For UNC Charlotte, the first mention of Homecoming was tied to a spirited holiday that happens to feature 49er green: Christmas.
On Dec. 20, 1952, the Charlotte College Alumni Association, in partnership with the University’s Social Committee, hosted a Christmas dance in the gymnasium. This event served as a Homecoming celebration for all alumni and students to attend. A quote from the Nov. 26, 1952 edition of the Charlotte Collegian said: “It is the hope of the alumni that this will promote interest among the student body in the social events of the College and in the Alumni Association.”
It wasn’t until 1969 that Homecoming at UNC Charlotte was hosted in conjunction with a sporting event. The inaugural Homecoming basketball game took place on February 15, 1969 against UNC Greensboro. That day, the 49ers triumphed over the Spartans, winning 69 to 60. This victory also led to the Charlotte 49ers winning the 1969 Dixie Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (DIAC) Championship. Because basketball season could run as late as March, the 1969 Homecoming Celebration took place that February. The inaugural UNC Charlotte Homecoming Dance was tied to yet another special holiday: Valentine’s Day.
In 1969, UNC Charlotte crowned its first Homecoming Queen: Jackie Haney (pictured).
In 2013, UNC Charlotte established its first National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) football program. The return of the 49ers football team, which was disbanded in 1949, led to a discussion of moving the University’s Homecoming festivities to the fall. That transition — from a spring to fall Homecoming celebration — took place in 2013, when the University hosted two Homecoming celebrations, one in February and one in October.
In 2014, the sole Homecoming game took place when the Charlotte 49ers football team challenged the James Madison Dukes on Oct. 25.
To view more archived Homecoming photos, click here, here, here and view the University’s photo albums here. Goldmine, UNC Charlotte’s digital collections repository, has a wealth of archival images. Click here to learn more.