CORVALLIS - Combine a rapidly growing student body, a winning football team, and swelling pride amongst alumni and you have the formula for what could be one of the most successful Oregon State University Homecoming celebrations in recent years.

Homecoming Weekend, set for Oct. 26-28, will feature a Friday night concert, class reunions, a bonfire and an important Pac-10 Conference football game against Northwest rival Washington State University. Kick-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. and a capacity crowd is expected at Reser Stadium.

The recent success at OSU has been obvious. The university's student body has grown to more than 17,000 for the first time in nearly 20 years. Last year's football team, coached by two-time national championship coach Dennis Erickson, recorded its first winning season since 1970 and this year's team has been ranked in the national polls for the first time in 31 years.

OSU alumni have responded to the success by supporting the school financially. The university recently announced a $20 million gift to the College of Engineering and the athletic department raised $13 million from boosters to build an indoor practice facility and softball stadium. Athletic scholarship funding has gone from $1.2 million in unrestricted cash in 1998 to $3.15 million this year. Fund-raising is already under way to build an annex to Gill Coliseum that will provide practice areas for all of the school's court sports, as well as new locker rooms, a medical treatment center and a weight room.

"You can't deny the fact that this university is experiencing a renaissance," said Stephen Smith, associate director of Alumni Relations. "The OSU family is excited and we expect that to be reflected in this year's Homecoming celebration."

2000 OSU Homecoming Events

Thursday, Oct. 26

  • OSU Student Alumni Association Bonfire, south parking lot of Reser Stadium, 8 p.m.
  • Volleyball vs. USC, Gill Coliseum, 7 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 27

  • OSU Alumni Association reunions: Classes of 1960, 1974-76.
  • Classes Without Quizzes, CH2M HILL Alumni Center, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Take a morning tour, have lunch with President Paul Risser and his wife, Les, and choose from six afternoon classes. Sponsored by OSU Distance and Continuing Education, the OSU Alumni Association, and the OSU Alumni College.
  • Women's soccer vs. Washington, Lorenz Field, 3 p.m.
  • OSU Alumni Association Alumni Fellows Awards Ceremony & Reception, 4-5:30 p.m., CH2M HILL Alumni Center. Alumni Fellows Award recipients are Scott Campbell, College of Veterinary Medicine; Peggy Cherng, College of Science; and James Oldfield, College of Agricultural Sciences.
  • OSU Music Showcase, 7:30 p.m., LaSells Stewart Center. Energetic and eclectic performances from OSU's finest choirs, bands, ensembles, and soloists.
  • Volleyball vs. UCLA, Gill Coliseum, 7 p.m.
  • Men's and women's basketball preview, Gill Coliseum, 9 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 28

  • OSU Alumni Association reunions: Classes of 1960, 1974-76.
  • Beaverwalk & "Yell Like Hell." Meet at 26th Street and Ralph Miller Drive and scream your Beaver pride, 10:45 a.m.
  • Academic Fair, 26th Street in front of Reser Stadium, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. featuring the colleges of Agricultural Sciences (Roundup), Business, Engineering, Forestry, Health and Human Performance, Home Economics, Liberal Arts, Pharmacy, and Science.
  • Beaver Bite Homecoming Barbecue, CH2M HILL Alumni Center, 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sponsored by the Alumni Association and open to the public.
  • Fan Fair pre-game festival inside Gill Coliseum, 10 a.m.
  • Football vs. Washington State, Reser Stadium, 1 p.m.
  • Tug of War Finals between OSU student living units during halftime.
  • Post-game party and coverage of the coach's show, CH2M HILL Alumni Center, following the game. Open to the public.

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Stephen Smith, 541-737-7478