MSU Homecoming Celebration Includes Old, New Activities

Oct 8, 2014

Homecoming BearFest Village

Members of MarooNation everywhere and members of the Springfield area community are invited to join the celebration of Missouri State University’s “Let the Good Times Roar” Homecoming. Student Homecoming activities are scheduled Oct. 14-18 and alumni and community events are Oct. 17-18.

Those who attend any Homecoming event are invited to comment and post pictures using the Twitter or Instagram hashtag #BearsHomecoming.

Oct. 17

The Distinguished Bears Dinner and Awards Ceremony will be presented at 6 p.m. at the University Plaza Convention Center. Alumni and friends are invited to this annual Homecoming tradition. The dinner includes a social hour and performances by Missouri State student musicians and performers. The cost of this event is $30 and guests can register online. For more information, contact Debbie Branson, assistant director of alumni activities, at (417) 836-5654.

During the ceremony, several recognitions will be awarded.

  • Dr. Denny Pilant, professor emeritus of the political science department, will receive the Award of Appreciation.
  • Dr. Cindy Baker, a therapist, life coach, civil and family meditator, speaker, educator and author will receive the Alumni Award for Excellence in Public Affairs.
  • Keela Davis, the director of research and development at Mercy, is receiving the Outstanding Young Alumni Award.
  • Deidre Goodwin, an actress who appeared in the Broadway and film adaption of Chicago, is receiving the Outstanding Young Alumni Award.
  • Stan Lippelman, the marketing vice president for Bass Pro Shops, is receiving the Outstanding Alumni Award.
  • Monte Kuklenski, senior vice president of facilities and stage services for FOX Network, is receiving the Outstanding Alumni Award.

Oct. 18

Homecoming day will begin with the Bear Tracks Walk/Run at 7 a.m. beginning at the Plaster Student Union. Trophies and cash prizes will be presented to the first-place male and female finishers. The cost of this event is $15 for current Missouri State students with valid ID, $20 for adults pre-registered by 5 p.m. on Oct. 14 and $25 for adults on race day.  Participants can register online at For more information, contact Sheila Bowen, employee wellness program coordinator, at (417) 836-4064.

The office of student engagement will present the Band of Bears Homecoming Parade at 9 a.m. on John Q. Hammons Parkway. The route makes its official start at the corner of John Q. Hammons Parkway and Trafficway. The groups travel south past JQH Arena on John Q. Hammons Parkway to Grand Street. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Tara Benson, director of student engagement, at (417) 836-6486.

The Missouri State men’s and women’s basketball team will host the Maroon and White Basketball Scrimmage, starting at 10 a.m. in McDonald Arena. Tickets will be free for students and children and cost $5 for adults; one ticket can get you into both scrimmages. Proceeds benefit the College of Arts and Letters scholarship fund. For more information, contact Mark Biggs, interim associate dean of the College of Arts and Letters, at (417) 836-5247.

Student Activities Council (SAC) will present Bearfest Village at 11 a.m. on the plaza north of Plaster Stadium. Free food, prize giveaways, a face paint station and a station to make spirit signs will be among the festivities. Bearfest Village is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Grace Change, SAC president, at (417) 836-4626.

The Homecoming Football vs. South Dakota State game begins at 2 p.m. in Robert W. Plaster Stadium. Single tickets to the football game are $12-22, and can be purchased online at, at any Missouri State ticket office or by calling (888) 476-7849. For more information, contact Rick Kindhart, assistant athletic director for communications, at (417) 836-5402.

The Alumni Association will host Bears on the Square at 6 p.m. Missouri State alumni and friends are invited to let the good times roar in downtown Springfield. Enjoy food and drink specials at participating restaurants while you soak in the maroon and white spirit. There will be performances throughout the evening at Park Central Square, including Hibernotes at 6:15 p.m., mini pep rally with the Pride Band and spirit squads at 7 p.m., Beartones at 7:45 p.m. and a performance by Brothers Osborne at 9 p.m. Brothers Osborne is an up-and-coming country music duo featuring John and TJ Osborne. The brothers have two singles currently playing on country-music radio: "Rum" and "Let’s Go There." For more information, contact the Alumni Association at (417) 836-5654.

A complete list of Homecoming activities is available on the Alumni Association website.