Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History
Homecoming Day was established at Tufts in 1925 after an informal reunion of alumni following a Tufts football game versus Middlebury.
On November 7, 1925, a number of alumni returned to campus to watch the Tufts football team take on Middlebury. After the game, many alumni attended a social program set up by the Association of Tufts Alumni. By the next year, Homecoming Day had become an established tradition.
For the first couple of years, Middlebury remained Tufts' rival on Homecoming Day. By the late 1920s, however, Homecoming did not feature a traditional rival. In fact, it wasn't until the late 1980s that Tufts' Homecoming rivalries were firmly established. Since that time, Williams and Amherst have come to Tufts every other year, and served as Tufts' rivals during Homecoming games.
Although the football games have always been the central attraction on Homecoming Day, different groups host a number of parties, barbecues, and other events throughout the weekend. At early Homecomings, the Tufts Boston Club held a smoker in the afternoon, after the end of the football game. This smoker was then followed by an annual alumni supper.
One of the most visible events of Homecoming Day is the annual spirit parade. Various fraternities and student organizations build floats and parade down Professor's Row, vying for the title of best float. Also, the day before Homecoming Day, the Inter-Greek Council sponsors an annual block party on Fletcher Field. The block party usually includes a live band along with different activities and games. Fraternities also hold various barbecues for alumni members. Homecoming Day is also marked by the annual creation of Tailgater's Village in the parking lot adjacent to the Ellis Oval. Cars are allowed to park all day, and many students and alumni barbecue and celebrate in the parking lot.
As of 2001, Homecoming Day remains one of Tufts' strongest traditions, attracting many alumni each year.
Source: LOH, TW, OBS