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Hobo Day celebrating 110 years

Group photo of Hobo Day Committee
"The Biggest One-Day Event in the Dakotas" is coordinated by the 18 student-members of the Hobo Day Committee.

Hobo Day celebrates 110 years of South Dakota State University homecoming tradition in 2022.

Festivities kick off Monday with the annual Bum-A-Meal, where SDSU students share a meal with community members, and will culminate with the parade traveling from Medary Avenue to downtown Brookings starting at 9:30 a.m. Oct. 29.

Jim Woster will serve as this year’s Hobo Day Parade grand marshal. 

Woster, unofficially known as “Mr. Jackrabbit,” has been a longtime supporter and champion of the university. The 1962 animal science graduate has made significant service contributions to the university. He has been selected as a Distinguished Alumni, is an honorary “letter-winner” of the Athletic Department and is a past recipient of the SDSU Foundation Jerome J. Lohr Award for Volunteer Leadership. 

Started in 2016, the Hobo Spirit Award recognizes an individual who embodies the hobo spirit and has made a significant contribution to the legacy of Hobo Day at SDSU. This year’s Hobo Spirit Award honoree will be Patrick “Pat” Lyons, Professor Emeritus of Economics. 

Lyons taught more than 23,000 students during his 39-year tenure at SDSU and was recognized as Teacher of the Year five times. Lyons served as the Hobo Day Committee adviser from 1977 to 1984. The award will be presented to the Lyons family at the Hobo Day alumni social on Oct. 28.

Rounding out the Hobo Day program honorees this year are Weary Wil and Dirty Lil. In keeping with tradition, the identities of Wil and Lil are kept secret until halftime of the Hobo Day football game. The Hobo Day Committee offered two hints on the alumni serving as the mascots: Wil is a 1982 mechanical engineering graduate, and Lil is a 1984 home economics journalism graduate.

Review all the Hobo Day events happening this year at

“The committee hopes to see you in Brookings on Oct. 29 for the ‘Biggest One-Day Event in the Dakotas,’” said Matilyn “Matty” Kerr, program adviser for university traditions.