Howard University Opts for ‘Hybrid’ Homecoming in Light of COVID-19

In Summary

Howard University is following in the footsteps of other HBCUs that have canceled homecoming festivities to protect their campus from COVID-19 risks.

As historically black college and universities (HBCUs) across the country continue to cancel their homecoming celebrations, Howard University has opted for a hybrid model, per HBCU Gameday

President of Howard University Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick says tailgate parties and yard fest, as well as other in-person gatherings, will be canceled as the university continues to prioritize the community’s health and safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

RELATED: Howard University’s Business School Gifted $4.9 million from Warner Music Group/Blavatnik Family Foundation 

“While we planned for a fully in-person Homecoming, we must remain vigilant to the changing health conditions due to COVID-19,” Frederick said in a statement. “Therefore, we have decided that Homecoming will be hybrid this year.” 

The homecoming football game against Norfolk State University Spartans will go on as planned inside Greene Stadium on Saturday, October 23. Outside of the football game, only current students will be able to attend in-person events.  

Frederick said in the statement that Howard University’s Department of Alumni Relations and the Howard University Alumni Association will collaborate on a series of virtual alumni engagement activities. Safety precautions, event theme, a calendar of virtual events and additional information pertaining to homecoming will be advertised at a later date. 

Morehouse College and Tuskegee University have both canceled their homecoming celebrations in an effort to combat the spread of COVID-19 across campus. North Carolina A&T has policies that will impact its homecoming game, per HBCU Gameday. 

RELATED: Howard University Students and Alumni Upset at Phylicia Rashad 

Homecoming has long been an outstanding tradition for students and faculty carrying on a heritage their Black forefathers established for Black education when it was denied elsewhere, per Alabama A&M University’s Sydney Hawkins

It is a commemoration of African Americans’ past as well as a chance to revel in the present. Because of the significance of the celebrations, including Greek step shows, after parties, networking events, halftime performance and everything in between, HBCU homecomings will always stand out. 

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