October 20 , 2006

The Farewell Homecoming, 1956

"... The aliens bore uncanny resemblance to certain Howard College students..."

1956 Howard College students dressed as aliensToday's issue of The Belltower marks the 50th anniversary of Samford's final Homecoming on its East Lake campus, October 20, 1956.

The week's festivities included the usual events—a Homecoming rally, football and the selection of a Homecoming Queen (Viola Beard). But Homecoming 1956 is more notable for its unusual and unplanned turns.

A group of "Flying Saucer Men" arrived on campus in a cardboard space jalopy and stirred up the Homecoming crowd with Fats Domino references. The aliens bore uncanny resemblance to certain Howard College students.

The Baptist Student Organization took top honors for their inspired but over-optimistic Homecoming house decorations—a crepe-paper Howard Bulldog enjoying a plate of roasted Carson-Newman Eagle. Unfortunately (or fortunately,) rain ruined the BSO decorations by the time the Eagles roasted the Bulldogs 25-6 in the Homecoming football game.

Homecoming attendees persevered through the rain, parading through East Lake for the last time before an afternoon of football. But the rain continued throughout the day and the Bulldogs were soaked, literally and figuratively, by the game's final whistle.

It was not the ideal farewell Homecoming, but the new campus held its own hazards. The first Homecoming here featured a windy massacre of student decorations, and the first students on the Lakeshore campus recall a year of puddle-jumping. The Flying Saucer Men never returned.

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