There's certainly no place like Hays during Fort Hays State University's homecoming weekend, and this year is no exception. All of the excitement will take place Sept. 29-Oct.2.
This year's Homecoming theme is "OZ-toberfest: There's no place like Homecoming." Events include a golf tournament, a parade, a football game, specialty reunions, banquets, honored classes, exhibitions and receptions.
Featured classes this year are 1945, 1955 and 1965. Greek organizations and former gymnastics team members will also be recognized.
FHSU's Alumni Association will kick off the activities at 11 a.m., Thursday, Sept. 29, with the Tiger Alumni and Friends Golf Tournament, back by popular demand, at the Smoky Hill Country Club, 3303 Hall.
The FHSU Alumni Association, established in 1916, exists to develop positive, life-long relationships between the university and its alumni, faculty, friends, staff and students.
The Annual Art Faculty Exhibition will open from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Moss-Thorns Gallery of Art in Rarick Hall and will be on display throughout the weekend.
Friday, Sept. 30, begins with a benefit breakfast from 6:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the Golden Corral, 383 Mopar Drive. Football Tigers will serve breakfast to help support the United Way of Ellis County. The breakfast is $5 and all proceeds, including tips, will go to support United Way.
Homecoming registration in the Memorial Union begins at 8 a.m. and runs until 4:30 p.m. All tickets must be picked up at the registration desk. Special events are planned throughout the day, including:
-- Half-Century Club Induction and Brunch. The social is at 9:30 a.m., and the brunch is at 10:30 a.m., both in Memorial Union.
-- Oktoberfest, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Frontier Park, South Main Street. Eat, drink and celebrate Ellis County's Volga German heritage.
-- Campus tours at 10 a.m. and again at 2 p.m. Tours begin at the registration table in the Memorial Union.
-- An open house at Forsyth Library from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dr. Gary Hulett, retired FHSU professor, will speak and present photos at 12:30 p.m. of his trek on Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa. Also in Forsyth Library is a display dedicated to the year 1955.
-- Alumni and Endowment Awards Reception and Banquet. The social begins at 6 p.m. and the banquet at 7 p.m., both in the Memorial Union. This is a highlight of every Homecoming weekend and gives recognition to the individuals who have made exceptional contributions to society and the university. This year's Alumni Achievement Award recipients are: Dr. Bill Havice, '77 and '79; Dr. Katrina Hess, '89; Dr. Donald Kaufman, '65 and '67; and Robert Orr, '80. Young Alumni Achievement Award recipients are LaNette Schmeidler Parker, '95 and '96; and Dr. Mark Haub, '92. Jerry Anderson, '59, is the Nita M. Landrum Award recipient.
The All-Year Gymnastics Social is from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Memorial Union, and the Delta Sigma Phi Reunion Dinner and Social will begin at 6 p.m., also in Memorial Union.
Homecoming registration opens at 7 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1, and runs until noon in Memorial Union.
The first events on Saturday are the Lewis Field Club Breakfast at 7:30 a.m. in Memorial Union and the 5K Run/Walk, which begins at 8 a.m. in the Memorial Union Circle Drive. The walk is open to all ages.
Reunion breakfasts for the honored classes of 1945, 1955 and 1965 begin at 8:30 a.m. in the Memorial Union.
The Nursing Alumni and Friends Breakfast is from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. in the Memorial Union, and the All-Year Gymnastic Reunion Coffee will be from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. in Gross Memorial Coliseum.
-- Homecoming Parade at 10:30 a.m. on Main Street, downtown Hays.
-- Tiger Friends and Family Picnic and the All-Year Gymnastic Reunion Picnic begin at 11:30 a.m. at the east side of Lewis Field Stadium.
-- Football, as FHSU takes on the Colorado School of Mines. Pre-game ceremonies begin at 1 p.m. with kickoff at 2 p.m., both at Lewis Field Stadium.
-- Delta Sigma Phi Carnation Ball beginning at 6 p.m. at the Smoky Hill Country Club.
Other FHSU Homecoming activities are the Theatre Production of "Cabaret" at 8 p.m. Sept. 30 and Oct.1 and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct.2, in Felten-Start Theatre, Malloy Hall. The award-winning musical, set in Berlin in the 1930s, showcases the love affair between American author Cliff Bradshaw and cabaret singer Sally Bowles.
The FHSU Sternberg Museum of Natural History is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, and from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday. The museum features permanent exhibitions of fossils and geology including walk-through dioramas of the last age of dinosaurs and the hands-on Discovery Room.
For more information about activities offered in the community, contact the Hays Convention and Visitors Bureau by phone at (785) 628- 8202 or 1-800-569-4505 or visit the Web site at www.haysusa.net.