In lieu of a traditional Homecoming, UT will be hosting events through Spirit Week, a week dedicated to reminding students in our traditions and get students into the UT spirit! Spirit Week will be held Oct. 11–17, culminating with the Volunteers taking on the Kentucky Wildcats at Neyland.
“Spirit Week is a reframed version of Homecoming to fit with the current times, while still promoting the Volunteer Spirit and Big Orange Pride,” says Homecoming committee chair, Meghan Woodward. “Although this year will be different with program offerings, we wanted to host a week that would still bring that same excitement to campus. Our hope is this week will bring the campus closer together to celebrate as Volunteers.”
Woodward explains that Spirit Week isn’t completely replacing Homecoming, elements have been changed during the week to make it more feasible for students to safely participate in events, with the hope that next year’s celebration can include more traditional Homecoming events such as the parade and game day activities.
In addition to the football game at the end of the week, events students can participate in include Spirit Week Kickoff and Big Orange Pumpkin Patch, CEB Spooky Trick or Treating, a virtual escape room, and so much more! Each day throughout Spirit Week has its own theme that events have built events around. There will be several photo opportunities for students, and giveaways throughout the week. International Festival student performances will top off Monday, with traditional International Festival events occurring throughout the rest of the week. From Campus Pride Day on Monday to Big Orange Friday, we hope you will throwback with us and enjoy this fun-filled week!
“As a UT alumna, Homecoming was something that I looked forward to every year as a student and still do today,” says Woodward. “We have amazing campus partners and organizations who feel the same and did not want to see this traditional week be canceled. We owed it to our students to do everything we could to host this week even if it meant changing how we do things. There is something for everyone during this week from in-person events to virtual offerings, and we hope students will come out and be engaged with us!”
COVD-19 may have changed some of our plans but it can’t cancel the UT spirit! We can’t wait to celebrate with you this year. To see a full list of Spirit Week events, visit homecoming.utk.edu or calendar.utk.edu/spirit_week! All events are held in accordance with health and safety guidelines. This week is made possible through a collaboration between the Center for Student Engagement, Office of Multicultural Student Life, UT Athletics, International House, Alumni Affairs, All Campus Events, Student Government Association, and the Campus Events Board.