Most days in CSU President Tony Frank’s life are filled with paperwork and back-to-back meetings.
But this weekend, his attention will be focused on acting as grand marshal for the university homecoming parade. As for what that entails, he’s not entirely sure.
“Beats me — I’m a rookie so I’ll just try not to make any turnovers that hurt the team,” Frank said.
Director of CSU events Matt Helmer said Frank’s sole job is to ride on the leading float, which is traditionally built by the CSU public affairs team to encompass the overall theme of homecoming, and to just have fun.
This year’s theme is “Celebrating the Past, Building the Future,” and Helmer said that in choosing a grand marshal, the Homecoming and Family Weekend Steering Committee attempts to find the best fitting person for the theme. Frank has been a part of the university for 17 years, and, Helmer said, he is now leading CSU into the future.
“He bridges the whole thematic piece,” he said, later adding that Frank “represents the bright future of CSU.”
Frank said he recalls the homecoming spirit at his alma mater, the University of Illinois, and always “loved the energy” in the air when alumni returned to campus for the parade and the big football game.
“The alumni go to the watering holes, and all the sudden the pep-band will pop in and play the fight song,” he said.
Alumni play the same key role during the homecoming celebrations at CSU, he said, and they add a special ingredient to the atmosphere he described as “a mixture of energy, excitement and nostalgia.”
Over Homecoming Weekend, he will meet with many Alumni groups and said the “neatest” group he will meet with is the 50-year club.
“They have stayed engaged with CSU for half a century, and they’ve got great stories to tell about their times here,” he said.
Frank is looking forward to cheering the Rams to victory at the football game, but when it comes to the 29th annual 5k race, he’s going to leave the running to the athletes.
“I spend so much time with budgets that I’m afraid at this point, ‘k’ means thousands instead of a distance measurement …”
Senior Reporter Kirsten Silveira can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.