Father of Mizzou Homecoming to Serve as Grand Marshal

The University of Missouri is recognized as the birthplace of the homecoming tradition and this year marks the 100th anniversary of the first homecoming celebration. To preside over the festivities, former MU Athletic Director Chester L. Brewer will serve as the 2011 Homecoming Grand Marshal. Brewer, who passed away in 1953, will be represented by members of his family.

Brewer worked in a variety of positions during his time at Mizzou. He served as athletic director and, at different times, coached football, basketball, baseball, and track. During his reign as athletic director, Brewer was responsible for improvements to Rollins Field as well as the construction of Memorial Stadium in 1926 and Brewer Fieldhouse in 1930. One of his most notable achievements, however, began early during his time at Mizzou when he organized the first homecoming celebration.

After meeting on a neutral site for twenty years, the Missouri-Kansas rivalry was renewed when the football game was played for the first time on a college campus in 1911. To add excitement to the game, Brewer invited alumni to “come home.” As part of the game’s festivities, a parade and spirit rally took place. He also organized a gathering of former letter winners which led to the creation of the M Men’s Club, known today as the Varsity M Association.

On Nov. 25, 1911 a record crowd of 9,000 fans packed Rollins Field. Although the Tigers and Jayhawks tied 3-3, something much greater happened that day – the birth of a new tradition. Each year, thousands of alumni and friends come home to celebrate the tradition of Mizzou Homecoming. Join the Mizzou Alumni Association on Oct. 15 as we celebrate the Mizzou Homecoming Centennial.

Learn more about 2011 Mizzou Homecoming.