COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — As Buckeye nation celebrates homecoming weekend, another celebration is underway.

This year marks 100 years of Ohio State football in The Shoe as fans turned out early to start the tailgate Saturday before the Buckeyes play Rutgers at 3:30 p.m. NBC4 stopped by one tailgate and met a group that has been doing this for 29 years.

Paula Santa was one of those out at 5:30 a.m. and for good reason. The weekend marks a milestone for her as she becomes the new president of the Stadium Scholarship Alumni Society.

The program’s mission is to keep the Stadium Scholarship dormitory alive. Formed in 1933, 75 male students moved into barrack-style living quarters underneath the bleachers. The low-cost dorms highlighted a problem that the university needed to fix: Getting financially challenged students into school. The stadium dorms did just that.

Over the years, the dorms were expanded with up to 360 students living there at a time but in 1999, a stadium renovation meant the closure of the stadium dorms.

With that closure, meant finding new ways to help students. That’s where the Stadium Scholarship Alumni Society comes in.

“The program still exists in scholars east and west on south campus,” said Santa, “We offer scholarships including mentoring programs where alumni get to mentor students where they can share their experiences as a buckeye and as a professional.”