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U. of I. Homecoming celebration offers week of activities


Phil Ciciora, News Editor

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — “Feel the ’NOIS!,” the theme of the 98th annual homecoming celebration at the University of Illinois, starts with a Homecoming Kickoff on Saturday (Oct. 4) and Soccerfest on Sunday (Oct. 5).

The kickoff celebration takes place from 7 to 9 p.m. at the corner of Wright and Green streets with music, food and fun.

The U. of I. women’s soccer team plays Michigan at 1 p.m. at the track and soccer stadium, between Fourth Street and Maryland Drive on Kirby Avenue, Champaign. Admission, food and beverages will be free.

Lunch on the Quad takes place on Oct. 7 (Tuesday) from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will include a cookout, entertainment, U. of I. officials and athletes, and the introduction of the Homecoming Court. The lunch will cost $5 per person or the swipe of a residence-hall card.

For a complete schedule of events, visit the Homecoming Web site.

Event highlights:

Oct. 9 (Thursday)
IUB African-American Homecoming Pageant, 9 p.m., Illini Union Rooms A, B and C, 1401 W. Green St., Urbana. As part of the African-American Homecoming tradition, this event honors top contestants in the Mr. and Ms. U. of I. Pageant. Cost: $4 with Urbana campus ID; $6 public. Tickets are available at the door.

Oct. 10 (Friday)
Writers Come Home, 4 p.m. author presentations and book signings; 5 p.m. reception, Alice Campbell Alumni Center, 601 S. Lincoln Ave., Urbana. Meet authors who have written recent books about Illinois. Reservation deadline: Sept. 30.

University of Illinois Alumni Association Welcome Open House, 5 to 6 p.m., Alice Campbell Alumni Center. Free public event includes music, refreshments and cash bar.

Homecoming parade and pep rally, 6 to 8 p.m. The parade runs from 6 to 7 p.m. starting at Sixth Street and Taft Drive in Champaign, traveling through Campustown and turning south on Mathews Avenue, and ending at the Quad. A rally follows on the Quad and features performances by U. of I. organizations, appearances by head football coach Ron Zook and the football team, a presentation of the Alumni Association’s Lou Liay Spirit Award and a fireworks finale.

Oct. 11 (Saturday)

Illinois vs. Minnesota Homecoming football game, 11 a.m., Memorial Stadium. Tickets are $45 for the main stands. For ticket information, call toll-free 866-455-4641 or order online at

An all-alumni gathering will take place for two hours following the game at the alumni center. The reception is free and includes music, food, fun and cash bar. Members of the class of 1958 will be recognized.

The Illini Comeback guests:

Dr. Scott W. Atlas, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, 1977

A professor of radiology and chief of neuroradiology at Stanford University’s School of Medicine and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Freeman-Spogli Institute for International Studies, Atlas has written more than 100 scientific publications and is the editor of the foremost textbook within his field. Atlas serves on the nominating committee for the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology.

Barry Sabath, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, 1974

Sabath is a senior lecturer and senior mentor at the American Film Institute Conservatory, where he teaches “Approaches to World Cinema, Feature Development” for producers and directors, and mentors thesis films, including a recent Student Academy Award winner. Sabath ran the film division of Robin Williams’ Blue Wolf Productions, working with the comedian on films including “Mrs. Doubtfire” and “Patch Adams.”

He also has served as senior vice president of production for Paul Schiff Productions at 20th Century Fox and executive story editor and vice president of productions at Columbia Pictures. Sabath is producing a horror film project at MGM and serves as a mentor for the Korean Film Council Filmmakers Development Lab.

At the event, the alumni association will also be presenting the Lou Liay Spirit Award for Extraordinary Alumni Service. It is being presented to Denis and Denruth Barre Lougeay of Encinitas, Calif. The Lougeays’ work, which helped the Illini Club of San Diego County earn the Outstanding Alumni Club Award from the alumni association in 2001, 2004 and 2007, includes leadership roles, joint events with other regional alumni clubs, scholarships for incoming UI freshmen, volunteer activities and attendance at Illini events in their Orange and Blue motor home.

In addition to these guests, members of the class of 1958 are invited back to celebrate their college memories on their 50-year reunion.

More than 1,000 students will participate Oct. 4 in the third year of “I-Help: A Homecoming Volunteer Project.” Participants meet for breakfast and then are matched to service opportunities at more than 40 sites in the Champaign-Urbana community.