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SIU Homecoming 2023 winners announced

Homecoming Parade Float
SIU News

Several Southern Illinois University Carbondale alumni, current students, student organizations and community groups were honored during Homecoming 2023 – Salukis in Paradise. Festivities took place Oct. 16-21.

Everyone loves a parade

Dozens of bands, floats, marchers and other units participated in the homecoming parade through downtown Carbondale before tailgating and the big game. Winners of the 2023 parade included:

Large float: Alpha Gamma Rho, Alpha Gamma Delta and Sigma Alpha.

Small float: Sigma Pi and Delta Zeta.

Band competition:

  • Class A: Harrisburg High School.
  • Class B: Gallatin County High School.
  • Class C: Carbondale Middle School.

Saluki Stadium rocking
A crowd of about 12,000, one of the largest gatherings in recent history, piled into Saluki Stadium for the homecoming game to see the Salukis take on the top-ranked South Dakota State Jackrabbits. The pre-game flyover during the national anthem was by an E-3 Sentry, Airborne Warning and Control System, more commonly known as the AWACS, whose section leader in command of the mission was the 2004 SIU homecoming king. Lt. Col. Sean “Flash” Gordon, director of operations for the 964th Airborne Air Control Squadron, is a 2006 aviation technology graduate with specialization in helicopter maintenance. The plane traveled to Carbondale from the 964th Airborne Air Control Squadron at Tinker Air Force Base, outside Oklahoma City.

During halftime, the homecoming court was recognized and the homecoming royalty, chosen by online student voting, was announced featuring:

  • Ava Hasse – a junior nursing major with a health care management minor from Kankakee, Illinois.
  • Dean Dearing – a senior finance major from Princeville, Illinois.

Also recognized during halftime was another royal: The reigning Miss Illinois, Jessica Tilton, of Washington, Illinois, is a medical student at SIU.
Saluki Hall of Fame inductees

Saluki Athletics inducted its class of 2023 into the Hall of Fame featuring five individuals and an entire team on Friday evening. Included were Bryan Boemer (football), John Marks (track and field), Dyana Pierre (women's basketball), Taylor Pippen (volleyball), Dewey Robinson (baseball) and the full 1983 football team, which won the I-AA National Championship. Former head football coach Rey Dempsey spoke on behalf of the 1983 team, which received championship rings in a private ceremony afterward. Dempsey was grand marshal for Saturday’s parade.

Campus décor

Across campus, offices and units decorated doors and windows in a show of school spirit. More than 30 doors were entered in the 2023 Campus Door Decorating Contest, and the winners were:

1 – Student Center administrative office.

2 – New Student Programs.

3 – Exploratory Student Advisement.

Find pictures of all the entries on the Student Programming Council Facebook page.

In addition, student organizations across campus got into the spirit of things by creating decorated banners, and the Art Education registered student organization claimed the top prize, a pizza party.

Leah Lerner is a media writer, producer, and announcer at WSIU Public Broadcasting located at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Contact WSIU Radio at 618-453-6101 or email wsiunews@wsiu.org.
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