A few hours before kickoff, students, alumni and Kent community members lined Main Street to watch Kent State’s annual homecoming parade.

Among the crowd, President Diacon spoke with students, past and present, at his first Kent State Homecoming celebration as president.

“A lot of great energy, a lot of great people,” Diacon said. “I like that we are having Homecoming in late September because the weather is just perfect. We are just really proud of all our alumni, so glad they come back. So glad that they support us and we look forward to today’s students becoming those great alumni as well.”

The parade showcases Kent State organizations, clubs, the Homecoming court, marching band and local businesses. Students were decked out in Kent State colors.

“I have never seen [the parade] before,” said Juliana Butchko, a junior digital media production major. “I was a transfer student. I came here as a sophomore. Coming here I just felt really safe and at home... Just celebrating the spirit and just feeling safe.”

“I like going to the Alumni House with my mom, she’s an alumni,” said senior English major Libby Laubert.

It’s a tradition for Laubert and her mother, Bev Laubert, to come to the parade and take part in the alumni breakfast before the Homecoming game, as it is with many Kent State alumni.

Among those who organized the alumni brunch is Pam Brandenstein, a business intelligence developer who works in advancement.

HC Parade

Flash walks with the Kent State cheerleaders at the homecoming parade on Sept. 21, 2019.

“I’m new to Kent State so I’m really excited about being here and seeing how everything works,” she said.

In addition to celebrating Kent State, Brandenstein said she loved spending time with the entire Kent community.

“I met the Homecoming court, a lot of really nice kids,” she said. “The class of 1969 [were] here, I got to meet a lot of them. It’s been fun. I think I like the people the most.”

Contact Sylvia Lorson at slorson1@kent.edu.

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