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Winston-Salem State University plans first full homecoming in four years

Last year’s event canceled due to hurricane threat

Winston-Salem State University is planning its first full homecoming since the pandemic after the threat of Hurricane Ian canceled weekend activities last year. Homecoming is scheduled for Oct. 15-21 with all university-sponsored events being held for the first time at the Benton Convention Center in downtown Winston-Salem.

The traditional on-campus venue for homecoming, K.R. Williams Auditorium, is offline due to a slated $57 million renovation investment from the state of North Carolina. The university will provide shuttle services throughout the week from campus to the Benton Convention Center at no charge to students, alumni and visitors as parking is limited downtown.

“We are excited about having an opportunity – barring any extreme weather conditions – to have our first open, full homecoming schedule of activities to take place to allow camaraderie among alumni, students and the community,” said Kimberly Fair-Reese, executive director of university events. “We have been denied that opportunity beyond our control having to deal with natural disasters and a pandemic.”

Homecoming events, under the theme, “Forever Red,” will kick off on Oct. 15 with the official lighting of the WSSU homecoming sign on campus, according to the WSSU homecoming page. Traditional events include the coronation ball on Oct. 18; Founder’s Day Convocation, Miss and Mr. Alumni crowning and gala, and the Greek step show on Oct. 20; and the homecoming parade on Oct. 21, which begins at 10 a.m. at Research Parkway and proceeds down Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. to Cromartie Street. The parade will highlight at least 17 bands, Reese said.

The football game starts at 1:30 p.m. Oct. 21 when the WSSU Rams take on the St. Augustine’s Falcons at Bowman Gray Stadium.

One of the most anticipated events, Reese said, is the homecoming concert on Oct. 20 that will feature Grammy-award winning recording artists Ledisi and Dru Hill with special guest Experience Unlimited (EU).

New events added to the lineup this year are Wild ‘N Out Karaoke and a Brown Sugar R&B Only affair.

The Young Alumni Council, the Alumni Collective, Julio, L, and Fat will present the R&B Only affair at Truist Stadium, said Thesha Woodley, director of alumni engagement. It will be the first event of its kind playing the best of classic and new R&B music.

“Alumni are anticipating coming back this year after surviving the pandemic and not being able to connect last year,” Woodley said. “Everyone is ready to get back on campus and enjoy each other. Everyone is going to find a way to have a good time and show some Ram love.”

“Since 2019, we’ve had abbreviated homecomings or had to limit participation due to the pandemic,” Reese said. “Then last year, we had the threat of a hurricane that prompted us to cancel all events after the Founder’s Day Convocation. So this year, we are going to ‘Ramitize’ the city with red and white as we take over downtown.”

For a complete list of homecoming activities, click this link Homecoming 2023 or download the homecoming RamGuide app from Google Play (Android) or the App store (iOS).


About Winston-Salem State University: Winston-Salem State University fosters the creative thinking, analytical problem-solving, and depth of character needed to transform the world. Rooted in liberal education, WSSU’s curriculum prepares students to be thought leaders who have the skills and knowledge needed to develop innovative solutions to complex problems. Founded in 1892, WSSU is a historically Black constituent institution of the University of North Carolina with a rich tradition of contributing to the social, cultural, intellectual, and economic growth of North Carolina, the region, and beyond. Guided by the motto, “Enter to Learn, Depart to Serve,” WSSU develops leaders who advance social justice by serving the world with compassion and commitment.

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