People and Community University

‘Bring the Beat Back’ drums up a special week

With the theme of “Bring the Beat Back,” the University of Miami returned to a traditional homecoming scene with a fully in-person schedule of events held from Nov. 1 to Nov. 6.
Fireworks were set off from the rooftops of residential colleges and Shalala Student Center during Hurricane Howl 2021. Photo: Mike Montero/University of Miami
The Hurricane Howl fireworks display, Friday, Nov. 5. Photo: Mike Montero/University of Miami

The beat went on, and on, and on last week as students, alumni, and faculty and staff members celebrated Homecoming Nov. 1–6, with the theme “Bring the Beat Back.”

For the first time since 2019, the Homecoming Executive Committee (HEC) planned an entire in-person week of programming. From Monday through Friday, the Coral Gables Campus was energized and filled with people who were thrilled to bring back longstanding University traditions and welcome some new celebrations, like the Ever Brighter "Festival on the Foote Green." 

Student Government President Landon Coles, a Ronald A. Hammond Scholar majoring in political science in the College of Arts and Sciences, expressed his excitement for the return of a more traditional homecoming week.

“It honestly feels excellent to be celebrating once again,” said Coles. “We have worked so hard over the course of these past few months, dedicating ourselves, and remaining flexible and dynamic as it relates to planning all the various events for this week.” 

Grace Tenke, HEC chair, defined the planning behind homecoming as “challenging, exciting, and spirited.” Tenke and her team members organized for months and months ahead of time for the University community to enjoy a week of exhilarating programming.

“We had incredible participation the entire week, which helped us Bring the Beat Back to campus,” said Tenke. “Celebrating in person helped me remember the community that exists here at the U, and as a senior I am grateful that I had the opportunity to stand alongside this community as I planned and celebrated my last homecoming.” 

Coles said he’s extremely grateful and honored to serve alongside such a wonderful committee, especially in his senior year. “This week has been phenomenal, and we made memories that we will not soon forget,” he said.

Look back at the University’s “Bring the Beat Back” themed Homecoming, which culminated with a Miami Hurricanes football win against Georgia Tech at Hard Rock Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Homecoming Game

Tyler Van Dyke quarterbackThe Miami Hurricanes football team continued its winning streak with a 33-30 victory over the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Thousands of students and alumni showed up to cheer on the ’Canes at the Homecoming game.

Hurricane Howl Boat Burning and Fireworks Show

Fireworks over Lake OsceolaCreated in 1956, the boat burning and fireworks show is the University’s most cherished Homecoming tradition. Legend has it that if the mast of the boat falls before the boat sinks, the Miami Hurricanes will win the Homecoming football game.

Announced prior to Hurricane Howl were the student organization winners of the Homecoming competition. Tied for first place this year were the Association of Commuter Students (ACS) and the Federación de Estudiantes Cubanos (FEC).

Alma Mater Competition

Alma Mater singing competitionThis year, the Association of Commuter Students took home first place at the Alma Mater Competition, a singing contest that showcased different student organizations performing the University’s esteemed anthem on Thursday morning.

Organized Cheer Competition

UBS performs at OCheer

On Wednesday evening, five student organizations competed in the Organized Cheer Competition, a dance battle on the Lakeside Patio Stage.

Hurricanes Help the Hometown

Students put together care packages at Hurricanes Help the HometownHosted by the Butler Center for Service and Leadership as an annual day of service, Hurricanes Help the Hometown is a tradition where students commit to community service from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Lakeside Patio. This year on Tuesday during Homecoming week, volunteers put together more than 250 care packages for Camp Kesem—an organization that supports children impacted by their parent’s cancer.

Spirit Tree Competition

Spirit Tree ornamentOn Tuesday morning, participants met behind the Ashe Administration Building where the Spirit Tree is located to unveil their decorated ornaments for the tree and show their school spirit.

Homecoming King and Queen Pageant

Homecoming Court 2021At the Shalala Student Center on Monday, Nov. 1, seniors Corey Jones, center right, and Ari Mubanda, right, were crowned king and queen, and senior Christine Sanchez, left, and sophomore Paul Douillon were named princess and prince.

Opening Ceremony and ’Canes Spirit Day

Sebastian the Ibis and spirit squads at Homecoming opening ceremonyAt a festive opening ceremony held on the Lakeside Patio on Monday morning, the 2021 Homecoming programming kicked off with the theme, “Bring the Beat Back,” to celebrate the traditions of the University and to welcome back alumni for Homecoming celebrations.