By Grace Beck and Kait Kisel, student writers
Spartan spirit and pride electrified Michigan State University’s campus and the streets of East Lansing during the 2017 Homecoming activities. Communities of past, current, and future Spartans came together to celebrate this year’s theme, Uniquely Spartan.
In the days leading up to Friday’s homecoming parade, hundreds of students representing clubs, organizations, and teams collaborated on creating unique floats to represent their respective niches within the larger Spartan community. From an alumni perspective, homecoming activities meant reconnecting with their alma mater and giving back to the student body; the Broad College Alumni/Advisory Board met to discuss college initiatives and strategic planning with college leadership.
Each year, one winner is crowned with the “Best Float Award” for most creative concept and execution of a float, and the Broad College of Business’ Hospitality Business Association (HBA) has a track record of earning this accolade. Determined to bring home another win, HBA students gathered every evening at Spartan Stadium to construct a standout float.
“This year, the theme for our float centered around the pineapple, which is the universal symbol for hospitality. The large pineapple in the center of the float represents the HBA, which oversees all of our 12 clubs and three events,” said Carolyn Chang (BA Hospitality Business ‘18), president of the HBA.
“This year we got more clubs involved in our float by having each one build their own pineapple, which represents their unique contribution to the HBA as a whole. I think having each club contribute to the overall float fits perfectly with our theme because each team is unique and has something different to offer. In the end, however, we’re all on one float, representing the larger community of the School of HB,” Chang said.
Every float traveling the parade route showcased creativity and passion, and commitment from the students who spent hours building them. No two floats were the same, making the Uniquely Spartan them resonate with the crowd. Children of all ages lined the streets along the parade route as alumni and current MSU marching bands marched to the Spartan fight song.
“The float took a lot of hard work, but in the end it was incredibly rewarding to have something we all were able to come together to create be revealed to the East Lansing community,” said Christian Tackman (BA Hospitality Business ‘19).
The energy continued throughout the weekend, with over 500 Spartans attending the Broad College alumni tailgate and homecoming events. “Alumni from all over the country come back to campus, and put on their green and white for homecoming events and the game,” said Amy Moon, Associate Director of Alumni Relations and Engagement at the Broad College. “They take a lot of pride in seeing our students dedicate their time to making this a special day, and it truly reinforces the MSU school pride for generations,” she said.