By Rachel Shirey
MORROW — Clayton State’s annual homecoming begins this week, and will be highlighted by the return of the homecoming parade, a basketball double header, 5K race and alumni breakfast.
“Our students do have a lot of pride in their institution, and they take ownership of Clayton State and they have a lot of spirit,” said Natasha Hutson, director of the Student Activities Center and department of Campus Life. “If you came today you’d see a lot of students walking around in their 60’s gear paying homage to the University’s founding year. Yesterday we had campus colors day — a see of orange and blue was all over campus.”
Various student-led activities occurred earlier in the week such as the Student Choice Awards, a hump day party, a faculty and student basketball game and a Homecoming Step Show.
A homecoming pep rally will take place Friday at noon in the Lawson Amphitheater.
Homecoming Day will kick off Saturday at 9 a.m. with a 5K run and walk. The race will run entirely on the University’s campus, starting and finishing in front of the Harry S. Downs Center.
The race will also include admission to the Annual Alumni Breakfast at the Harry S. Downs Center.
“From past experience, the alumni breakfast has always been very well attended,” said John Shiffert, school spokesman. “We typically get about 300 or so people come to that. It’s everybody from the two basketball games who stop by for a pre-game meal, there for the people who run the road race, to alumni, to students. It’s always a very popular event. So we don’t expect this year to be any different.”
Following the breakfast, the Homecoming Parade will return for the first time since the fall of 2006. This year’s parade will start at the Morrow Municipal Complex, and will run on Jonesboro Road to Clayton State Boulevard before turning on campus.
Hutson said they already have 56 organizations signed up to participate.
Morrow Police will be shutting down a portion of Jonesboro Road, and the northbound lanes will be diverted at Adamson Parkway.
The northbound lanes from Adamson Parkway to Clayton State Boulevard will be shut down to vehicular traffic for the parade from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
“It’s definitely going to be an event worth watching,” Shiffert said. “I think that should be a really important event. And of course the basketball double header.”
The parade will be followed by the Tailgate Homecoming Festival in the circle in front of the Athletics & Fitness Center as a warm-up for a couple of high-level basketball games.
In the first game, the Clayton State women, the 2011 NCAA Division II national champions and currently ranked third in the nation, will take on Montevallo.
In the second game, the 2012 NCAA Division II runner-up Montevallo men will take on the Lakers. The men’s game will include the crowning of the Homecoming king and queen at halftime.
Visit http://www.clayton.edu/homecoming for a complete list of homecoming events.