Darnell Autry, a member of Northwestern’s 1996 Rose Bowl Team, and former Chicago Bears and Philadelphia Eagles halfback, will serve as Grand Marshal for Northwestern’s 2005 Homecoming Parade the weekend of Oct. 28 to 31.
Autry left Northwestern at the end of his junior year in 1996 to turn professional.
After his three-year National Football League career ended, he focused on establishing a career as an actor. Autry appeared in a couple of episodes of the television series “What I Like About You,” as well as an episode of the CBS television drama “The District,” and made a national “Tylenol 8 Hour” commercial, after he played in Philadelphia in 2000.
When Autry left Northwestern nearly a decade ago, he made a personal vow to earn an undergraduate degree in communication. While pursuing careers in football and acting, he didn’t have time to complete his coursework.
Last spring, Autry re-enrolled as a full-time undergraduate student at the School of Communication where he is currently taking five classes. His plan is to start his own nation wide commercial real estate company someday.
In addition to leading the Friday night parade, Autry plans to attend other Northwestern Homecoming festivities the weekend of Oct. 28-30 that will include a pre-parade concert and pep rally and a Saturday night (Oct. 29) football game against the Michigan.
While current and former students participate in various activities centered on socializing with classmates or former classmates and athletics and the public is welcome to attend the concert, parade and football game.
• During the 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28 Homecoming Concert and Pep Rally at Cahn Auditorium, the Wildcat Marching Band will perform pre-game, half-time and Ryan Field favorites during a program directed by School of Music faculty member Daniel J. Farris. Admission is free and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.
• The Homecoming Parade begins at 8 p.m. at the intersection of Sheridan Road and Chicago Avenue and proceeds north on Sheridan Road to Lincoln Street.
This year’s Homecoming parade theme is “150 Years of NU Pride,” a celebration of a century-and-a-half of classes on the Evanston campus.
• The Oct. 28 parade will include University President Henry S. Bienen; Parade Marshall Darnell Autry; the Wildcat Marching Band; Marching Band alumni; the Evanston Township High School Marching Band along with several other high school bands including Chicago’s Lincoln Park High School and Lakes High School in Lake Villa; Alumni Association President Richard H. Dean; Willie the Wildcat, cheerleaders, drum majors and color guard; and 2005 Parade student co-chairs Amanda Janilus and Derek Linkous.
• The Saturday night (Oct. 29) Homecoming game at Ryan Field will pit the Wildcats against the Michigan Wolverines. Reserved seating is $50. For information about the starting time and to order tickets, call the Wildcat Ticket Office at (847) 491-CATS or visit <NUsports.com>.
For more information about 2005 Homecoming events visit <http://groups.northwestern.edu/homecoming/>.