HC: How did you get involved with Homecoming?
DW: I started with freshman senate in 2005. We decorated the entire Union breezeway – I remember putting out water and alligators. I remember putting up decorations with my friend Kelsey and being enamored with Homecoming right away. If you check out the Union Breezeway during Homecoming, you’ll notice all the decorations!
HC: What has been your involvement with Homecoming in the past?
DW: I remember I visited Texas A&M and there is this great pride for the campus. My friends and I decided we wanted to bring that to UW, so we talked to Sara Axelson, and pride became a sort of movement that was a combination of Student Affairs and the Alumni Association. When I was a student, Homecoming was all student-run; once I joined the university as a staff member in 2013, I served on the Homecoming Committee. I have been part of 10 years of Homecoming – I missed one while I was at Virginia Tech, but I flew back for one the first year I was there.
HC: Which Homecoming has stood out to you the most?
DW: I remember the year we did Rhinestone Cowboy. We wanted a theme surrounding a social event, not just philanthropically, so we chose the theme to highlight Breast Cancer Awareness. The floats were amazing that year, and Homecoming Sing was so shiny – everyone changed around the words to Glen Campbell’s “Rhinestone Cowboy”!
HC: What is your favorite Homecoming event?
DW: I have made it to ten of the Homecoming Sings in the past 11 years – I just love it! It’s interesting because I never participated in the Sing, I never helped put it on, but I’ve always loved being in the crowd. With ties to Fraternity and Sorority Life, it’s been a huge part of my college experience. This year, I get to accomplish my goal of being a Homecoming Sing judge, and I feel so honored!
HC: How do you see Homecoming progressing in the future?
DW: The theme “Once a Cowboy, Always a Cowboy” is going to be staying the same for the foreseeable future. It’s hard when alumni and other entities are boxed into a theme because there’s really not a lot of room for creativity – but having one umbrella theme allows different groups to do all sorts of fun things. Homecoming is really about bringing the UW community together – all my friends and I already talk about the events we’re participating in and Kelsey flies up from Texas – and that’s what the consistent theme does.
HC: How do you see students getting more involved in Homecoming?
DW: It’s sometimes a hard thing to get students involved, especially as October becomes such a busy month for students. But I think student events and having that UW pride is so important. Students come to UW, but pride is why students stay and get degrees. Alumni really want to come back and see students in the places they were, so getting students involved is so important.