Drexel University’s 2024 Homecoming Kicks Off Jan. 19

There are many events happening over the weekend, culminating in the men’s basketball team playing their rival, the University of Delaware, on Jan. 20.
Homecoming banner in Drexel Main Building

Main Building is getting dressed up for Homecoming. 

Drexel University’s Winter Tradition is just around the corner, as Homecoming officially begins Jan. 19. There are plenty of opportunities to support your Dragons in swimming, wrestling and men’s and women’s basketball meets and games throughout the week, plus the Kick-off Bonfire on Jan. 19 and the Fan Zone before the Homecoming men’s basketball game against rival the University of Delaware, both on Jan. 20.

“Homecoming is just a great way to get the winter term going and get the energy back after being away for break,” Associate Director of Development in Athletics Phil Denne said. “We’re bringing the week together so alumni can participate in the Bonfire, which in the past has kicked off the week on Monday or Tuesday. It’s really fun and a great part of the festivities, so being able to link the big activities together made a lot of sense in order to make it an even better weekend.”

Here’s a quick list of events going on during Homecoming week.

  • Window Decorating: Jan. 18–19 / Must be completed by 5 p.m. >> Students are invited to gather their friends and participate in the annual Homecoming Window Decorating Competition in the Rec Center Lobby. Not competing? Take an active part in helping decide who wins. Prizes will be awarded for the most spirited designs.
  • Men’s Basketball Bluau 2024: Jan. 18 / 6 p.m. >> Join the DAC Pack for the annual Bluau event preceding the men’s team’s home game against Monmouth University. Dress in navy Drexel gear or luau gear, the latter of which will be provided.
  • Homecoming Kick-off Bonfire: Jan. 19 / 5 p.m. >> Show your Drexel spirit and kick off Homecoming festivities as you make s’mores, enjoy hot chocolate, pick up some swag and warm up by the fire.
  • Women’s Basketball vs. Hofstra: Jan. 19 / 6 p.m. >> Pack the DAC to support women’s basketball in their Homecoming matchup.
  • Men’s and Women’s Swimming Vs. Towson: Jan. 20 / 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. >> Head to the pool at the Daskalakis Athletic Center (DAC) to support men’s and women’s swimming against conference rival Towson University. Admission is free.
  • Homecoming Family Fan Zone: Jan. 20 / 1–2:30 p.m. >> Show your Drexel spirit and gather with alumni, students, fans and friends to gear up for the big game with warm and cold beverages, food, games, face painting and gameday swag. This event is for Dragons of all ages.
  • Homecoming Game: Men’s Basketball Vs. Delaware: Jan. 20 / 2 p.m. >> Pack the DAC as the men’s basketball team battles Delaware. All attendees will receive a special Homecoming rally towel and this year’s Homecoming Court will be crowned at halftime.
  • Women’s Basketball vs. Monmouth: Jan. 21 / 1 p.m. >> Extend the Homecoming cheer and pack the DAC to cheer on the women’s basketball team.
  • Wrestling Vs. Stanford: 21 / 5 p.m. >> Close out Homecoming weekend and support the wrestling team as they take on Stanford University.
Students at the 2019 bonfire

Dragons warm up at the 2019 bonfire.

Student teams will decorate the windows of the DAC starting Jan. 18, but the festivities kick off with the Bonfire. Associate Vice President and Dean of Student Life Katie Zamulinsky, EdD, said it’s a staple event for Homecoming, complete with s’mores, hot chocolate, pizza and opportunities to get Drexel swag like beanies, bracelets and more.

“We have little fire pits, but there is also a very large bonfire,” Zamulinsky said. “We have the fire department on site, and they help fuel it with pallets. It’s large and it’ll keep you warm and it’s not something you’re going to see most places in Philadelphia.”

Since it takes place right on Race Street Lawn, it’s hard to miss the social event. Bring friends, make new ones or even connect with alumni — Associate Director of Diverse Alumni Engagement Jonecia Lewis said the Office of Alumni Relations is directing recent grads to the bonfire to relive the tradition and bring them back to something they know and love, and Denne sees it as an opportunity for students and alumni to connect.

“I think with Homecoming being more compacted than it has been in previous years, there will be more of an opportunity to connect with alumni on Friday and Saturday,” Denne said. “You never know who you’re going to meet. It’s a great option to build relationships and make connections.”

Saturday is jam-packed with activities, from the Fan Zone to the actual Homecoming game against the University of Delaware. There’s something for everyone with the Fan Zone taking place in the Blue and Gold Room in the DAC. There will be snacks and sodas, Lewis said, plus crafts and games for Dragons under 14 and an opportunity to meet Mario and the Drexel spirit teams. Student tickets to the game are free. Discounted tickets for faculty and staff and regular priced tickets are available for purchase from the Drexel Athletic Ticket Office.

Dragons will be roaring in the DAC when the game tips off at 2 p.m. Drexel plays rival Delaware just like last year, and with the Dragons at 11-6 and undefeated in their first three conference games as of Jan. 12, it’s sure to be a good matchup. During halftime, the Royal Dragon ceremony will take place, and members of the Homecoming Court will be honored by their peers and the Drexel community.

“We get to honor some pretty spectacular and talented students, and you don’t get to highlight students all the time at a game,” Zamulinsky said. “Last year we had undergraduate and graduate students, and a medical student as well, so it was really reflective of the entire University community, which I thought was cool. Historically, it had really just appealed to the undergraduates, but then last year, we really saw a very diverse applicant pool.”

Expect high energy in the DAC during the game, as Zamulinsky said the games she’s attended this year have had a strong showing in the student section. She likes to sneak over to sit amongst the student fans and soak up the energy. As for Lewis, the game is her favorite event of the week.

“The energy in the room is so high, and you can’t help but get excited,” Lewis said. “It’s just fun to stand there and connect and talk with people, but you can also tuck away and chill if you want, too.”