This last weekend, Northwestern College hosted Raider Nation Celebration, the college’s annual homecoming celebration. Although many of the events didn’t start until Saturday, September 18, there was plenty for Raiders to do throughout the week that kept them excited for the weekend.
The Raiders kicked off Homecoming with a spirit week dedicated to multiple different dress-up days. These included themes such as Olympics Monday, Faculty/Staff Tuesday, PJ Wednesday and Decade Thursday. Another event that took place all week long was the hunt for the Homecoming Medallion. Each day, a medallion was hidden somewhere around campus and the first student to find it received a gift card. No better way to get college kids involved than with free money.
Although this year’s celebrations held traditions of old, NW also introduced some new ways to commemorate homecoming. For the first time in over ten years, NW crowned Homecoming Royalty. Tanner Oleson and Makayla Bjork were voted as Northwestern College’s 2021 Homecoming King and Queen.
The coronation of Homecoming King and Queen was celebrated on Friday evening at Northwest Fest on the campus green. Students, faculty and alumni were invited to a night filled with live music, food, yard games and inflatables. To end the night, all students were invited to tent out on the green with friends, which is also a new addition to this year’s homecoming events.
Director of student programs, Lucas Heiberger, said, “Honestly, I don’t know if anyone did it, but it’s something I wanted to start this year and get into people’s minds that it regularly happens. Once it’s more familiar to people, I wouldn’t be surprised to see more people doing it in the future, and that’s a fun thought.”
After a night spent on the green, NW celebrated bright and early on Saturday morning with the Red Raider Road Race followed by the tradition of Morning on the Green. Morning on the Green included family-friendly carnival games, inflatables, and different booths set up by clubs around campus. Stegenga Hall also celebrated 25 years on campus with cupcakes and a birthday party.
Students, faculty, alumni,and all Raider fans were invited to a picnic on the green before heading across the street to cheer on the Raider football team at Korver Field. After a Raider football win, both the boy’s and girls’ soccer teams took on Briar Cliff. The boys’ team was able to pull off a win, while the girls fell short against the Chargers.
Shortly after those games, the entire campus ended homecoming week with the homecoming dance on the green. When asked about her favorite part of homecoming, junior, Elizabeth Olsen, said, “My favorite part of homecoming was getting to go to the dance and have fun with my friends after a long week of classes!”
Bright lights, fun music and good company made for a perfect ending to a great week as a Raider.