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The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

‘Excited for the growth’: Shocktoberfest brings parade, patio party and Shocker pride

As the crisp autumn breeze swept through Wichita’s campus, so did the Shocktoberfest parade. Initiated at the John Bardo Center and ending at Braeburn Square, the homecoming parade gave way to a patio party celebration.

Hosted by Student Affairs and the WSU Foundation and Alumni Engagement, the parade and patio party aim to build school spirit and bring the Shocker community together. 

Stacie Williamson, vice president of alumni engagement, helped coordinate the event. Williamson said the parade unifies the Wichita State community. 

“We’re all united by one thing. We’re Shockers, right?” Williamson said. “We love WSU, and (the parade) just gives people a reason to come out and celebrate together.”

Parade marshals President Rick Muma and first gentleman Rick Case rode in on a Morrison Hall-themed golf cart designed by former art students. Muma said representing one of the most iconic buildings on campus is one of their ways of showing school spirit. 

“Homecoming is a time where you bring everybody together,” Muma said. “It’s exciting that we get to be able to show off the university.” 

Shirley Lefever, executive vice president and provost, also participated in the parade. Lefever said it’s a good way to interact with students, faculty and campus community. 

“I definitely think there’s an energy now that hasn’t been there in the past, and (you) can see it in the level of involvement,” Lefever said. 

While Shocktoberfest has been celebrated consistently for over 30 years, the parade and patio party made a comeback this year.

“(We) want to see it become a really big, full-of-life tradition for the university every year,” Williamson said. 

Josh Woods, assistant director of alumni programming, said hosting events like the patio party brings school spirit to a different environment.

“This really (is) bringing us all together and creating spaces outside of a classroom (and) outside of campus,” Woods said.

Williamson noted the families lining the streets and the alumni joining the celebration.

“As a graduate and (are) having children, to be able to bring your children back to campus to see what you were a part of is really special,” Williamson said. “It just brings everyone together.” 

The parade saw appearances from Shocker Sound Machine, dance teams, tennis players, campus offices, student organizations, WSU Tech and community organizations.

The patio party featured a performance from The Source, a Norwegian jazz band, and recognized parade participants. 

“I’m excited for the growth. I think we had a really good turnout today,” Woods said.

For more information about the history of Shocktoberfest and other events, visit wichita.edu/shocktoberfest. 

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About the Contributors
Isabel Ordoñez
Isabel Ordoñez, Reporter
Isabel Ordoñez is a second-year news reporter for The Sunflower. Ordoñez is a transfer student from western Kansas. She's a senior at Wichita State majoring in communications with an emphasis in journalism and media production. Ordoñez is pursuing a career in the field of mass communications. She uses she/her pronouns.
Kristy Mace
Kristy Mace, Photo Editor
Kristy Mace is the photo editor for The Sunflower. She's majoring in psychology. Currently a junior, Mace hopes to go on to get her Ph.D. and become a neuropsychologist. She also plays for Wichita State's bowling team and does professional photography aside from The Sunflower.

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