Students, alumni gather north of campus to watch annual Homecoming Parade
Students, alumni and family members gathered beneath drizzling rain to kick off Central Michigan University's Homecoming Day with the annual parade.
The two-mile cavalcade started in lot 22 on CMU's campus and concluded at Sacred Heart Church, located on Fancher Street in downtown Mount Pleasant.
Grand marshals were 2010 alumna Katie Travis of Bay City and 1970 alumnus Mike O'Donnell, a member of CMU's advancement board.
Travis attended the parade after starring in the Northern American Tour of "The Phantom of the Opera," where she performed the role of Christine Daaé.
According to CMU's Alumni Association, O'Donnell played a key role in organizing the accounting system for firefighter Red Adair's company as it aimed to extinguish oil well fires in the Middle East in aftermath of the Gulf War.
Margo Light, a fifth-year senior from Durand, attended the parade to show her CMU spirit one last time as an undergraduate student.
"I'm just trying to do it all this year," she said. "I love homecoming and everything about CMU. The parade is always so good, especially this year."
Light is also an alumna of the Rho Delta chapter of Phi Mu. She spent her time at the parade with her sorority sisters in front of their house on Main Street.
Denise Sortor, a 1987 alumna, also spent time during the parade visiting her sorority sisters of the Beta Theta chapter of Alpha Sigma Alpha.
"Their house is (one of) the first ones on Main St. and is really the perfect place to watch the parade at," Sortor said.
Sortor added she is looking forward to an awesome time reminiscing with her sorority sisters throughout the day. She also attended the parade to watch her daughter participate as a CMU cheerleader.
"I love the parades here and how perfectly they embody what it means to be a (Chippewa)," she said. "I am so blessed to have gone here and am really proud to be a (Chippewa)."
Sortor said watching the marching band perform in one of her favorite parts of the parade.
"We have an extraordinary band," she said.
Andrew Spencer, interim associate dean of the College of Communication and Fine Arts, attended the parade to support the band. A professor of percussion, Spencer said he loved seeing his former students participate in the alumni band and to revisit them.
"It is always fun to see them and it's really a neat thing to see the generations come together," Spencer said.