Welcome to Homecoming week at UW-Stout

I have enjoyed the Homecoming experience in a variety of ways over the years – as a student, faculty member, college dean, administrator and now chancellor – but the excitement and anticipation I feel is always the same.  There is a special feeling around campus on Homecoming week, and it’s truly a time I cherish.Homecoming football game Saturday, October 11, 2014.

Our Homecoming Committee has worked hard to ensure that the week has events that appeal to the entire campus and our alumni. The list of Homecoming activities also continues the strong tradition established by Blue Devil Productions of offering our students myriad ways to have fun and get in the Homecoming spirit.  I am very pleased that the Homecoming parade is back this year, and this is the first year of the Stout Summit, designed to connect the community to the campus.  Details about all the fun events are available at www.uwstout.edu/homecoming.

I would be remiss, however, if I didn’t comment on the issues that have surfaced recently in regard to the luau theme of this year’s Homecoming celebration. Some on campus have raised concerns about the cultural appropriateness of the theme.  My hope is that the campus uses this issue to improve multicultural understanding and respect for all.

To that end, the Diversity Leadership Team, Homecoming Committee and Multicultural Student Services are sponsoring a conversation with Phyllis Braxton, from PINK  (Pursuing Intercultural Needs & Knowledge) Consulting to gain a deeper understanding of the impact of this issue,  while sharing and learning different perspectives. The dialogue will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1, in Ballroom A of the Memorial Student Center. I encourage everyone concerned with this issue to join me at this event.

Finally, Homecoming is an opportunity to celebrate how proud we are of this extraordinary institution and our exceptional student athletes.  It is also an opportunity to demonstrate responsible decision-making while enjoying a safe and rewarding experience.  Therefore, I hope you have a very safe and enjoyable Homecoming. Go Blue Devils!