ST. CLOUD -- St. Cloud State University is celebrating its sesquicentennial this year. Once a month SCSU Archivist Tom Steman comes on the News @ Noon Show to talk about the history of the university.

Tuesday he talked about the tradition of homecoming on campus. He says the first homecoming was in 1925. Activities included a pep fest and bonfire, campus rally, and the football game.  Winona State beat St. Cloud State 6-0.

The first recorded instance of an SCSU homecoming parade was in 1926.

It started in 1926 and at one point I think in the 70s it was televised, it was on KVSC radio, they had floats from the university and from the community.

The tradition of the homecoming parades lasted at least into the 1990s.

The first homecoming queen - Betty Nolan - was crowned in 1940 at a bonfire. And, Steman says United States Presidential candidate Dwight Eisenhower crowned queen Joyce Pearson in 1952.

He crowned the homecoming queen on the steps of the Stearns County courthouse.  When I saw film of it for the first time I almost fell off my chair, I could not believe it.

In 1972 the student senate voted to abolish the practice of electing a homecoming queen due to a lack of interest and that the contest was sexist since there was no king. By 1974 the queen was back and the first king was crowned - Chuck LeMaire.

Eastman Hall was dedicated during the 1930 homecoming.  The first mention of homecoming buttons was in 1939.  The dedication of Halenbeck, Holes and Case Halls was in 1965.

The homecoming tradition ran consecutively for 85 years until it was canceled in 2010.

Next week homecoming returns to campus after a seven-year absence.

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