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BW's Bold & Gold Bash Dazzled with Great Food, Fun, Friendships

From picture-perfect weather to a bountiful display of Brown & Gold swag that mirrored the exuberant energy of the event, this year’s Bold & Gold Homecoming Festival was an extravaganza of exciting new activities and crowd favorites.

The Pearson family traveled from Texas to celebrate Bold & Gold with Elijah, a sophomore majoring in business administration.

Thousands of people attended the two-day event, which began Friday, Oct. 29, and continued through Saturday. True to its theme of “Celebration of Champions,” the YJ4L fete was a jubilant and triumphant day where laughter, joy and camaraderie united the campus community.

Fantastic Friday of esports, arts and "rewind" reunion

Precursor events for Saturday’s big Bold & Gold Festival engaged guests in music, dance, an esports ribbon-cutting and alumni reunions for Cheer Team and the Classes of 1980 through 2000 via a “rewind” reunion.

Morning of reunions, tailgates and gatherings

There was no shortage of smiles, selfies and flashback moments as current students and alumni united across campus for a series of special events.

From an alumni takeover of WBWC to a Black Alumni Network tailgate to an Aww Jackets Marching Yellow Jackets band rehearsal, BW pride and friendship were on full display as 11 groups hosted activities.

  • Muslim Student Association photo
    Students across campus showcased their cocurricular engagement through a series of floats and banners in the Homecoming Parade.
  • Parade float with Grand Marshals
    This year's Grand Marshals were "BW Champions of the Past, Present and Future" with a place of honor in this year's parade.
  • Special football guests
    Members of the 1978 Championship Team gathered with Director of Athletics Steve Thompson and BW football players Austin Schuck and Mason Levasseur (named the offensive and defensive players of the game, respectively). Photo courtesy of Lincoln Earl '24.
  • Homecoming Royalty
    The Homecoming Royalty for 2024 are Geneviéve Carreño and Da’Von Angelo McDonald.
  • BW President Emeritus Neal Malicky
    (l-r) Faculty emeritus Dr. Margaret Brooks-Terry, former trustee Digger Dawson and his wife Gretchen, and BW President emeritus Rev. Dr. Neal Malicky
  • Timeka Rashid and family
    Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Timeka Rashid enjoys great food with son Nasir and his dad Abdul.
  • Bob Baxdale and Kathy Gordon
    It was a big day for Bob Baxendale '71 and Kathy Gordon '72, who became engaged at this year's Bold & Gold Homecoming Festival. The YJ4L couple reconnected at the Mega Reunion in 2022. Celebrating alongside the happy couple are members of the BW Cheer Team.

Parade lavish with student groups and champions

Among crowd favorites was the traditional BW Homecoming Parade, vibrant with colorful floats by student groups, spirit-rousing BW Marching Band and everyone’s BFF – Stinger. New this year was the Parade of Champions Bandstand and “viewing hives” for featured performances during the parade.

This year’s Grand Marshals were “BW Champions of the Past, Present, and Future," who represented the university's legacy of having a strong athletic program rooted in the development of personal integrity, character and leadership.

  • Champions of the Past, who were celebrating an anniversary of an Ohio Athletic Conference regular season championship, OAC tournament championship or NCAA championship. They were represented by the 1978 NCAA Championship Football Team and their co-captains Joe Surniak ’78, Gary Stelter ’79 and Roger Andrachik ’80.

  • Champions of the Present, who are current scholar-athletes excelling in their sports and competing at the highest levels. They were represented by track & field-lauded student-athlete Hope Murphy ’24 and national wrestling champion Michael Petrella '24 and his father, Paul Petrella '79, a champion wrestler and football player.

  • Champions of the Future, who are portrayed by the coaches who carry on BW's legacy of tremendous athletics and will usher in future generations of extraordinary scholar-athletes. They were represented by Cherri Harrer, BW’s longest-tenured coach.

Food and football take center stage

From food trucks to BW dining services, there was something for everyone as a mid-day repast gave festival-goers a chance to indulge their taste buds and listen to featured performances by the BW Marching Band and other extraordinary student groups. Presentations were also made by BW President Bob Helmer and head football coach James Hilvert. 

Following the pre-game rally was a gridiron matchup between the Yellow Jackets and the Marietta College Pioneers. Though it was a disappointing loss for BW, football fans gave a rousing cheer for the winners of this year’s Homecoming Royalty, Geneviéve Carreño and Da’Von Angelo McDonald. Later in the day, women's soccer defeated the Pioneers 3-0.

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