Tigers who gathered in Columbia for Mizzou’s 104th Homecoming eagerly took part in established traditions: the world’s largest student-run blood drive, house decorations, a talent show, a fanfare-filled parade and festive tailgates. But we also stepped it up this year with special events and expressions of cultural pride, peace and campus-wide unity.
The 2015 Homecoming celebration marked the launch of the university’s new funding campaign, Mizzou: Our Time to Lead, which brought celebrity alumnae such as singer/songwriter Sheryl Crow, BS Ed ’84, and 1990 Miss America Debbye Turner Bell, DVM ’91, to campus for a kickoff event. It also inspired Crow’s sold-out concert benefiting the construction of a new School of Music building.
The 11th-ranked Florida Gators defeated Mizzou’s football team 21-3 but could not crush the spirit of the 70,767 Tigers fans cheering at the Homecoming game.
Relive some highlights from Homecoming week.
The waning moon sets over the Columns near dawn on Saturday morning. Photo by Rob Hill
Taylor Santel winces as she donates blood on in the Hearnes Center Fieldhouse. Photo by Mikala Compton
Tiana Glass and Sequoyah Moore sit on the floor of the Multicultural Center during a potluck dinner with friends Shane Stinson and Jasmine Morgan. Photo by Lizz Cardwell
The Legion of Black Collegians (LBC) and their allies participate in a memorial walk throughout campus. The event, “Uplift,” honored people who have lost their lives to violence and signified the solidarity of the community. Photo by Hanna Yowell
The Legion of Black Collegians and their supporters release balloons in memory of loved ones for the Upliift event during Homecoming week. Photo by Mikala Compton
The MU Percussion Dance Team kicks off the third day of the 2015 Homecoming Talent Production. Photo by Michael Cali
The MU Percussion Dance Team performs on the final day of the Homecoming talent competition. Photo by Michael Cali
Emma Berry, a freshman Chi Omega member, cheers to opening videos at the 2015 Homecoming Talent Production. Photo by Michael Cali
A member of Gamma Phi Beta, dressed as Ron Burgundy from the movie “Anchorman,” performs in the self-produced play “The Truman Games.” Photo by Michael Cali
Students step it up at the Stroll-Off at Jesse Auditorium. The annual step show is a Mizzou Homecoming tradition. Photo by Hanna Yowell
During the funding campaign kickoff gala for Mizzou donors, junior psychology major and wrestler J’den Cox performs an original song he wrote about his experiences at Mizzou. Cox is a two-time NCAA All-American. Photo by Nicholas Benner
Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin makes a toast among the guests, major donors and Mizzou supporters, gathered at the black-tie funding campaign kickoff event on the floor of Mizzou Arena. Photo by Nicholas Benner
Truman the Tiger raises the spirit level from the stage of Traditions Plaza at the Friday night Spirit Rally. Photo by Rob Hill
Erin Stump, a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, paints a green outline of the Missouri state map on the window of Kaldi’s Coffee. Members of fraternities and sororities painted the windows of downtown businesses to spread Mizzou pride during Homecoming week. Photo by Mikala Compton
Gabe Davis of the Bates County Mizzou Alumni Chapter pours kettle corn at the Homecoming Headquarters Open House Friday afternoon. Photo by Rob Hill
A future Tiger slides down the bounce-house slide on the Sigma Pi fraternity’s lot during House Decorations. In addition to the bounce houses, the brothers offered cotton candy, hosted a Chick-Fil-A booth and sold popcorn. Photo by Tanzi Propst
From left, Mara Manion, 12, Hanna Juengermann, 12, and Jillian Larkin, 12, pose for a photo in the photo booth of Phi Mu, Lambda Chi Alpha and Alpha Chi Rho’s house decorations Friday. Photo by Tanzi Propst
Mizzou alumna and nine-time Grammy winner Sheryl Crow performs a School of Music benefit concert at the Missouri Theatre Friday night. Photo by Nicholas Benner
Sheryl Crow talks to the crowd at a sold-out Missouri Theatre Friday night. Photo by Nicholas Benner
The University of Missouri Golden Girls and Marching Mizzou head down Rollins Street at the start of the 2015 Mizzou Homecoming Parade. Photo by Nicholas Benner
Naomi Collier, a freshman majoring in parks, recreation and tourism, dances down Rollins Street with the Legion of Black Collegians. Photo by Michael Cali
Terin Williams, a senior chemical engineering student, roars from the back of the Alpha Phi Omega float. Photo by Michael Cali
Judith Miller, dean of the University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing, waves to the parade crowd. Photo by Nicholas Benner
Brooklyn Mathews waits with her father, Maddox, BS ’06, for the parade to arrive. Photo by Kevin Mathein
Students support the MU International Center by carrying the flags of the countries represented by students at Mizzou. Photo by Nicholas Benner
The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile sports a tiger tail. Photo by Nicholas Benner.
The wrestling team practices between the Hearnes Center and Faurot Field before the Homecoming football game. Photo by Shane Epping.
The wrestling team practices between the Hearnes Center and Faurot Field before the homecoming football game. Photo by Shane Epping.
Memorial Stadium and members of Marching Mizzou reflect in a sousaphone player’s horn during the Tiger Walk, Saturday afternoon. Photo by Tanzi Propst
Griffin Henry, 14, throws a cornhole bag from behind to his friend Stone Hewlett, 14, outside of Memorial Stadium before the stadium opens Saturday. Photo by Tanzi Propst
Brennan Hammers, a junior Agricultural Science major, grills burgers with the Independent Aggies before the Homecoming. The Independent Aggies are a non-greek organization for students in the agricultural sciences. Photo by Kevin Mathein.
A Marching Mizzou Alumni Band member takes his position as drum major. Photo by Shane Epping
Marching Mizzou performs as fireworks explode on the north end of Memorial Stadium before action begins on Faurot Field. Photo by Shane Epping.
Truman the Tiger spins his tail and points to Tiger’s Lair as students jump and yell for the Tigers as they face the Florida Gators, Saturday afternoon. Photo by Tanzi Propst
The Tigers take the field. Photo by Kevin Mathein
Tiger’s Lair comes alive moments before kickoff. Photo by Kevin Mathein
A sunset surrounds Memorial Stadium. Photo by Shane Epping
Mizzou and Florida face off. Photo by Shane Epping
Mizzou running back Russell Hansborough makes a catch. Photo by Tanzi Propst
ROTC members fire Mizzou’s cannon after a field goal. Mizzou alumnus and local artist David Spear hand-painted the cannon as a tiger. Photo by Shane Epping
Drew Lock looks for an open receiver. Photo by Shane Epping
Mizzou’s defense holds Florida’s offense on a play early in the game. Photo by Shane Epping
A Mizzou Golden Girl waits to run onto the field to begin the pre-game homecoming show Saturday on Faurot Field. Photo by Tanzi Propst
Mizzou alumnus Kony Ealy, defensive end for the Carolina Panthers, waves to the crowd. Photo by Shane Epping
Payton Head is crowned the 2015 homecoming king. Photo by Kevin Mathein
The 2015 Homecoming royalty pose for photos. Allison Fitts and Payton Head are named queen and king. Photo by Shane Epping
Twirler Lindsey McCormick plays with fire during halftime. Photo by Shane Epping.
Linebacker Kentrell Brothers tackles running back Kelvin Taylor. Photo by Shane Epping
Members of Marching Mizzou excite a crowd of more than 70,000 fans with their music. Photo by Shane Epping
Students shake a “Mizzou: Our Time to Lead” banner Saturday at Memorial Stadium. Photo by Kevin Mathein
Wesley Leftwich, Mizzou’s wide receiver, jumps to catch the ball before a Florida defensive player is able to intercept the ball. Photo by Tanzi Propst
Defensive lineman Marcell Frazier and linebacker Donavin Newsom celebrate a sack against quarterback Will Grier. Photo by Shane Epping.
Tailback Russell Hansbrough runs for a gain. Photo by Shane Epping
Cornerback John Gibson tackles wide receiver Demarcus Robinson. Photo by Shane Epping
Mizzou and Florida fans show their true colors. Photo by Shane Epping