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Homecoming King: 1987 – Henry Mack

Lisa Vig and Henry Mack

My name is Henry Mack and I was The University of Jamestown Homecoming King in 1987. UJ is where I gained an education, competed in track and field, made life-long friends and connections, and met my wonderful wife of 23 years, Cherie (Leauning) Mack.

As a former Jimmie Homecoming King…

I will reflect on some past Jimmie Homecoming traditions – some of which are still around today. Coronation took place in the chapel with the pews packed to max capacity. We participated in the Burning of the “J”, had a hypnotist show, and the homecoming royalty would ride in a convertible around the track at the football game during halftime – all traditions that still hold strong.

We also had a womanless beauty pageant, which is now known as the Knight in Shining Armor. Embarrassingly, I was twice crowned the womanless beauty pageant winner…

Past traditions: Horse riding, singing freshmen and best legs contests!

While some customs have cemented their place in Jimmie Homecoming tradition, others have come and gone. During my senior year, alongside the royalty convertible, I rode a horse at halftime of the homecoming football game. It was a short-lived tradition due to Head Football Coach Rollie Greeno’s concern for his football field.

The college used to provide orange and black beanies with a “J” insignia on front. Freshmen would wear the beanies all week during school and were not permitted to take them off (unless in dorm room) until the first Jimmie touchdown at the first home football game. If freshmen were caught without their beanies, the consequence of this heinous action would be to provide dinner entertainment by singing a song selected by the person who caught the beanie-less freshmen.

By royal decree, all seniors were to be treated as royalty by freshmen during homecoming week. Freshmen would bus tables, hold doors open, and carry books for seniors. Faculty would participate in a Best Leg’s Contest (Rollie Greeno was a memorable contestant). Homecoming week was riddled with class competitions, such as sand class co-ed volleyball tournament, lip-syncing, spaghetti wrestling, and powder-puff football. The class that won the most competitions would be rewarded with a pizza party sponsored by the student association. Homecoming would then conclude with a themed school dance.

A bit of advice…

Take time to truly celebrate being a Jimmie this week. Support the campus community and attend as many homecoming festivities as you can. As one of your former kings, I challenge you to not only continue some of the traditions of old, but to create your own Jimmie Homecoming traditions. Those that are most meaningful will stand the test of time.

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Posted:October 7, 2016


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