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Campus & Community

Homecoming Week Preview: What’s New, What’s Back

100th Anniversary Additions Include $10K Field Goal Kick, Pup Parade, Do Good Service Project

By Maryland Today Staff

Marching band plays in front of Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center

Celebrate Homecoming 2023 with a jam-packed week of events, including tons of UMD giveaways, an expert address on AI, a community service project, tons of tailgates—and a chance to win $10,000, all leading up to the big game on Saturday.

Photo by John T. Consoli

A century ago this fall, Homecoming debuted at the University of Maryland with the dedication of a football stadium on what’s now Fraternity Row, students danced the lindy hop and Charleston to tunes from a 10-piece orchestra at the new Ritchie gymnasium, and the “Old Liners” steamrolled the Catholic University Brooklanders, 40-6.

This year’s celebration, Oct. 8-14, won’t look similar—except for the hopes of a Maryland Football victory.

The Homecoming calendar is packed with nostalgia and tradition (tailgates everywhere) as well as more contemporary fare, including a “Beyond the Field” research address on AI threats to privacy, a party celebrating the 50th anniversary of hip-hop and a food truck festival.

Monday through Thursday, the Student Alumni Leadership Council and Student Entertainment Events (SEE) will host “spirit stations” around campus, giving away piles of Homecoming swag to students wearing the color of the day. (Students can follow @UMDHomecoming and @umdsalc on social media or text UMDHOMECOMING to 71444 to find out where to go.) The colors are:

  • Monday: red

  • Tuesday: white

  • Wednesday: black

  • Thursday: gold

  • Friday: all Maryland colors

Events kicked off yesterday with two sold-out SEE Comedy Shows featuring Eric André, and will culminate on Saturday afternoon as the Terps (5-1) take on the Illinois Fighting Illini (2-4).

In between, see the highlights of Homecoming Week 2023 and the full lineup at

Beyond the Field Address
4 p.m. Monday
Streaming on YouTube

What’s Back: Homecoming goes off the gridiron and into the classroom with a lecture on a grand challenge, featuring one of UMD’s most renowned researchers. This year, it’s College of Information Studies Professor Jen Golbeck, a computer scientist and expert on artificial intelligence, social media algorithms and malicious online behavior who will challenge viewers to pay greater heed to how AI increasingly influences our lives.

What’s New: The college is hosting a viewing party—a first for this annual event—at the Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center featuring a robust in-person discussion with Golbeck and other AI experts. Registration is closed.

Tuesday Night Lights
7-8:30 p.m. Tuesday
SECU Stadium (enter at Gate I)

What’s Back: Fans take over the football field for one evening to snap selfies with Testudo and toss a ball, play games and enjoy music with a live DJ.

What’s New: To mark 100 years of Homecoming, 100 randomly selected attendees will take home a limited-edition “Script Terps” hoodie (size: large). Even bigger: One attendee will have the opportunity of a lifetime to kick a 35-yard field goal to win the SECU Kick for Cash $10,000 Field Goal Challenge. See details on who can register and when.

Teddy’s Pup Parade
5 p.m. Wednesday
McKeldin Mall

What’s Back: Nothing! This is an inaugural event.

What’s New: Dog lovers and their furry friends can join Teddy the Terp, the University of Maryland Police Department’s comfort dog, for an hour of tail-wagging excitement—and a few breaks for tummy rubs, rain or shine. Advance registration is available and in person starting at 4:30 p.m.

Do Good Service Event
5-7 p.m. Thursday
Grand Ballroom, Stamp Student Union

What’s Back: In partnership with the Do Good Institute, the Office of Community Engagement and the School of Public Policy Alumni Board, the student nonprofit Terps Against Hunger is hosting volunteers to package 30,000 meals to benefit individuals and families experiencing food insecurity in the D.C. metro area.

What’s New: This is the first Homecoming service project in four years. All volunteer slots are filled.

fireworks explode over mkeldin mall at terp carnival

Terp Carnival
4-8 p.m. Friday
McKeldin Mall

What’s Back: Kick off Homecoming weekend with live music and games in the heart of campus. Stop by the beer and wine garden (if you’re 21+, of course) or grab yummy Chick-fil-A fare, Union Pizza slices, jumbo pretzels or crab popcorn from booths. Get pumped up at the ultimate Terps pep rally as the Mighty Sound of Maryland performs, and cheer on Head Coach Mike Locksley and Terps football players as they prep for the big game. At the end of the night, enjoy a laser light show and fireworks display.

What’s New: Sail across the Mall on a zipline, challenge your friends to the hippo chow down (think Hungry Hungry Hippos) and bounce up and down on light-up seesaws. Students can also snag a throwback Script Terps scarf to show their team spirit.

Football: Terps vs. Fighting Illini
3:30 p.m. Saturday
SECU Stadium

What’s Back: The pageantry, traditions and fun of cheering on Maryland Football. Watch the team in a breakout year take on Illinois, and enjoy performances by the Mighty Sound of Maryland, the cheerleaders and the dance team. Wear red. Tickets are still available.

What’s New: More school and college tailgates: The A. James Clark School of Engineering, the College of Information Studies and the School of Public Policy will host pregame events for alums (and sometimes students), joining the Alumni Association, which offers the granddaddy of Homecoming tailgates. Any energy left postgame? The Nyumburu Cultural Center will offer a hip-hop karaoke after party tailgate celebrating the 50th anniversary of the musical genre—and, hopefully, a football victory.

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