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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Floats, Festivities and Fun at Homecoming

    From the generous student turnout at the Homecoming Parade to the enormous supportfrom the Stony Brook off-campus community, Homecoming 2003 at SBU was bustling with crowds and celebrations day and night. The events that took place this past weekend left a loud and lasting impression on campus, drawing crowds unlike any seen at Stony Broof in years before.

    ‘Today, over 7000 people came in and out to the Homecoming Game and Expo tents,’ said Tim Kenney, director of alumni relations. ‘Bit by bit, people are coming out and realizing that this isn’t the same old Stony Brook that they knew.’

    The weekend started late Friday night with the annual Homecoming Parade along Center Drive. Residence halls worked alongside various clubs and organizations to present floats and banners for this year’s theme, ‘Cartoon Mania.” Eleanor Roosevelt Quad’s float, cosponsored by the Career Center, won first place for the float competition and Dreiser College took the lead in the banner contest.

    ‘It was a great way to bring Stony Brook together,’ said sophomore Anish Sam, a Whitman College resident. ‘Everyone was out there cheering, and the crowd was great – it was a good time.’

    Early Saturday morning, Stony Brook families came to the SAC for Family Day, an event created for families to learn about and discuss their children’s role in the university.

    ‘I think it was a great idea,’ University President Shirley Strum Kenny said of holding Family Day and Homecoming on the same day. ‘Everything really melded together and the turnout was fantastic.’

    Following Family Day, university members mingled with alumni and the off-campus community at University Expo tents set up behind LaValle stadium. The tents featured demonstrations, displays, and reunion tables from various campus groups, departments and colleges. Kids enjoyed a petting zoo, arts and crafts, pumpkin painting and played in blow-up jungle gyms.

    ‘I liked playing in the bubble gym,’ said Timothy Arora, an 8-year old at the event. Throughout the afternoon, the lots were filled with activity as little children hosted their own mini football games.

    When the football game kicked off at 4 p.m., crowds filed into LaValle stadium, filling the Seawolves’ bleachers to capacity. ‘I think we had the biggest crowd this year,’ said Jerrold Stein, dean of students. ‘We had beautiful weather and everyone came out.’

    As the Seawolves led 21-7 into halftime at the homecoming game, President Kenny and Dean Stein walked to center field with the Homecoming 2003 King and Queen candidates. Bradley Jerson and Christina Geraci claimed the crowns, winning baskets of Stony Brook paraphernalia and gift certificates with them.

    The remainder of the Gala halftime show featured a contest to win a Chevy Blazer from Ramp Chevy. Four randomly selected contestants attempted to punt a football into the back of the Blazer from a point 35 yards away from the 8-foot-wide opening to win the truck. Each contestant missed and left the field with smaller concession prizes.

    Through the third and fourth quarters, the Seawolves dominated the game and worked to seal a solid victory. Stony Brook alumnus and former SBU football player Dan Jones said that the team had changed considerably since he left the university. ‘They’re a good squad this year,’ Jones said. ‘They just got hurt when their starters kept getting injured. But since I graduated in 1990, the squad has come a long way.’

    Sitting in the President’s Box above the walls lined with ‘Cartoon Mania’ banners, President Kenny watched the game and mingled with former students and current faculty members. However, she didn’t stand up while talking to friends for too long.

    ‘I need to sit down,’ she said. ‘We’ve had two touchdowns since I’ve sat down, and we need to keep this up.” The president’s efforts seem to have helped the team: By the end of the afternoon, the Seawolves had crushed St. Francis 49-14.

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