Student Homecoming chair Kaylee Franc plans a Homecoming during pandemic
When deciding where to go college, Kaylee Franc ‘22 wanted to give herself a fresh start. And while the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, native loves her family and high school friends, she wanted a chance to do college on her own terms.
As she was making her initial list of college choices, Towson University wasn’t on it. In fact, she only toured TU because her mom brought up that her aunt was an alumna and member of the Towson Tigers’ diving team.
Franc wasn’t expecting much, let alone to find the place she was going to spend the next four years of her life. But it was love at first sight. Three years later, as a junior, she is serving as TU's student Homecoming chair.
“When I toured TU, I just thought that this was the school for me,” she says. “I get to make myself who I want to be. And these past three years, I feel like I’ve figured out more of who I am.
“I don’t think I would have done that having been at home or being with anyone from home, just because I wouldn’t have made the connections that I did or gotten as involved as I did.”
Initially, it was her love of Homecoming in high school that attracted her to the table. But it was how the committee members were interactive and engaging that kept her coming back.
She began her Homecoming career as a freshman volunteer. It was there Franc knew she found her place, because the Homecoming chair at the time remembered her name and made her feel part of the team.
Franc became events director during her sophomore year.
“Homecoming is an organization where you’re connected with everyone, no matter what position they have,” Franc says. “I love being able to call my vice chair at any time of the day. It could be three in the morning and she’ll pick up, and we’ll have a three-hour conversation.
“That’s the connection that I love and thrive off of. And I have it with the 40 people of the Homecoming Committee. I love it.”
Being a part of TU’s Student Homecoming Committee has played a bigger part on Franc’s college career than she could have imagined.
When she first started at TU, she was working toward joining the nursing program. As Franc worked as the Homecoming student events director, she fell in love with event planning. She switched to mass communication, with a focus in public relations, and is double majoring in communication studies.
Like her first introduction to TU, Franc’s push to change her major came with a little push from mom.
“I mentioned Homecoming and being the events director, and she told me that I’ve spent the past 30 minutes talking about that and nothing else,” Franc laughs. “So I looked at the hospitality portion of event planning and that folds into the communications aspect of it. And I wanted to add a public relations degree so I could learn to promote my business.”
Luckily, or unluckily depending on how you look at it, Towson University’s 2020 Homecoming is offering an early challenge in Franc’s event planning career.
Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Towson University has moved most classes online for the fall term. There will also be no in-person events held on campus, which includes Homecoming.
So the Student Homecoming Committee partnered with Alumni Relations, Towson University Athletics and other members of the university community to host TU’s first STAY HOMEcoming week, which is a virtual take on Homecoming that features events that can be done from the safety and comfort of home.
Franc and her team have come up with new events that take advantage of the virtual aspect, including a DIY Craft Night. They have moved old favorites—including the Homecoming Pageant, petting zoo and block party—to a virtual setting.
And while Franc, like most of the TU community, would rather have these events in person, she appreciates the lessons she’s learned through planning a Homecoming completely on a computer.
“We’re learning to adapt to the situations we’ve been given,” Franc says. “And you know what? I’m excited for Homecoming. I know it’s going to be online and on social media, but we’re going to represent Towson University the best we can.”
TU Tigers across the globe are invited to celebrate Towson University’s virtual STAY HOMEcoming 2020—Oct. 12–18! TU students, alumni, faculty, staff and community members are welcome to join us as we prove why we bleed black and gold.
Check out a complete list of STAY HOMEcoming events, and follow TU on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to stay updated on all things Towson University and Homecoming and get involved by using #TUTogether.