homecoming. In the late 1960s, a tradition called “Falderal” -- sometimes called “the Fall Charlies” -- was started on campus. These events were much like Homecoming today; special guests, sporting events, and free food were plentiful.

The earliest materials that were saved from Falderal celebrations are from 1972, but the best-recorded Falderal celebration was in 1979. The first (and seemingly the only) Falderal mention in the Pine Needles yearbooks is in the 1979 volume – the same year that Chancellor William Ferguson resigned. During that year, the Student Government raised money so that students could have beer to drink at Falderal because there was a specific mention in North Carolina state law saying that student fees could not be used for the purchase of alcohol – a law which is still in effect today (Section II Class 1). In 1979, the celebrations included Tom Chapin, the Bee Gees, the Fat Jack Band, the Doobie Brothers, and several movies for public viewing. In that year, the students who were part of the special events committee baked a 500-pound cake to share with everyone else.

1979 Pine Needles
The transition from Falderal to what we now know as Homecoming seems to have taken place around 1982, though there were alumnae “homecomings” in 1942 and 1978 (some documents claim that the first homecoming was in 1951, but we know that this isn’t true based on mailing records). The 1982 celebration included many of the same elements as Falderal, but the events were on a larger scale with some added elements – concerts (including Rick James!), movies, lectures, presentations, a parade, a soccer game versus Erskine College, fireworks, an art show, and a Founder’s Day dinner. In 1982, the first homecoming queen was crowned – Elizabeth Ford ’83, escorted by Joey Katzenstein. The next year, the first African-American queen was crowned – Cynthia Moore. Since 1982, Homecoming has been held on UNCG’s campus each year at approximately the same time – October. In 1990, a 5K race was added to the celebrations, attracting even more people, not only from UNCG’s campus, but others from the Greensboro community.

Learn more about this year's Homecoming festivities at: Enjoy Homecoming, and keep the Spartan Spirit alive!

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