MISSOULA – Break out your traditional copper, silver and gold Griz gear and celebrate with the University of Montana during Homecoming 2015, Sunday through Saturday, Sept. 20-26.
This year’s theme, “A Tradition of Champions,” commemorates the 20th anniversary of the Montana Grizzlies’ first NCAA Division I-AA football national championship in 1995 and also celebrates the countless successes of UM students and alumni throughout the years.
The festivities get started with the Homecoming Kickoff Celebration from 1 to 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 20, at the Southgate Mall Clock Court. The event will include music, dancing and prizes and is sponsored by Southgate Mall, Missoula’s 102.5 Mountain FM, Liberty Mutual Insurance, UM and the UM Office of Alumni Relations.
The Homecoming Art Fair runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Sept. 24-25, in the University Center Atrium.
The public is invited to attend the Homecoming Dinner at the Food Zoo in the Lommasson Center at 5 p.m. Thursday. The cost is $8.44 per person.
The 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award recipients will be honored at a ceremony and reception beginning at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25, in the UC Ballroom. The 2015 recipients are John Grotzinger, Jennifer Isern, Sheila MacDonald Stearns and Sidney Thomas.
The All-Alumni Social begins at 7 p.m. Friday at the Holiday Inn Missoula Downtown. Music will be provided by the UM Alumni Band from 7 to 9 p.m. in the ballroom, with a break to see the UM Marching Band perform between 9 and 9:30 p.m. in the atrium. The Alumni Jazz Band will play from 10 p.m. to midnight at the Brooks and Brown restaurant, adjacent to the atrium. Admission is free and open to the public.
The Yell Night Pep Rally gets underway at 8 p.m. Friday on the UM Oval, with the lighting of the M at dusk. Join Grizzly cheerleaders, the UM Marching Band and Monte for a bonfire, Singing on the Steps and a fireworks display.
The eighth annual Homecoming Hustle 5K race starts at 9:45 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 26, at the intersection of Higgins and Broadway downtown, just before the annual Homecoming Parade.
The parade begins at 10 a.m. Saturday and travels south on Higgins to University Avenue. Parade applications must be submitted online at http://www.grizalum.org before 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 11. This year’s honorary parade marshal is former UM football head coach Don Read, who coached the Grizzlies for 10 years and led them to the 1995 national championship. Around 30 players from the 1995 team will join Read in leading the parade through downtown Missoula.
Alumni are invited to join fellow Griz fans at the UMAA-sponsored Alumni Homecoming Tailgate from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday in tailgate spot 2 in the River Bowl, on the east side of parking lot M. Drop by before the football game to enjoy food, beverages and prize drawings.
The Montana Grizzlies take on the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks at 2 p.m. Saturday at the annual Homecoming football game in Washington-Grizzly Stadium.
For a complete schedule of Homecoming events, visit http://www.grizalum.org or call the UM Office of Alumni Relations and Alumni Association at 406-243-5211.