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In celebration of the new David O. McKay School of Education at Brigham Young University, Homecoming 1996 will honor the school's great namesake who served as both educator and prophet.

Running Oct. 7 through Oct. 13, this year's homecoming will revolve around the truths taught and exemplified by the ninth president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.Chief Sielu from the Polynesian Cultural Center will perform a fire-knife dance during Homecoming Spectacular as part of a special tribute to President McKay's work in the South Pacific.

The choice of President McKay for the homecoming focus is also part of the 75th anniversary celebration of the university's College of Education, which was renamed in September as a school of education.

President McKay, who led the BYU Board of Trustees from 1951 to 1970, once said, "Education is America's most precious asset, her greatest safeguard, her most important, most potentially profitable enterprise."

"Today we still feel President McKay's influence," said George Bowie, chair of the homecoming executive committee. "His beliefs about education and the development of young men and women are as important now as they were 26 years ago, which is why we selected the theme `Echoes of Truth' for homecoming."

Kicking off the week will be a "Lighting the Y" pep rally Monday, Oct. 7, at the Checkerboard Quad.

Other highlights include:

- An opening assembly from 11 a.m. to noon Tuesday, Oct. 8, featuring a tribute to President McKay and appearances by WordPerfect founder Alan Ashton and BYU President Merrill Bateman. Ashton, a grandson of President McKay, will present recollections of his grandfather. Bateman will address the Homecoming 1996 theme, "Echoes of Truth."

- The BYU Student Service Association Baby Contest and Children's Fair Wednesday, Oct. 9. The contest is from 5 to 7 p.m. and the fair from 7 to 9 p.m.

Open to the community, the baby contest will have competitions for children zero to 18 months and children 19 months to 3 years. Registration at the door is free, and parents can enter as many children in as many events as they want.

- The Homecoming Barbecue Friday, Oct. 11, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., which will also have a Polynesian theme. Tickets are $8 through Alumni Activities, 244 ALUM, Provo, UT 84602; 378-6746 or 1-800-437-4663, ext. 6746.

- The annual Homecoming parade starring Disneyland's Mickey Mouse on Oct. 12. It will begin at 8:30 a.m. at the Marriott Center parking lot. The parade is scheduled to go east from the Marriott Center, travel down 900 East, turn on 820 North and then 800 North, turn on 150 East and end at Haws Field.

- BYU taking on the University of Nevada Las Vegas in the homecoming football showdown beginning at noon. Tickets for single games and football ticket packages are available at the Marriott Center Ticket Office, 378-BYU1 or 1-800-322-BYU1.

Information about Homecoming 1996 activities can be found on the Worldwide Web at (http://advance.byu.edu/pc/homecoming96/index.html.)