The 100 Moments of TSU Athletics presented by Taco Bell® series continues by celebrating all of the homecomings in Tennessee State history.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the school, but the first official Homecoming football game took place in 1926 against Fisk University when the Tigers and Bulldogs played to a 13-13 tie.
However, Homecoming at TSU is far greater than just the football game. It is an opportunity for alumni, friends, family and current students to come together to re-live and create memories. People from all walks of life come from every corner of the world to the TSU campus in Nashville, Tenn. to take in the unique pageantry and cheer on Big Blue.
Yolanda Robinson Elston, Miss TSU from 2004-05, summed up the importance of Homecoming best when she said : "Every time a Homecoming comes around, the vibrancy of the campus, the staff, current students and Alumni becomes a spice that flavors the essence of Tennessee State University! That spice is why I ran for Miss TSU to again set the tone for my fellow Tigers entering our institution. That spice is why I'm proud to be a Tiger. That spice is the ingredient that will always make our university relevant, unique and yes, timeless."
There are concerts, dances, dinners, pep rallies and parades, and they all lead up to the football game. This year, the game takes place on Saturday night, but that hasn't always been the case. The game used to be held on Thanksgiving Day and high schools from around the area would come to take in the game and participate in the parade.
Homecoming was always an important tradition for the TSU family, but the occasion's popularity skyrocketed in the late 1970's when the Tigers started playing games in Vanderbilt's new stadium. Big Blue went from playing in front of 20,000 at Hale Stadium to playing in front of 40,000 the year after the change.
The change in venue convinced more fans from across the country to attend the game and the week's other activities. The year after the move, the parade had 26 bands march down 12th Street to the delight of TSU faithful. The tradition has continued through the years and is now dubbed "The Showcase of Bands".
Following the parade this Saturday, patrons will come to LP Field and watch Big Blue tangle with the Lions of Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Through the years, the Tigers have rewarded their fans with a 63-15-2 record on Homecoming, and with TSU enjoying its finest season since 2008, the win total might just reach 64 following Saturday's game.
Adding to the excitement surrounding the game, Tennessee State will also announce a new Ms. and Mr. TSU during haltime. So take it from a former Mr. TSU and "come together to replenish our spirits, congratulate our good deeds, and embrace one another in celebration of what we've meant to each other throughout the years." (Charles H. Galbreath, Jr., '94)
Every Homecoming is special to TSU faithful, but this year's event will be truly special because it is the school's 100th year anniversary. More than any other year, let's celebrate the 100 years that have come before, but also look forward to the hundreds of years to come.
"As our Mother becomes a Centurion, I celebrate with all of her children, knowing that by standing on the shoulders of those who came before, we are an active part of living history," said Dr. Jeff Obafemi Carr, SGA President '90.
The 100 Moments of TSU Athletics presented by Taco Bell® highlights some of the greatest moments in honor of Tennessee State's centennial celebration. A new moment will be released each weekday for a total of 100. These moments were chosen by the TSU 100 Moments committee, which consists of alums from various departments. TSU has so many great moments, not all can be represented in these 100.
Sports Information Assistant Alex Mitchell contributed to this article.