At Iowa Central Community College, homecoming is a week for both fostering school and community spirit and raising funds to give its students greater opportunities for academic success.
Tom Beneke, vice president of enrollment management and student development, said homecoming is a great week.
"What we try really hard here at Iowa Central to do is create a collegiate atmosphere," he said. "The festivities and activities that we put on for this week really enhance that, where we can not only get the students involved, but faculty and staff."
For students with school spirit, the main event of the week will be a football match between the Iowa Central Tritons and the Sioux City Morningside College JV at Dodger Stadium, Saturday at 2 p.m.
Preceding the game tonight will be the college first Iowa Central Stampede at Webster County Fairgrounds, a rodeo with nine events and 24 teams, as well as various activities all starting at 6:30 p.m.
A homecoming party will follow.
"It's one more way we're trying to create this collegiate atmosphere here at Iowa Central," Beneke said.
A hallmark of the event is the induction of new Hall of Fame honorees. This year, distinguished alumni are Bill McAnally, a former professor; oral surgeon Eric Pearson; and distinguished sports alumni Tommy Thompson, a Fort Dodge Senior High teacher and former Iowa Central wrestler.
Also being honored are state Rep. Daryl Beall (D-Fort Dodge) and artist Mark Gould. Jae Conn, Klaye Rowe and Ray Carreathers will be honored for sports. Melvin Samuelson will receive the college's humanitarian award.
"We hope that all the people that have been involved in these three folks' lives come out and honor them," Laurie Hendricks, vice president of development and alumni relations, said Wednesday.
A distinguished sports alumni has to have excelled at athletics while at Iowa Central and continued his or her athletic pursuits after graduating, Hendricks said.
"We look for character and giving back to the community," she said.
The distinguished alumni award is given to those who have excelled in their careers and also given back to their community, while showing good character, Hendricks said.
The recipients are honored at the school's Student Resource Center.
"We hope all inspiring alumni and students want to have their face on the Hall of Fame," Hendricks said.
A banquet will be held at Hodges Fieldhouse for the recipients Saturday at 8:15 p.m.
Homecoming is also a fundraiser for the college, with all funds from the banquet and activities benefitting student scholarships, Hendricks said.
"There's always a need for scholarships," she said. "Obviously, the price of education, even though we've tried to keep our tuition lower, students struggle and scholarships are one way that might make a difference if someone comes to school or not."
They are more necessary than ever with the booming increase in student enrollment at the college, Beneke said.
"The demand for making education affordable to all students has been a challenge," he said. "Any time we get the opportunity to raise some money in an event like this, it goes back to help students in our college or make college affordable. And what a great way for the college to really reach out to many of our students that have a financial need."
Beneke said this can't be done without help from the community.
"Without their help and their giving and their donations, an event like this could never take place," he said.
Tickets are still available at the Iowa Central bookstore and the alumni foundation office. To attend the banquet, call 574-1081. Tickets are $20 per person, $35 per couple.