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Written in the Sparks: ASU Homecoming celebrates Sun Devils’ love for alma mater

Doris and Greg Wojtulewicz
October 23, 2014

A few days before the 1964 homecoming game, Greg Wojtulewicz, an engineering sophomore at Arizona State University, and a few friends ended up near the newly built Palo Verde East dorm. In those days, instead of a homecoming parade, students from different dorms worked on elaborate displays.

It was there that he saw and decided to help Doris Welsh, a freshman enrolled at Teachers College who had just started working on a homecoming display along with many of her dormmates.

“There was something about her,” recalled Greg. “She was cute and fun to be around. We were comfortable being around each other right away.”

“At first, I thought his rolled-up Levi’s were so not cool,” she said with a laugh. “Turned out that Greg was a really funny guy I couldn’t wait to spend time with. It took us maybe two or three days to complete the display, and I remember we kept bumping heads while reaching out for the same thing and laughing.”

The pair went on their first date the evening the completed displays from all dorms were put on exhibition. Walking around the display area lit by milky floodlights, they laughed, talked and later held hands for the first time. Almost three years later, Greg dropped on one knee in front of Palo Verde East and asked Doris to marry him.

Truly written in the sparks, the Wojtulewiczes love affair with each other and ASU has continued, bringing them back to the annual homecoming celebrations with their growing family of Sun Devils. They call ASU home, are proud of its history and progress, and haven’t missed a homecoming game in 50 years.

This year, they will join thousands of other Sun Devils and their families in ASU’s 2014 Homecoming celebrations that will take place on all four campuses and feature fun-filled, family-friendly activities.

The festivities will begin on Oct. 27 with a free comedy show featuring American stand-up comedian and actor Hannibal Burress, with special guest Chris D’Elia at ASU Gammage Auditorium. The event is open to only ASU students with student IDs. Tickets are first-come, first-serve. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m.

That’s not all. Some of the free and fun activities and events taking place on all four ASU campuses are listed below:

Oct. 28
City of Lights Dance (students only) – 7 p.m.
AE England and Civic Space Park, ASU Downtown Phoenix campus

Oct. 29
Sparky’s Run and Big Top Carnival
Run check-in begins at 3:45 p.m., carnival begins at 6 p.m.
Las Casas Lawn, ASU West campus

Oct. 30
Devil’s Royale (students only) – 7:30-10:30 p.m.
Student Union, Cooley Ballrooms, ASU Polytechnic campus

Oct. 31
Lantern Walk – 8 p.m.
Southside of “A” Mountain, ASU Tempe campus

The “Sun Devil Homecoming: Written in the Sparks” parade and block party on Nov. 1 will feature more than 100 booths and 70 floats from departments, schools and colleges from across ASU.

The parade will roll down University Drive at 4 p.m. with ASU alumnus and former NFL offensive guard Randall McDaniel serving as its grand marshal. McDaniel is a 12-time Pro Bowler, and a Pro Football and College football Hall of Famer. It will precede the block party that will feature a variety of family-friendly activities.

Among other activities, visitors can stop by the party to learn composting with the help of live worms, have fun with educational science experiments, hold a brain and win a frizzy brain temporary tattoo, get their face painted, step back in time to view costumes from medieval and renaissance times, check out live reptiles, and get autographs from members of the Ring of Honor Society. Delicious food and beverages will also be available for purchase.

The fun will continue into the afternoon/evening as Sun Devils take on the University of Utah Utes at 8 p.m., at Sun Devil Stadium. Tickets are still available for purchase online and by calling the Sun Devil Ticket Office at 480-727-0000.

Parking lots and structures on the northern part of the Tempe campus (north of University Drive) are open five hours prior to kickoff for prepaid season ticket parking passes, and cash lots are open three hours before kickoff. Parking information can be viewed here.

More information, including street closures and a complete schedule of the 2014 Homecoming events and activities, is available at