Tennessee Tech celebrates 90th homecoming

Tom Moran (left) will be the Tennessee Tech 2021 Homecoming parade grand marshal

COOKEVILLE – Tennessee Tech is celebrating its 90th homecoming this week with the theme “Tech Back in Time: Homecoming Through the Decades,” culminating with a parade and football game on Saturday, Nov. 13.

Tom Moran, a 1958 physics graduate of Tech, will serve as grand marshal of the homecoming parade. And while some Tech alumni may not immediately recognize his name, they will certainly recognize the impact he made on campus.

Organizations across campus will be competing at the various events throughout the week.  Competition and participation points will be awarded as organizations vie for the most points and to become the overall winner. 

Decorated banners will be hanging in the lobby of the Roaden University Center throughout the week’s celebrations, and a skit night competition will be held Tuesday night at 6 p.m. in the Derryberry Hall Auditorium.

Wednesday will feature an all-day crowdfunding drive to benefit the Tech Food Pantry. Each organization will have a link to a crowdfunding page with a goal to raise the most amount of money during the event.

Thursday will feature a cornhole tournament in the RUC backyard and a Live on the Plaza concert featuring the Mixtape 80’s Tribute band from 6-8 p.m.

Saturday morning’s Homecoming Parade, going from Dixie Avenue and throughout campus, starts at 10:30 a.m. with Moran as grand marshal. Moran served as Tech’s very first alumni director from 1965 to 1968. 

Moran is best known for what he calls his “five minutes of fame,” or “the great eagle heist of 1952,” and it has become a 70-year Tech tradition. 

In 1952, in the middle of the night, Moran and friends Roy Loudermilk and Lewis Brown drove to the Monteagle Hotel in Monteagle, removed an eagle statue from its post in front of the burned and abandoned hotel and brought it home to Tech. For decades, this eagle has watched over campus from the top of Derryberry Hall. Now, a full-scale replica of that eagle has a home atop the Derryberry clocktower, and the original eagle that Moran and his friends acquired is preserved in an undisclosed location on campus. 

“I am proud that this story has become part of the Tech tradition,” said Moran. “Regardless of how you describe the means of acquisition – steal, liberate, acquire – I am very happy to have done it.”

Tech’s homecoming parade also includes local high school marching bands, community organizations, Tech Greek organizations and the homecoming court. 

College and organization reunions will take place on Saturday as well. 

The Golden Eagles will take on UT Martin in the homecoming football game at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in Tucker Stadium and Mr. and Ms. Tennessee Tech will be crowned at halftime.

Students, faculty, staff, alumni and the community are encouraged to celebrate Tech’s homecoming at the various events planned throughout the week.

For more information about homecoming week activities visit https://www.tntech.edu/homecoming/.

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