UC alumni make 'Big' return for Homecoming

The University of Cincinnati celebrates first Big 12 Homecoming weekend Oct. 13-14

The University of Cincinnati community will unite Oct. 13-14 for its first Homecoming weekend as a member of the Big 12 Conference. With a “Down the Drive” theme derived from UC’s signature cheer, the festive occasion will honor treasured traditions and the ongoing relationship between alumni and students.

The University of Cincinnati Alumni Association’s annual Homecoming activities will take place on the Uptown Campus on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 13-14.

As UC’s first Homecoming in the Big 12 era, all of the occasion’s pageantry will be on display, highlighted by the UC Alumni Homecoming Kickoff Party on Friday evening, followed by Saturday’s Homecoming parade and the game between the Cincinnati Bearcats and visiting Iowa State Cyclones in historic Nippert Stadium. Kickoff is at noon with the game televised on FS1. Tickets are sold out through UC Athletics — Nippert Stadium's 15th consecutive sellout. Tickets are available through SeatGeek, UC's official Fan-to-Fan Ticket Marketplace.

UC alumni and fans watch the Homecoming parade.

UC alumni and fans watch the Homecoming parade. Photo/provided.

As always, the parade will be a Homecoming focal point, traveling down Clifton Avenue beginning at 8 a.m. This year’s edition will feature 65 parade entries with generations of onlookers and well-wishers from the UC family lining the route.

The parade will highlight the 2023 Homecoming theme “Down the Drive,” which is the university’s signature cheer at athletics events. The parade grand marshal will be Bearcats women’s basketball coach Katrina Merriweather, A&S ’01, CECH ’02.

Bearcat and fans pose for a picture at the Homecoming Kickoff Party.

Bearcat and fans pose for a picture at the Homecoming Kickoff Party. Photo/provided.

While the UC–Iowa State football game and parade are the cornerstones of Homecoming, a full slate of activities throughout the week will provide alumni, students and friends with many opportunities to enjoy the occasion.

On Friday night, Oct. 13, the UC Alumni Association will host its annual Homecoming Kickoff Party from 6-8 p.m. This year’s event will take place on Sheakley Lawn in Varsity Village just off Corry Boulevard.

Voice of the Bearcats Dan Hoard will emcee while Bearcats Head Coach Scott Satterfield, Director of Athletics John Cunningham and Chief Alumni Officer Jennifer Heisey will greet alumni and fans. Music will be provided by DJ ETrayn, with special appearances from the Bearcat mascot and UC cheerleaders. 

On Saturday, Oct. 14, pregame festivities will occur all around campus and the surrounding neighborhood, including notably at The Grid tailgate area on Campus Green and Sigma Sigma Commons, which will open at 7 a.m. The football team’s traditional Catwalk to the stadium will pass through The Grid at approximately 9:30 a.m. UC fans are asked to wear red.

"One of the greatest experiences you’ll find on the UC campus is being in Nippert Stadium when our student section is doing 'Down the Drive,'" said Heisey. "More than 6,000 students move and sing as one, their youthful exuberance and sheer joy in simply being Bearcats on full display. As we inevitably and quickly join in, we all feel connected — students, alumni, players on the field, and all the Bearcats who have come before us and done the same. I hope you’re able to join us for the full Homecoming experience during our inaugural Big 12 football season."

Homecoming main events

A full list of more than a dozen events is available on the UC Homecoming website. The schedule includes activities staged by the UC Alumni Association, college and special interest alumni networks, student groups and UC Athletics. Highlights include:

Thursday, Oct. 12

UC4A Greek Alumni Basketball Tournament
6-9 p.m., Mount Auburn Preparatory Academy

Volleyball: UC vs. Baylor
6 p.m., Fifth Third Arena

Friday, Oct. 13

State of Black UC Forum
Noon-2 p.m., African American Cultural & Resource Center

Homecoming Kickoff Party
6-8 p.m., Sheakley Lawn, Varsity Village

Alumni Band Homecoming Reunion
6 p.m., The Taproom on Ludlow Avenue

Saturday, Oct. 14

Golden Bearcat Society Homecoming Parade Grandstand
7 a.m.

Homecoming Parade
8 a.m., Parade travels down Clifton Avenue from Calhoun Street to Probasco Street

College of Engineering and Applied Science Homecoming Celebration
9 a.m., Schneider Quad

Academic Health Center Alumni Tailgate
9:30 a.m., Health Sciences Building

Football Team’s CATWALK
Approximately 9:30 a.m., starting in Campus Green and traveling through The Grid and Sigma Sigma Commons

Cincinnati vs. Iowa State Homecoming Game
Noon, Nippert Stadium

Presentation of Homecoming Court
Halftime, Nippert Stadium


Plan ahead and see parade route and street closures.

UC Homecoming 2023 is presented by the UC Alumni Association and sponsored by Ohio’s 529 College Advantage, Skyline Chili, and U Square.

Featured image at the top: Historic Nippert Stadium on gameday. Photo/provided.

Headshot of Sam Speyer

Sam Speyer

Program Director of Alumni & Donor Experience, Cincinnati & Campus Engagement


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