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#TBT Homecoming

A look back at UNLV's earliest Homecoming events.

UNLV History  |  Oct 17, 2018  |  By Su Kim Chung
Editor's Note: 

The 2018 Rebel Homecoming is UNLV’s newly reimagined celebration and annual tradition. Signature events include the annual alumni awards dinner and a festival and parade Oct. 18. Then cheer the Rebels to victory Oct. 19 at Sam Boyd Stadium. 


The first NSU homecoming was held in January 1966 and featured a basketball game with the University of Nevada Wolf Pack at the Las Vegas Convention Center instead of football. The Morrill Hall Bell served as the trophy to be awarded to the victor. The rivalry trophy later shifted to the Fremont Cannon. (UNLV Special Collections)Selection of homecoming queen at halftime during the basketball game on Jan. 10, 1966. (UNLV Special Collections)Students in cowboy shirts and hats fit in with the theme of 1979 homecoming: The Great Western Rebellion. Other events during Homecoming Week that year included a lasso rope contest, square dance lessons, horseshoes, and a covered wagon race.Rita Lucas was the first African-American to be UNLV’s homecoming queen, November 1971. She’s pictured with her attendants Barbie Apple, left, and Susan DiBiase. (UNLV Special Collections)This CSUN-sponsored pie-eating contest turned into a crazy pie fight at a campus homecoming event near the Student Union in 1975. (UNLV Special Collections)Parades have been a long-standing UNLV homecoming tradition and students spent hours working on their elaborately decorated floats. For Homecoming '76, this float resembling the Star Trek Enterprise was the winning entry and matched that year's theme, "Space - The Final Frontier." (UNLV Special Collections)