t takes more than great food and festive
decorations to pull off a great tailgate
party. Just ask Sac State's Department
of Speech Pathology and Audiology and the
Speech Pathology and Audiology Alumni
Chapter—the holder of the Golden Spatula,
which honors the top tailgate at each year's
It's a team effort that has led to four
Golden Spatulas in five years, including the
"We try to incorporate the community and
our families as much as we can," says Teala
Kennedy '08, MS '12 (Speech Pathology),
president of the alumni chapter.
Sac State supporters tailgate before each
home football game in the parking lot just east of
Hornet Stadium, but the Homecoming festivities
are uber-spirited. The Homecoming Festival and
Tailgate Zone include live bands, jump-houses
for kids and a variety of food and games.
The Golden Spatula judging is the purview of
Sac State Alumni Association Board members,
who visit each of close to two dozen tailgating
TO THE VICTOR GOES
THE "GOLDEN SPATULA"
groups, ranging from students to football
parents to alumni to community boosters. Points
are awarded based on: taste of the culinary
offerings, creativity, presentation and hospitality.
Usually more than 100 students, several
faculty members and dozens of speech
pathology and audiology alumni join in the
Homecoming tailgate. Students involved
with the National Student Speech Language
Hearing Association begin planning months
in advance as they make decorations,
costumes and design games for Hornet fans
to enjoy in the parking lot.
"It's amazing what they put together," says
faculty advisor Robert Kraemer.
Their food isn't always fancy, but it is
festive. Hot dogs are usually the main course—
sometimes accompanied by homemade Stinger
Sauce courtesy of staff member David Gleason,
along with Hornet-themed cupcakes and
Laureen O'Hanlon, former department chair,
led the efforts to make the tailgate an event.
"She was a competitive soccer player so she
said, 'If we're going to do this, we're going to do
it whole-heartedly,' and from there it took on a
life of its own," Kennedy says. "Students, faculty
and alumni come together for school spirit and
to support our team."
Want a shot at the coveted Golden Spatula? Visit SacStateAlumni.com to find out how to host your own
tailgate party during this year's Homecoming Festival. For game tickets visit hornetsports.com.
Download the recipe
for the Golden
Sauce at csus.edu/