ESPN sports columnist and Northwestern University alumnus J.A. Adande will return to the Evanston campus, Friday, Oct. 26, to serve as grand marshal of the University’s 2012 Homecoming parade and pep rally.
Adande, who graduated from the University in 1992, will be among thousands of Northwestern alumni coming back to Northwestern for Homecoming weekend Oct. 26 to 28.
Well-known to sports television audiences, Adande — who covers the National Basketball Association — has appeared as a panelist on ESPN’s “Around the Horn.” In more than 800 appearances he has debated the hottest sports issues of the day with other sports reporters.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Adande got his start in sports journalism at Northwestern’s student newspaper, The Daily Northwestern. He went on to cover Big Ten basketball for the Chicago Sun-Times and the Washington Bullets and college sports for the Washington Post before working as a Los Angeles Times sports columnist from 1997 to 2007. He joined ESPN.com as a senior writer in 2007.
In his 20-year career, the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications alumnus has covered, among other top sports events, the Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Finals, Stanley Cup Finals, NCAA Final Four, Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Orange Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, Summer and Winter Olympics, Wimbledon, the Masters, U.S. Open Tennis Championship and British Open Golf Championship.
This year, the student-run Homecoming committee has selected “Let the Good Times Roar” as the parade’s theme. The committee is encouraging student groups and community organizations to participate in Northwestern and/or “good times” themes for their parade floats.
Other Homecoming events on the Evanston campus that are open to the public include the Friday night Homecoming pep rally which immediately follows the parade, the Saturday Wildcat Alley pregame fan fest area festivities and the Saturday Wildcat football game.
- Homecoming Parade, 6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26. Cheer the homecoming grand marshal, student organizations and alumni as the parade moves down Sheridan Road from Lincoln Street to the Arch. Parade watchers will have an opportunity to vote for the best parade float, banner and “other” category by filling out and submitting a ballot at voting spots set up along the parade route. Parade winners will be announced at Saturday’s football game.
- Homecoming Pep Rally, 7:15 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26, at Deering Meadow (1937 Sheridan Road. (Note: The rain location is Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson St., Evanston campus.)
- The Wildcat Marching Band will perform pre-game, halftime and Ryan Field favorites during a program featuring Northwestern’s WildPride Spirit Squad, Willie the Wildcat, grand marshal J.A. Adande and Northwestern football coach Pat Fitzgerald. The Homecoming king and queen will be announced and crowned by grand marshal Adande. Admission is free.
- Wildcat Alley, 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, is open three hours before kick-off and is a free pregame fan fest area offering activities for Wildcat football fans of all ages. Wildcat Alley is located a few steps north of Ryan Field.
- Homecoming Game, 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, Ryan Field, Evanston campus. The Northwestern Wildcats will take on the Iowa Hawkeyes at Ryan Field. Sideline tickets are $60 each; end zone tickets are $40 for the general public; corner (section 113, 114, 115, 122, 123, 124) seats are $50 each. To purchase tickets, call 888-467-8775 (GO-PURPLE), visit nusports.com, or visit the Northwestern athletic ticket office at 1501 Central St., Evanston campus. The ticket office is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
More information about homecoming events is available online.