University of Illinois


Marching Illini Alumni Band in the Homecoming Parade. Photo courtesy of

Every school has some form of homecoming celebration. But the University of Illinois claims one of the oldest homecoming traditions in the US, dating back to 1910. The history behind homecoming at the University of Illinois began with two students by the names of Clarence Foss Williams and W. Elmer Ekblaw, who were struggling with what it meant to be part of their alma mater after graduation. In turn, they came up with a detailed plan that involved attending a football game with fellow alumni as the center point of a weekend long celebration, and presented it to the Shield and Trident society that approved the proposal of what was to be called “Homecoming”. It immediately turned into an annual student tradition. From its inception, homecoming at the University of Illinois has been a detailed event that has always had a large support from alumni.
Read more about the University of Illinois Homecoming History