Eastern New Mexico University Homecoming has arrived once again and multiple students, alumni and faculty members are gearing up for the variety of events to take place this weekend.
ENMU President Steven Gamble said homecoming is a celebration of the university and its alumni.
“Eastern’s reputation and pride are wrapped up in our alumni,” Gamble said. "We’ve had a lot of people from Eastern take their degrees into the world and do some wonderful things.”
Along with the 50th class reunion for alumni at noon today, there will be a barbecue, a breakfast honoring ENMU philanthropists and a dinner honoring alumni, who have devoted their lives to education.
The football game and bonfire are two of the biggest highlights for homecoming, and according to ENMU football coach Mark Rubaudo, the game is one where even more fans than usual show up, along with alumni players and past university football coaches.
“Homecoming is always significant cause you usually have a terrific crowd and a lot of hoopla,” Ribaudo said. “It means a lot to us that they come out to watch. We need to make sure we have all our ducks in a row and we need to play super hard and we need to execute the game plan and play as hard as we can to win.”
The homecoming king and queen will be announced at the bonfire at 8 p.m. today.
Homecoming queen candidate Kamarine Trujillo, senior, said she is representing her sorority, Chi Omega, in the elections.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” Trujillo said. “It’s helped me meet more people on campus. I’m not really sure about my chances but I’ve had a lot of people support me. It’s been a great experience.”
Another highlight for this year’s homecoming is the “Hollywood Hound Bound” show, which centers around the legend of how ENMU became the Greyhounds and has a Hollywood theme to it.
Show Director Bryan Hahn said he and the performing students have held rehearsals five to six days a week for the last month.
“Homecoming is more than just a game. It’s a chance for alumni of every venue to come back to campus and enjoy a variety of activities,” Hahn said. “This is just one more fun thing for them to do. Everyone is really excited to show what all their hard work and effort has accomplished at this point.”
Hector Salgado, a freshman at ENMU and member of the football team, said he looks forward to all of the fan support at the game, to the parade and to the tailgate party.
“I kind of want to get to know the community better,” Salgado said. “I’m looking forward to making some new friends other than my teammates.”