A student by the name of Adam Ducher brought up a concept he had seen attempted at the University of Missouri
that had students dress up as hobos and bums that was ultimately
dropped from their homecoming celebrations for various reasons. Without a
real event to partake in during homecoming, the concept took wing with
much enthusiasm from the student body.
The first Hobo Day occurred November 5, 1912. The men were to grow
beards for approximately one month and the women were to dress as Indian
maidens on Hobo Day. After all the preparation was complete, the entire
student body participating in Hobo Day journeyed to the train station
to meet the opposing football team. According to the student newspaper,
"The onlooker could not have told whether he was in an 1849 Indian
village or a Twentieth Century division point on the Northwestern
railroad." The new homecoming celebration was a huge success and is
still currently in place.
In 2010, the University Program Council (UPC) assembled memorabilia from past decades of Hobo Days. Receiving Donations from past board members, as well as current students and faculty, the Hobo Day Gallery was unveiled.