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University News

Returning to the Nest

Homecoming 2022 brings Red Hawks back to campus to celebrate with students, staff and faculty

Posted in: Alumni, University

Members of greek life dancing on campus wearing matching tee shirts
Photo by John LaRosa

Saturday’s Homecoming celebration had something for everyone – games, dancing, cooking exhibitions, barbecue, family fun, clear blue skies and a pre-game ceremony honoring Montclair football legend Sam Mills ’81.

This year’s events included a street fair with live music, food and carnival games, the annual student talent showcase at the historic Amphitheater and an alumni craft beer garden.

One of the biggest events of the day occurred just prior to the Red Hawk football game against Christopher Newport University: the unveiling of a plaque to posthumously honor Mills, who was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August.

Mills’ family attended the ceremony, and his wife, Melanie, said she was honored to represent Sam and his journey – at both the Hall of Fame and Homecoming ceremonies.

“We took our place in the Hall of Fame and they encouraged us to call Canton our home, but today coming back to Montclair on this Homecoming, this is our home, New Jersey is our home. Montclair State University is our home,” she said. “We, the Mills family, are honored to share his biggest accolade with all of you and know that you are a part of his journey. Keep Pounding!”

Photo Gallery

Family Fun

Family of four wearing Montclair State hoodies poses for selfie
Photo by John LaRosa
Homecoming attendees sitting in stands, smiling and talking
Photo by John LaRosa
Alumni carrying a toddler
Photo by Shelley Kusnetz
Family smiling under balloon arch
Photo by Shelley Kusnetz

Student Showcase

Student group dancing on campus
Photo by John LaRosa
Group of students participating in dance
Photo by John LaRosa
Aerial view of attendees seated in the amphitheater on campus
Photo by John LaRosa

Pre-Game Ceremony

Group of people standing on football field to honor Sam Mills
The pre-game ceremony honoring football legend Sam Mills ’81. Photo by Mike Peters
Melanie Mills speaking into microphone at podium
Melanie Mills uses her husband’s motto to inspire the Red Hawks to “Keep Pounding.” Photo by Mike Peters
President Koppell posing with the Mills family
President Jonathan Koppell welcomes the Mills family to Homecoming. Photo by Mike Peters
Photo of a the back of a Red Hawk's helmet with "Keep Pounding" printed along the bottom edge
Sam Mills’ inspirational motto adorns the Red Hawks’ helmets. Photo by Mike Peters


Football player holding ball and running
The Red Hawks play a great game but end up losing 14-13. Photo by Mike Peters
Cheerleaders on the field, one mid-flight above team
Photo by Mike Peters
Red Hawk football player number 11 running for a touchdown
Photo by Mike Peters
Rocky poses with young child
Photo by Mike Peters
Game attendees clapping and smiling in the stands
Photo by Mike Peters

For more photos, visit the University’s photo gallery.