MISSOULA – The University of Montana Alumni Association invites alumni and the Missoula community to gather “Under the Big Sky” during Homecoming 2016, Sunday through Saturday, Sept. 25-Oct. 1.
The festivities begin with the Homecoming Kickoff Celebration from 1 to 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 25, at the Southgate Mall Clock Court. The event will include music, dancing and prizes, as well as the “Cutest Future Griz Contest,” open to kids ages 2 to 10. Participants can register online at http://bit.ly/2cpqlVq. The kickoff is sponsored by Southgate Mall, Missoula’s 102.5 Mountain FM, Liberty Mutual Insurance, the University of Montana and the UM Office of Alumni Relations.
The celebration continues at 1 p.m. Monday, Sept. 26, with the painting of the Hello Walk on the sidewalk outside Turner Hall. Members of the public are invited to join students and alumni in this UM tradition.
The public also is invited to the Homecoming Buffet Dinner at the Food Zoo in the Lommasson Center at 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29. The cost is $8.80 per person.
The 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award recipients will be honored at a ceremony and reception beginning at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30, in the University Center Ballroom. This year’s recipients are Darrel Choate, Timothy Conver, Arlynn Fishbaugh and Tom Seekins.
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 Brooks & Browns Bar and Grill, 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 ninth annual Homecoming Hustle 5K race starts at 9:45 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, at the intersection of Higgins and Main downtown, just before the annual Homecoming Parade.
The parade begins at 10 a.m. Saturday and travels south on Higgins to University Avenue. This year’s honorary parade marshal is legendary Montana journalist William Marcus, who retired in 2015 after 40 years in public broadcasting.
Alumni are invited to join fellow Griz fans at the UMAA-sponsored Alumni Homecoming Tailgate from 12:30 to 2:30 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 Southern Utah Thunderbirds at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the annual Homecoming football game in Washington-Grizzly Stadium.
The Alumni Association also invites the UM community to participate in the Homecoming Scavenger Hunt. Throughout the week, UMAA will post clues on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter that feature campus landmarks, as well as Homecoming spirit/event locations and sponsor locations. Participants who post a selfie from the location with the hashtag #GrizUnderTheBigSky will be eligible to win daily prizes.
For a complete schedule of Homecoming events, visit http://www.grizalum.com or call the UM Office of Alumni Relations and Alumni Association at 406-243-5211.