Islanders and Community Supporters Celebrate Homecoming 2020

By Olivia Santos, Joshua Esparza | Published: March 05, 2020

Islanders and Community Supporters Celebrate Homecoming 2020

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Islanders past and present, from far and near, along with members of the community, celebrated Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s Homecoming 2020, held Feb. 23-29.

The week began with Islander Clean, where more than 200 students rolled up their sleeves and picked up trash around campus, ensuring a clean canvas for the festive observance. The following day, the Islander Alumni Association and the Students Alumni Association joined forces to host Homecoming Tip-Off: Anchor’s Aweigh, were students, faculty, and staff were invited to take part in the newest tradition of painting the anchor white. The Homecoming Court was also announced, and University President Kelly M. Miller kicked off official start to homecoming with a confetti cannon countdown.

Savannah Alaniz, Islander marketing major, brought her 10-year-old sister to Tip-Off.

“I think it’s amazing that I was able to bring out my little sister to experience an Islander tradition,” Alaniz said. “It’s important to me that I get to share this experience with her, and I hope one day she’ll be an Islander herself.”

On Tuesday, Islanders, alumni, and the community took to Corpus Christi City Hall to witness Mayor Joe McComb declare Tuesday, Feb. 25, a city-wide Bluesday Tuesday.

Other Homecoming festivities included the Student vs. Faculty/Staff Basketball Game, where students dominated the court with a 47-29 victory; Islanderino, where students “Put on the Ritz” in a 1920s, casino-inspired experience; and Patio Jam: Homecoming Edition, where students expressed themselves through song, instruments, and poetry. Islanders also participated in Canstruction, a building competition using non-perishable food items, which were later donated to Izzy’s Food Pantry totaling more than 1,400 lbs.

On Friday, Islanders danced their way through Izzy’s Birthday Fiesta, hosted by the Student Government Organization, to celebrate the birthday of the Island University mascot. The birthday celebration was followed by the cherished tradition of Lighting of the I, where Islanders gathered to generate Homecoming spirit ahead of the big games. The National Islander Alumni Association and Islanders Athletics co-hosted the 2020 Homecoming Honors Banquet the same night, honoring Islanders of the past with the Distinguished, Outstanding, and Young Alumnus Awards along with the Athletic Hall of Honor Inductee.  

Saturday morning began with campus tours and brunch for Islander alumni, along with a class reunion luncheon. The mid-day Homecoming Block Party presented by Whataburger and the Alumni and Friends Tailgate were both major successes, as NBC’s The Voice Season 17 winner Jake Hoot took to the stage. Children of all ages enjoyed games, rides, food, and music.

The week-long Homecoming celebration came to a close as the Islander Women’s and Men’s Basketball teams presented a dominating display over the University of the Incarnate Word with a winning score of 56-50 for the Women, and 78-70 for the Men. Setting the stage for weekend’s victories, Women’s Basketball scored a triumphant mid-week win of 43-40 on Wednesday, Feb. 26, against the University of New Orleans.

During halftime of the Men’s game, the 2020 Homecoming King and Queen were announced. Maksym Tkachuk, took home the crown as the first international student to win Homecoming King, while Kelsey Mitchell was named Homecoming Queen.

For Islander alumna and Austin Alumni Chapter President, Lauren Young ’05, Homecoming weekend was one that won’t soon be forgotten.

“So far this has been the best weekend of 2020. It’s my birthday, it’s Homecoming and there’s no place I’d rather be,” Young said. “This is my first time coming back to the University to join in Homecoming, and it’s amazing to see how much the University has grown and to see not only the student involvement but the community involvement – the bar has been raised and I can’t wait to go back to Austin and show them how inspired I am by the excitement here and encourage them to see this is a cannot miss event.”