SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Hundreds of Missouri State University alumni visited their old stomping grounds this weekend to watch the Bears win their football game and connect with old classmates.

“Being a former athlete, former football player, I’ve been coming back for quite some time now,” said Michael Gailey, alumnus of the class of 2002. “And I love seeing the Bears, love seeing the people, love cheering on the Bears.”

Homecoming weekend was a fun event for both students and alumni alike, and all had something to look forward to.

“Honestly, the tailgate,” said Alexis Hays, a current MSU student. “It’s so fun to see so many people.”

“These guys are interested in being little Bears, so they love it too,” said Sarah Williams, whose husband graduated from the university. “So, we just came down to celebrate. They’re on fall break and we’re from St. Louis, so we came down to, like, hang out and go to the game.”

“Football games are always a fun place to be,” said Reagan Hegarty, an MSU football fan. “And homecoming week especially makes it just 10 times more fun than it usually is.”

Alumni said they also like to see how much the campus has changed since they graduated from the university.

“Seeing the campus grow to what it is today,” said Mike Williams, alumnus of the class of 2004. “Which is absolutely phenomenal.”

And with a 28-24 win over the Murray State Racers, homecoming was made that much sweeter for the alumni who were in town.

“Just seeing all the familiar faces that you’ve seen for so long and then you miss those faces,” Gailey said. “Then you see them again, so homecoming is always a special occasion and then when you get a win on top of that, man that’s just icing on the cake.”