Michigan School Technically Held the First Homecoming in History
Well, Michigan, here we go again. Yet another milestone that we don't get credit for. You see, an argument can be made that a college in the Mitten was the first ever to invite alumni to return to campus every year for a football game.
The School Credited With Holding the 1st Homecoming in History
Brewer was concerned about whether alumni would make the trip to Columbia. Thus, his invitation for alumni to “come home” was a call that drew a crowd of 9,000-plus.
With that in mind, and going by Merriam-Webster's definition of 'homecoming':
the return of a group of people usually on a special occasion to a place formerly frequented or regarded as home
especially : an annual celebration for alumni at a high school, college, or university
So, what college in Michigan has extended an invitation to their alumni requesting their attendance at a football game longer? The answer is U of M (yes, that one).
The University of Michigan has been inviting its graduates to 'come home' for a football game since 1911 too. In fact, Michigan's tradition of former players challenging the then-varsity team to an actual game dates back a bit longer. Even the University of Missouri acknowledges the other U of M's history:
The University of Michigan tracks its Homecoming tradition to 1897, when the student athletic association sponsored Alumni Games, during which the varsity football team faced a squad of former players. Beginning in 1900, Michigan began playing a rival university for the event, but it wasn’t formally referred to as Homecoming.
Hmmmm. Scroll back up and re-read the definition of 'Homecoming', I'll wait. Back? Seems to me that what Michigan was doing in 1897 fits the description, only the alumni were expected to play, not reconnect and drink.
What do you think? Should U of M be considered the Home of Homecoming? Opinions may vary, but if Alex Trebek says it's Mizzou, it has to be true (at least when settling a bar bet).