News

Homecoming 2004 Hurricane Howl: Remember, Relive, Recapture

In a crazy night filled with Homecoming floats, burning boats and first-class performers, students, faculty and alumni gathered on campus last Friday night for Hurricane Howl, the culminating night of a week’s worth of Homecoming events. It was a jam-packed event that began with the annual homecoming parade, followed by the boat burning ceremony and finished off with a concert featuring Wyclef Jean and the Refugee All Stars.

At about 7:30 p.m., the steady beating of the drum of the Iron Arrow Society – the most prestigious honor society on campus – signaled the beginning of the parade. Student-designed floats proceeded down Stanford Drive as onlookers marveled at student organizations’ creative efforts. The parade theme this year was “Traditions Through the Decades” and a panel of alumni and faculty members judged each float as they passed by.

Leading the parade this year were the UM student athletes and coaches who participated in the summer Olympic games in Athens, followed by President Donna Shalala. Sebastian the Ibis also joined in.

Finesse Mitchell, a 1994 UM graduate and a regular on Saturday Night Live, introduced each float.

BOAT BURNING

As soon as the last float passed by, spectators were led to the banks of Lake Osceola for the boat burning ceremony, where they were handed candles and led in the singing of the school’s Alma Mater.

Soon after, a raft-like boat was sent into the middle of the lake and set on fire. Tradition holds that if the mast hits the water before the boat sinks UM will win its Homecoming football game. Everyone watched as sparks shot out of the boat before a sudden, unexpected explosion set it on fire, making the call on the mast a bit indecisive – perhaps an omen for the next day’s Homecoming game loss.

A large fireworks display followed the boat burning and everyone crowded along the banks to catch a glimpse of the colorful sparks that lit up the clear night sky.

“The fireworks were beautiful once I got a good view away from the trees that were blocking my view,” Shani Simpson, senior, said.

NEW CHANGES

This year’s Homecoming event was a work in progress since last semester.

“Months and months of blood, sweat and tears went into planning and preparing for Friday’s event,” Erin Jenkins, Homecoming Executive Committee [HEC] member, said.

Many of the months were focused on revamping homecoming and giving it a different feel. Organizers said they tried to create a carnival atmosphere that had something to offer everyone.

“We completely renovated homecoming this year, but kept in tack all the traditions of the past,” Asgar Ali, HEC member, said.

Some of these changes included having bumper cars and laser tag set up for students and others to enjoy. Another change this year was the addition of ‘Canes Kidsville specifically for children. Kidsville included a petting zoo, bouncing house and sea of balls.

“Kidsville was nice because it gave the parents a chance to have their kids entertained and allowed them to do their own thing,” Natalie Rico, HEC member, said. “The kids were happy, they had candy and they were entertained.”

While students, parents and members of the community were enjoying these changes, alumni were enjoying reuniting with old friends at the different reunion dinners for those who graduated from the university 25, 30 and even 50 years ago.

“It’s been a fun evening. We saw the parade earlier and that was really well done,” said Bill Weymer, a 1954 graduate who came down from North Carolina with his wife to celebrate his 50th class reunion.

“My wife went to Clemson and that’s who we’re playing in the homecoming game – I don’t know, we might end up getting a divorce,” Weymer said jokingly.

WYCLEF JEAN

The Wyclef Jean concert started shortly after 10 p.m. on a packed Green.

Jean performed some of his hit songs, and students from the audience were called up to dance on stage or sing a chorus from his songs. One lucky student won a signed guitar by Wyclef Jean from a raffle sponsored by Hurricane Productions.

“Wyclef is a very good performer and he served a diverse crowd,” Jazmane Morgan, junior, said. “That’s what I really enjoyed about it because everyone was able to appreciate his music.”

Students and alumni agreed that Jean’s performance and Friday night’s event overall was a success compared to previous years.

“This was actually my first Homecoming event even when I did attend the University of Miami,” Mitchell said. “They were never this big, first of all. We had different acts but nobody who really made you come out because back in the day, it’s wasn’t like this.”

Hurricane Howl wrapped up at midnight, but many didn’t want the festivities to end.

“I think school spirit was high than in most years,” Simpson said. “Sometimes we can seem a little apathetic, but when it’s Homecoming time you pull out all the stops to make sure your spirit is shown.”

Angelique Thomas can be contacted at athomas@miami.edu.

November 9, 2004

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

It’s the play Miami Hurricanes fans will never forget — and Florida State fans are trying to forget. ...

Miami Hurricanes fans might recall their favorite college football players in past years dreaming of ...

The new quarterback is usually the ones fans gush over. For the University of Miami, last season it ...

Debate all you want, but University of Miami football coach Mark Richt made it clearer than ever Wed ...

Last year, when University of Miami tailback Mark Walton attended the Atlantic Coast Conference Foot ...

UM dining services team earns national recognition for special event catering. ...

From hammerheads to great whites, University of Miami researcher Neil Hammerschlag is a dedicated sp ...

An ACLU report authored by UM sociologists documents racial and ethnic disparities in Miami-Dade Cou ...

Following the summit between Trump and Putin, reaction from politicians, pundits and former intellig ...

A School of Communication associate professor played an important hand—an artistic one!—in World Cup ...

Miami senior Tyler Gauthier was named to the 2018 Fall Watch List for the Rimington Trophy presented ...

Miami junior wide receiver Ahmmon Richards was among those named to the watch list for the 2018 Bile ...

University of Miami junior running back Travis Homer was named a preseason candidate for the Doak Wa ...

Six former Canes competed on NBA Summer League teams, with three averaging at least 10 points per ga ...

Quick Hits gives University of Miami volleyball fans an opportunity to get to know the new student-a ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.