The tunes of Fairmont State University’s marching band will fill the fall morning air on Saturday, October 9, when the annual Homecoming Parade makes its return.
Students, supporters, local residents and alumni will line the city streets to welcome back the celebration, as members of both the Falcon Family and greater community drum up excitement for the day’s events. Leading the pack will be parade marshals Matt Swain, Fairmont State Chief of Police and Emergency Management Director, and Lloyd White, Marion County Health Department Administrator, who were chosen in recognition of their continued efforts to keep the University’s campus and surrounding communities safe throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s only fitting that Matt and Lloyd serve as marshals and lead the Homecoming Parade,” said Fairmont State University President, Mirta M. Martin. “After all, they’ve led our campus family and the surrounding community through a global pandemic. They’ve been on the front lines of our COVID response, and each of us has benefited from their insight, vision and hard work. I urge everyone who attends the parade to demonstrate our gratitude to these two men for their tireless efforts to keep the Falcon Family safe.”
At Fairmont State, Swain has been tasked with overseeing the University’s COVID-19 testing protocols, reporting exposures to, and confirmed cases of, the virus and organizing ongoing campus vaccine clinics, among other duties.
“Throughout the pandemic, the University has acted out of an abundance of caution to protect our campus and surrounding communities, while also providing a sense of normalcy to the Falcon Family,” Swain said. “The University COVID-19 Task Force has worked tirelessly to ensure our Homecoming activities may resume, and we look forward to safely welcoming our community and alumni back to campus for the long-awaited celebration. There are so many players who have worked to make this happen, and I am honored to have been selected on behalf of the University to serve in this capacity as one of the parade marshals.”
In addition to conducting community-wide testing, surveillance and vaccination efforts throughout Marion County, White has worked closely with Swain to provide guidance and support to help protect Fairmont State students, faculty and staff.
“The health and safety of our community has been at the forefront of our minds over the last 18 months,” said White. “Though navigating this pandemic has been a challenge, the cooperation from Matt Swain, as well as the entire campus community at Fairmont State, has been instrumental in our ability to continually adapt to the circumstances at hand. I am fortunate and honored to play a role in this year’s Homecoming festivities, and I look forward to having the University and our city come together to celebrate safely and responsibly.”
The parade will begin at Palatine Park at 10 a.m. and end at Locust Avenue. An alumni tailgate, sponsored by the Marion County Chamber of Commerce is scheduled for noon and the Fairmont State football team will take Duvall-Rosier Field against Alderson Broaddus University at 2 p.m.
For more information about the 2021 Homecoming Celebration, visit www.fairmontstate.edu/homecoming.