It’s Homecoming weekend at Mercer University, and the festivities continue with a matchup you won’t want to miss. Join us as the Bears take on the Samford Bulldogs at 3 p.m. Nov. 11 at Five Star Stadium. Here are three things to know before you go. 

A win could mean Mercer’s first playoff berth 

two football players leap in the air. the word touchdown is on the scoreboard
Mercer celebrates a touchdown during the Oct. 21 home game against Wofford. Photo by Christopher Ian Smith

For the third-straight season, Mercer will head into its regular season finale needing one win to all but clinch the program’s first berth into the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision playoffs. Standing in its way this season is a familiar foe in Southern Conference nemesis Samford, who derailed the Bears’ playoff hopes last season with a double overtime stinger in Birmingham, Alabama. 

The Bulldogs lead the all-time series with Mercer, 15-13-1, but have come away empty on their last two trips to Macon. That includes the 2021 meeting in which the Bears rallied back from a fourth quarter deficit to stun the Bulldogs, 45-42. 

African American Alumni Network puts on special Homecoming event 

a group photo of delta sigma theta
Members of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority tailgate before the 2021 Homecoming football game. Photo by Jan Crocker

The African American Alumni Network will celebrate its 15th anniversary with a special African American Alumni Homecoming Experience at 11:45 a.m. in front of the stage on Black Field. The event will recognize alumni of Mercer’s historically Black sororities and fraternities, and members of the organizations will step, stroll and chant.  

Founded in 2008, the mission of the African American Alumni Network is to connect African American alumni to Mercer, current students and each other. The group contributes to scholarships for deserving minority undergraduate students through Mercer’s federal TRIO programs. With over 1,500 members, the African American Alumni Network is the University’s first and largest affinity group recognized by the alumni office. The group is led by alumni Katherine Elliott Ficklin and Ken Blair. 

The Tams headline the Ford Concert Series

black field gameday schedule
The game day schedule for Nov. 11. Graphic by Mercer Athletics

Black Field opens at 10 a.m. for tailgating. There fans will find the Fall Line Beer Garden, where those ages 21 and older may enjoy locally brewed craft beer. At Dr Pepper Fansville, kids can jump and play on inflatables. Starting at 11 a.m., alumni should stop by the Alumni Hospitality Tent and Tailgate, where those who registered can pick up their free Homecoming T-shirt. Additional shirts will be available while supplies last. At 12:30 p.m., make your way over to the Bear Walk to high-five the Bears as they head into the stadium. 

After the Bear Walk, chart-topping vocal group The Tams will take the stage at 12:45 p.m. The Tams have been entertaining audiences with their special blend of beach music for over 50 years. You may know them from their song, “Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy,” which was their greatest U.S. chart success and sold over 1 million copies. Today, The Tams continue to entertain audiences with fun and fresh music they describe as a mixture of smooth soul and R&B. 

Mercer vs. Samford  

When: 3 p.m. Nov. 11 
Where: Five Star Stadium 
Tickets: $15-$25, buy online at 
On Radio: Mercer Sports Network – 100.9 The Creek FM or 

Todd Anderson contributed to this report. Feature photo by Christopher Ian Smith

Jennifer Falk is director of digital communications at Mercer. She edits and writes feature stories for The Den and examines web data and analytics to drive content decisions. She also creates and supervises the creation of content for primary University web pages and e-newsletters.