Baylor Homecoming: Bears, Bonfire, and Babies

If you’re a Baylor student, you might say Homecoming is an event almost as anticipated as Dia. The Buttoned team is excited to throw it back with faculty and staff about their favorite memories from past Homecomings, and what they are most looking forward to this year. 

Not only do students show up and show out for Homecoming, but it’s also an admired event for local families and Baylor staff. Smith Getterman, the Director of Sustainability and Special Projects, said he couldn’t even remember his first Baylor Homecoming –  it has always been apart of his life. Having grown up in Waco, attended Baylor, and then staying to raise a family in Waco, Homecoming has always been a tradition for him.

His favorite part of Homecoming is the parade, because he knows how much effort the students put in the floats from his time as a Baylor KOT. 

“Both my sons want to grow up to be KOTs because they heard me talk about my time building the float or practicing for pigskin,” said Getterman. 

Professor Alexandre Thiltges, senior lecturer of French, agrees with Getterman. Professor Thiltges grew up in France, but has taught French at several universities across the United States. He said there is nothing equivalent to the Homecoming celebrations in his home country. 

“What I like about Homecoming is the parade. I take my son there with a bag and he takes home a bag full of candies,” said Professor Thiltges. 

Getterman is truly fond of Homecoming because his second son was born on the day of Homecoming. But don’t worry – the parade was broadcast in the labor room.

Getterman said, “While my wife was in labor, we turned on the parade. After Harry was born, Baker and I didn’t have anything else to do, so we went to the football game.”

Only natural, right?

Professor Thiltges compared Parisian culture to American culture, relative to the Homecoming tradition.

“I love to see all the students doing extracurricular activities, putting concerts together. This is not something you would see at a Parisian university. It creates a sense of community.” 

Getterman is only disappointed with the bonfire these days.

Getterman said, “The bonfire used to be a lot cooler, it used to be a legitimate bonfire, they would build the base a mile high.” 

Baylor applauds itself on tradition, and Homecoming is one of the oldests here. Even Professor Thiltges commented on the difference between adhering to tradition in Europe versus in America. 

“In the U.S., I’m amazed by how you keep the tradition,” said Professor Thiltges. 

Enjoy this special holiday in proper Baylor fashion this weekend, bears! 

Written by: Vivian Roach

Edited by: Abby Sowder

Photos supplied by: Smith Getterman