UK kicks off Homecoming week with pep-rally



By Elena Breeden

UK began its 2011 Homecoming week Monday night on Haggin Field with a pep rally.

The event, held on Stoll Field last year on the Friday night of Homecoming week, was moved to Monday night on central campus this year in hopes of getting more people involved and excited about the week.

“Our hope was that in moving it to central campus we’d get more foot traffic,” Meg Phillips, the program coordinator for the UK Alumni Association, said.

Students streamed in at 8 p.m., as the Wildcat Marching Band played the UK Fight Song.

Carl Nathe, voice of UK football’s “Touchdown, Kentucky!” emceed the night, starting off with the announcement of the Homecoming Court: Elizabeth Shemo, Alexander Brewer; Michelle Studney, Micah Fielden; Nikki Hurt, Taylor Cox; Kendall Corbin, Cody Jenkins; Mary Ellen Wimberly, Matthew Doane.

The UK women’s basketball team and their head coach, Matthew Mitchell, also took the stage and excited the crowd with UK cheers.

“Each and everyone of us is so fortunate to be here in Kentucky and for this to be our school,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell introduced head football coach Joker Phillips who came to the stage, thanking the crowd for their support of his team.

“You guys have done a phenomenal job in the games we’ve had at home,” Phillips said. “For us to get the second half of the season turned around, we need you.”

Phillips called the football players in the crowd to come to the stage as well as former UK football players.

Along with the free food, school spirit and guest speakers, the UK STAT and Team Wildcat were there to support the event — both organizations affiliated with UK Alumni Association.

“It’s all about keeping people excited about being a UK student,” Jen Cox, STAT chair, said.

Bryce Moffett, Student Activities Board director of traditions, is also excited for students to attend the parade on Friday night.

“It’s the first time we’re having it downtown. It starts at 7 p.m. and is running down Main Street,” Moffett said. “It’s a great way for the community and UK to connect and celebrate school spirit.”

The pep rally left some students with excitement for the week’s festivities.

Senior Gretchen Gruenberg finds “the fact that everybody from different organizations come together for school spirit” the most exciting aspect of Homecoming week.

“It’s gotten better and better every year. As I’ve spent more time here, my school spirit has grown,” Gruenberg said.

Freshman Katelyn Mulhall found her first UK Homecoming experience to be “much better” than her high school ones.

“It’s really loud and fun. That’s a big reason why I came here — events like this,” Mulhall said.

A schedule of Homecoming events can be found at