Future Bison and families from across the country brought their energy and excitement as they gathered in Burr Gymnasium for Howard University’s first Homecoming Open House on Thursday, October 20. The event featured remarks from Howard University President Ben Vinson III, Ph.D. and a captivating performance by the Howard University Showtime Marching Band.
“It’s exciting that you get insight into how we prepare our students for the challenges of tomorrow,” President Vinson told the more than 3,000 students and families who registered for the event. "This open house represents more than anything I've ever seen. The students here will forge lasting memories that will help shape their college journey and career path.”
President Vinson encouraged future Bison to enjoy the day and find ways to appreciate the culture, academic excellence, and history that surrounds campus during Homecoming Week at the Mecca.
Several representatives from the campus community also spoke at the Open House, including Nia Naylor, Howard University Student Association president and Glen Vinson, assistant vice president of student affairs. Following remarks at Burr, the Open House registrants were taken on a tour of campus, including residence halls, by student ambassadors. The group of student volunteers who assist with campus tours and presentations to prospective students.
Prior to the Open House, more than 200 Student Ambassadors and volunteers spent several hours preparing for the event, stuffing gift bags with t-shirts and other Howard swag. Setting up information tables inside of the gymnasium, and practicing chants to show school spirit as students and families arrived.
Courtney Porter, director of enrollment management, coordinated the Homecoming Open House activities and managed the team of student volunteers and ambassadors. “Our biggest objective was trying to figure out the best time to have prospective students and their families come to campus. It was very important to have students come at a time that is right before application season but also a prime time to see bison pride,” said Porter.
“What better time to give prospective students and parents a view of Howard University and its legacy than during homecoming.”
Ethan Zagore, a high school student from Chicago, said he “rose up bright and early” to attend the open house. Zagore says he would like to study chemistry at the mecca.
“Both of my parents are Howard University alumni, so I definitely wanted to come and experience Howard,” Zagore said, adding that he was eager to tour the campus with current students and see what Howard University has to offer.
Alumni parents were just as excited for the Open House. Many parents said they supported and encouraged their children to engage with students on campus and soak in the unique opportunity to get a preview of campus life at an HBCU.
Alumna Kiarra Miles (B.S. ’04), Ethan Zagore’s mother, said she was hopeful that Ethan will attend Howard University. Miles said her time and experiences at Howard were amazing.
“Howard University was the best four years of my life,” she said. “I want him to experience Howard University the same way we did and continue the family legacy.”