Students ready to share Homecoming parade webcast with alumni, friends

Among Penn State traditions, the Homecoming parade annually ranks as one of the most-anticipated events of the year on the University Park campus, and a corresponding tradition has grown with students producing a webcast of the parade that makes it available for alumni and friends all over the world to view.

Students from the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications will produce a parade pre-show and start-to-finish coverage of the parade for the 13th year in a row Friday. The parade steps off at 6 p.m. and the webcast will be available at wpsu.org/event online.

After weeks of preparation, the students leading the webcast are ready to test their skills with the multi-camera production. Preparation for the webcast included cooperation and collaboration with Homecoming organizers and several units at Penn State, notably WPSU-TV and staff from Information Technology Services.

“It’s an exciting opportunity. I feel like we’re ready,” said Cameron Lincoln, a senior telecommunications major from Rosedale, Maryland. Lincoln served seven years in the Air Force before beginning his academic career at Penn State.

He and a core group of eight students will drive the parade production. They’ve been working since the start of the semester, with him balancing academics with regular weekend work with the National Guard.

The webcast’s anchor desk will be on Shortlidge Road near White Building. Classroom prep and work on the parade pre-show in recent weeks were complemented by a scouting visit to the location last week.

“It’s going to be a good spot,” Lincoln said. “We can get a look up and down the street with our cameras and maybe even get someone out in the street to report as groups pass by. We’ve talked about a lot of possibilities and it’s great to have the opportunity to make it happen.

“It’s going to be great hands-on experience for us. I’m not really worried about much. I think we’re ready.” 

He and a couple other students will rotate through the director’s chair during what’s expected to be a nearly three-hour webcast.

“This is always an exciting opportunity to our students,” said Matt Jackson, head of the Department of Telecommunications. “There are an array of issues to challenge them -- lighting, audio, crowd control -- and the November weather could provide a challenge as well.

“Still, it’s a testament to the students’ work ethic and passion that this annual webcast has become such a success. It’s also a testament to the passion of Penn Staters all over the world who watch and make the experience meaningful.”

Penn State Homecoming is one of the largest student-run homecoming organizations in the country. Comprised of nearly 400 student volunteers who work to make Homecoming a yearlong celebration, the group aims to celebrate tradition and instill pride in all members of the Penn State family. This year’s theme is “Embrace the Journey, Roar With Pride.”

Former Nittany Lion and NFL football player John Urschel, who earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in mathematics at Penn State and is pursuing a doctorate in mathematics at MIT, will serve as the parade’s grand marshal.

Last Updated November 08, 2017