Homecoming bonfire, pepfest prep fans for game

Joanna Dornfeld

Hundreds lined the red carpet to catch a glimpse of this year’s Homecoming royalty and to cheer for the maroon and gold Friday on the St. Paul gymnasium field.

The pepfest and bonfire concluded the weeklong Hollywood Homecoming festivities and excited students, alumni and community members for Saturday’s football game.

“It’s exciting and it really gets everyone pumped up in a positive way,” said Lisa Murillo, a junior agriculture education major.

The University cheerleading performance and dance team entertained the crowd with stunts and Gophers enthusiasm.

Representatives from men’s and women’s athletics encouraged those assembled to show support for Gophers athletics year-round.

Football coach Glen Mason was this year’s featured guest. It was his first appearance at a Homecoming pepfest. Mason excited the crowd and led the marching band in the “Minnesota Rouser.”

“We’re making it more of an event this year to go along with our glitz, glamour and magic theme,” said Kristen Moore, University senior and Homecoming executive committee co-coordinator.

The 12-member Homecoming royalty court sauntered down the spotlight-illuminated red carpet to cheers from the crowd.

The 2001 Homecoming selection committee crowned Shruti Mathur queen and Aaron Peter king. Mathur represents Comstock Hall and Peter represents Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity.

“It represents about all the different aspects of the University,” Moore said.

The pepfest and bonfire are annual Homecoming traditions. The event was moved to the St. Paul campus after a building was erected at the previous location.

“It also gives people a chance to come over to St. Paul and
experience this campus,” said Shelly Nelson, Campus Involvement special events coordinator.

The crowd cheered as Mather and Peter lit the bonfire – sending a representation of Michigan State’s mascot up in flames – to culminate the evening.

“It’s a great time to show school spirit,” said J.V. Loperfido, a sophomore civil engineering major.

 

Joanna Dornfeld covers the St. Paul
campus and welcomes comments at
[email protected]