In addition to its annual celebration of history and traditions, Tyler Junior College’s Homecoming Week will include a bonus feature of astronomical proportions.
This year’s homecoming theme, “3, 2, 1 … The Countdown has Begun,” highlights the partial solar eclipse that will occur on Saturday, Oct. 14, just hours before the Apaches’ 3 p.m. kickoff against the Blinn College Buccaneers.
From 10:25 a.m. until 1:32 p.m. local time, the skies will darken over Rose Stadium as the eclipse crosses North America from northwest to southeast.
Known as an annular eclipse, this event occurs when the moon is farthest from Earth and doesn’t block the entire view of the sun, creating a “ring of fire” effect.
Monday, Oct. 9
TJC Homecoming Week officially begins 11:30 a.m. Monday, Oct. 9, with the traditional drumbeat opening ceremony on the front steps of Rogers Student Center on the TJC central campus.
TJC President Dr. Juan E. Mejia will lead the countdown to the drumbeat, the Apache Punch drumline and TJC Cheer will perform, and the TJC homecoming court will be introduced.
In one of TJC’s most time-honored traditions, students and employees will keep the drum beating 24 hours a day until kickoff of Saturday’s football game.
Tuesday, Oct. 10
TJC students will show off their performance skills in Campus Capers, set for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 10, in Wise Auditorium, located in the Rogers Palmer Performing Arts Center on the TJC central campus.
In this “amateur night” talent show, students compete for cash prizes to be awarded for the top three performances. The homecoming court will also be presented. Admission is free, and the public is invited to attend.
Wednesday, Oct. 11
TJC has selected alumna and East Texas muralist Odessa Helm to create a brightly colored spirit wall between Genecov Science Building and the Earth and Space Science Center, that will be on display for the next year.
Helm has incorporated TJC and homecoming-themed features into the design, including Harry the Hawk and the solar eclipse.
TJC has selected alumna and East Texas muralist Odessa Helm to create a brightly colored spirit wall between Genecov Science Building and the Earth and Space Science Center on the TJC central campus. Helm will create the painting Wednesday, with assistance from TJC students and employees.
She will spend Tuesday drawing the outline of the design; and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, TJC students and employees can stop by and help paint the spirit wall.
“The spirit wall is a new, annual tradition that we’re very excited about,” said Lauren Tyler, TJC director of student life. “The spirit wall will remain on display all year; and then each year, a new design will take its place.”
Thursday, Oct. 12
The homecoming parade will begin at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12, at the Rogers Nursing and Health Sciences Center parking lot on East First Street.
The parade route will wind through campus and end at Pat Hartley Field, located at the corner of East Fifth Street and Palmer Avenue.
After the parade, a block party featuring food and games will be held in the parking lot next to Pat Hartley Field.
The TJC Apache Band, Apache Belles and TJC Cheer will perform, and the Apache football team and 2023 homecoming court will be introduced.
Admission is free, and the public is invited to attend.
Saturday, Oct. 14
The TJC Alumni Association will host its Homecoming Tailgate & Solar Eclipse Viewing Party on Saturday, Oct. 14, at the Brookshire Conference Center/Rose Complex Park.
Local DJ and TJC alumnus Doc Deason will play tunes with the solar theme, TJC mascot Harry the Hawk will be on hand for photo ops, and the TJC Cheer team will entertain the crowd and cheer on the return of the sun.
Registered guests will receive a box lunch from Jack’s Catering, beverages, solar eclipse viewing glasses and other homecoming eclipse treats. To register, go to TJC.edu/Homecoming. Food trucks will also have lunch items available for purchase.
At 2 p.m., the Apache Band, Apache Belles and their alumni will take their traditional Rim Walk into the stadium, followed by pregame activities and the crowning of this year’s homecoming king and queen.
The TJC Apaches will kick off at 3 p.m. for their homecoming game against the Blinn College Buccaneers.
General admission to the game is $5, reserved seating is $7, and children ages 14 and under are admitted for free. TJC employees and students are also admitted for free with their TJC ID.
Homecoming Week at a glance
Monday, Oct. 9:
• 11:30 a.m. – Drumbeat begins
Tuesday, Oct. 10:
• 7 p.m. – Campus Capers, Wise Auditorium, Rogers Palmer Performing Arts Center
Wednesday, Oct. 11:
• 9 a.m.-5 p.m. — painting of the new TJC spirit wall
Thursday, Oct. 12:
• 6 p.m. – Homecoming Parade begins on TJC central campus
• 7 p.m. – Block Party, Pat Hartley Field
• 8:30 p.m. – Pep Rally, Pat Hartley Field
Saturday, Oct. 14:
• 11:30 a.m. — Alumni Tailgate & Solar Eclipse Viewing Party, Brookshire Conference Center/Rose Complex Park
• 2 p.m.: Rim Walk and Homecoming Pregame, Rose Stadium
• 3 p.m.: Homecoming Game — TJC vs. Blinn College, Rose Stadium
For more information on TJC Homecoming Week activities, go to TJC.edu/homecoming.