‘A Century of Wonder Boys’ Homecoming planned at ATU

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RUSSELLVILLE, Ark.- Arkansas Tech University (ATU) officials announce they will have a pandemic-altered version of Homecoming 2020.

Officials say the homecoming will greatly differ from the traditional celebration.

According to a news release sent from ATU on Wednesday, the events scheduled for October 2-3 will include the ATU Homecoming Golf Classic, a virtual Fight On 5-Kilometer Run/Fun Mile, an online Kendra Scott shopping event to benefit of the ATU Alumni Association, recognizing the 2020 ATU Homecoming court and a video replay of the Wonder Boys’ 2019 football victory over Northwestern Oklahoma State University.

There will not be a live football game. University officials say this is due to the Great American Conference measure to suspend intercollegiate competition through December 31, 2020, because of the pandemic.

Officials say other popular ATU Homecoming events, such as the Friday afternoon bingo luncheon, Friday evening gathering of ATU Hall of Distinction members and 19 of the Last 9 honorees as well as additional in-person reunions are canceled due to pandemic-related room occupancy limits and social distancing requirements.

“We will very much miss the opportunity to gather at Thone Stadium at Buerkle Field and other venues on campus per our ATU Homecoming traditions,” said Kelly Davis, ATU director of alumni relations. “However, we believe we have identified a series of activities that will allow alumni and friends to support our university in a manner consistent with our civic responsibility to limit the spread of COVID-19.”

Officials say ATU Homecoming is a celebration of “A Century of Wonder Boys.” This year is the 100th anniversary of the Wonder Boys nickname, which officials explain it first appeared as a proper noun in the headline of an Arkansas Gazette article on November 17, 1920, after a 13-0 victory over Henderson-Brown College (now Henderson State University) the previous day in Arkadelphia.

“This is a great milestone for one of the most distinctive nicknames in all of intercollegiate athletics,” said Davis. “We are pleased to be able to observe this 100-year anniversary as part of our Homecoming festivities and reflect on the individuals and events that have given the name Wonder Boys the significance that it carries today.”

Officials say the ATU Homecoming Golf Classic, which raises funds for the ATU Alumni Association Scholarship, will be a two-person scramble at Chamberlyne Country Club in Danville on Friday, October 2.

Tee times will be assigned to minimize the number of people at any given place at one time, ATU officials say. The winners will be notified after the golf classic. Officials say the prizes will be mailed or available for pick up at the ATU Alumni House.

The golf tournament will be $80 per person.

To register for the ATU Homecoming Golf Classic, call 479-968-0242, email alumni@atu.edu or click here.

Registration for the Fight On 5-Kilometer Run/Fun Mile is $25 and must be completed by 5 p.m. on Friday, September 25 in order to receive a T-shirt and to be entered in a drawing for a door prize. To register, click here. For more information, email Brock Hime, ATU head women’s cross country and track and field coach, at bhime@atu.edu.

The Kendra Scott online shopping opportunity will be October 2-3. Officials say 20% of the proceeds will go to the ATU Alumni Association. For the link to shop and the code to participate, click here.

The video replay of the Wonder Boys’ 2019 victory over Northwestern Oklahoma State is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday, October 3. You can catch the game in the Russellville on Suddenlink Cable channel 2 and online at www.arkansastechsports.com, www.youtube.com/ATUathletics and www.facebook.com/ATUathletics.

For more information on ATU Homecoming 2020 events and registration, click here.

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