ST. PAUL, Minn. (Oct. 05, 2017) - Affinity Plus is the title sponsor of the 2017 University of Minnesota Homecoming Parade, in recognition of the credit union’s decades-long relationship with the university and its students, faculty and staff.
The annual Homecoming parade is Friday, Oct. 20, and begins at 6:30 p.m. The parade route runs down University Avenue SE from 12th Avenue SE to Walnut Street. The theme of this year’s parade is “Tradition Never Graduates”, and Dave Larson, Affinity Plus president/CEO, said that matches the credit union’s commitment to the university.
“For decades, we’ve been establishing meaningful, life-long relationships with students, faculty and staff members,” Larson said.
Amber Shanley, Affinity Plus Minneapolis market manager, oversees the credit union’s branch along University Avenue next to the U’s sprawling campus. Shanley said Affinity Plus serves so many students, faculty, employees and alumni daily “we really believe that Affinity Plus not only serves the U of M community, we’re part of the U of M community.”
Along with participating in the parade, Affinity Plus will be visible throughout Homecoming festivities, with its logo on homecoming billboards and posters on and near the university campus. The credit union also will host an information booth on campus in Cooke Hall, Shanley said.
HOMECOMING AT THE U
Homecoming has a storied tradition at the university, beginning with the Gophers’ first homecoming game in 1914 against the Wisconsin Badgers, according to the U’s historical information. About the time Affinity Plus was born in 1930 – it was then known as State Capitol Credit Union – the U’s Homecoming had become an annual extravaganza. In 1931, Homecoming had a wild west theme with cowboys brought in to perform a rough-riding show. In 1932, the first Homecoming queen was crowned, judged on button sales, popularity, academic standing and beauty.
Devin Graf, University of Minnesota senior and Homecoming Committee participant, said she enjoys the events because it allows students to connect with former Gophers and the greater Twin Cities community.
“The contributions of students, staff and faculty, and from local businesses like Affinity Plus, make Homecoming possible,” Graf said. “Seeing everyone come together to celebrate the U and celebrate our amazing community is truly incredible."