Forging strong relationships with alumni is increasingly important to Fresno State as it grows in enrollment and creates new educational opportunities for its 24,000 students.

So it should come as no surprise that the university continues to amp up homecoming week — packing it with public events and activities.

“It’s not just a football game on Saturdays anymore, it’s about reconnecting with people, showing my kids what the university can do for you and being in a position to give back to the university that helped me so much.” — Scott Michaelson, 1988 Fresno State graduate

Scott Michaelson, a 1988 alumnus who graduated with a finance degree, says that expanding homecoming is a way to re-engage alumni and lift the university to a new level.

“There are a lot of good memories from being at Fresno State and it shaped who I am and put me on a path to success, and I owe something to the university for that,” said Michaelson, an account executive who volunteered last year to be part of Fresno State’s homecoming planning committee. “It’s not just a football game on Saturdays anymore, it’s about reconnecting with people, showing my kids what the university can do for you and being in a position to give back to the university that helped me so much.”

T-Pain Headlines Wednesday Concert

This year, Grammy Award-winning rapper and producer T-Pain headlines the Homecoming Big Show, an exclusive concert at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Save Mart Center for alumni, students, faculty and staff. Ticket information is available at

In addition, on Friday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., the grass area east of Bulldog Stadium will be transformed into a dueling pianos musical journey featuring performers Steve Haas and Leana Courtney along with food trucks, beer. and wine. General admission is $5, reserved tables for four are $60, reserved tables for 10 are $150 and a VIP table for 10 with two VIP parking passes is $250.

Bless the Ball

The Fresno State Alumni Association hosts the homecoming tailgate, open to all alumni, faculty, staff and Family Weekend participants, at 11:30 a.m. SaturdayThere will be beer and wine, music, a kids’ play area and lawn games. A special game ticket plus tailgate meal is available for $30, or a tailgate meal only is $10 (Meat Market tri-tip sandwich or barbecue chicken sandwich plus two sides).

Fresno State students and alumni are involved in a new #BlessTheBall tradition, in which they relay the homecoming game ball around campus and the community and touch it for good luck. The idea was started by Fresno State students who wanted to send the football team good vibes as they prepare to take the field. The game ball will be available at homecoming week events for students and alumni to take photos with and share on social media.

“We have events every day this week for the campus community, alumni and the community at-large to engage, connect, relive old memories and create new ones,” said Shawna Blair, coordinator of major events and staff development at Fresno State and chair of the homecoming planning committee. “We look forward to celebrating all week long as we unleash the Bulldog spirit.”

Photo of T-Pain holding his Grammy award

Grammy-winning rapper and producer T-Pain. (

Homecoming Week Public Events

Fired Up by the Fountain Homecoming Kickoff
11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Lawn in front of Kennel Bookstore
Featuring Dutch Bros., games and activities

Outdoor Movie at Bulldog Stadium: “The Lion King”
7 p.m.
Bring blankets and enjoy a free movie screening on the stadium turf. (No chairs, animals or outside food or drink.)

Homecoming Big Show: T-Pain, MAX and VIAA
7 p.m.
Save Mart Center

Volleyball vs. Utah State
6 p.m.
Save Mart Center

Equestrian vs. Oklahoma State
11 a.m.
Student Horse Center

Dueling Pianos in the Red Lot
6 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Red Lot (grass area east of Bulldog Stadium on Cedar and Barstow avenues)

Magician Nash Fung
9 p.m.
Satellite Student Union

Family Weekend
Activities Friday – Sunday

Volleyball vs. Boise State
1 p.m.
Save Mart Center

Alumni Tailgate
Lawn area north of North Gym

Homecoming Football Game vs. Colorado State
4:30 p.m.
Bulldog Stadium

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