STATESBORO — Georgia Southern hosted its annual homecoming parade on Friday at 4 p.m. at Sweetheart Circle.
The parade began in Lot 42 outside the college of education, and ended in front of Sanford Hall.
Faith Koch, an administrative assistant in the department of computer science, who graduated from GS in 1981 with a degree in therapeutic recreation, said that she was looking forward to seeing the marching band.
“I never got to get involved in all this before ever. This is my first parade, my first homecoming,” Koch said. “I up until July lived in Atlanta. And since I have so many children we never could make it down here. So now the children are gone. So I'm moving down here, and I get to see the parade.”
The parade began at about 4:08 p.m.
The Eagle Battalion, GS's ROTC program, was featured in the Parade is a part of the 6th Brigade, U.S. Army Cadet Command. GS’s Eagle Battalion serves as the host school for East Georgia State College, Savannah State University and Savannah College of Art and Design.
Eagle Battalion Commander Mattie Cantrall, senior logistics and intermodal transportation major, said that there is a special reason for the Battalion's participation in the homecoming parade.
“Marching in the homecoming parade allows us to pay tribute to our alumni, but to also inspire the current cadets to what is to come when they graduate and become alumni,” Cantrall said. “The most important reason the Eagle Battalion participates in homecoming festivities is because we want to do it one more time for the greatest team in America.”
The Eagle Battalion pic.twitter.com/ke62uyDo1D— Nathan Woodruff (@Nw19982) October 25, 2019
The Southern Pride marching-band, GS cheerleading, the GS Pride color guard and the GS Pride majorettes were out in full force.
GS marching band pic.twitter.com/zZaKFyqAWn— Nathan Woodruff (@Nw19982) October 25, 2019
Eduardo Sanchez, sophomore music education major, and trumpet player in the Southern Pride marching- band, said that homecoming was all about supporting GS.
“Just seeing all the people come out and support Georgia Southern makes me feel happy,” Sanchez said. “It's cool to show people that the marching-band is a big part of homecoming too.”
At over 200 members strong, the university’s marching band celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2017. Southern Pride performs at all home football games, select away athletic events, parades, and as an exhibition band at marching contests throughout the state and region, according to their website.
Philip Anderson, freshman mechanical engineering major, and another trumpeter in the marching-band, said that the homecoming parade was a good way to bring everyone together.
“Everybody pitches in and all the groups and organizations come together, and we all enjoy the week,” Anderson said. “ I mean, everybody loves this school. It gives us a common foundation.”
Following the conclusion of the parade, in keeping with the circus theme of this year’s homecoming, there was a celebration in the middle of Sweetheart Circle.
Ken Gassiot, Ph.D., associate vice president for student affairs, said that homecoming is an opportunity to celebrate commonality in Georgia Southern.
“I think that was evident in the parade today, and just the activities this week that it's about togetherness, and it's about connectedness and finding ways in which we all are singular through the blue and gold,” Gassiot said.
Nathan Woodruff, The George-Anne Managing News Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org