EMU’s Annual Homecoming and Family Weekend begins tomorrow. Here at EMU, it is held not only to celebrate the presence of our graduated comrades, but also to welcome to our temporary home those family members we have left behind in the pursuit of knowledge.
Jonathan Patterson, senior, thinks, “It’s really cool that people are still willing to make an effort to revisit their school decades later to catch up with each other and reminisce about their college days and memories.”
Whether the attendees are traveling ten or ten thousand miles, this weekend is an opportunity to set aside time to enjoy, reconnect, and revisit those old relationships.
Not everyone, however, experiences the joy of having parents and alumni come. “My parents never actually come to homecoming because fall break is close behind,” says Victoria Campbell, sophomore.
Senior Janet Spain states, “I really don’t participate in any of the activities, I may go to the seminar, for a class. My parents don’t come. I see it as a time when more people than normal show up and disrupt the normal routines of many students, kinda like a prospective student weekend.”
Frequently, homecoming is associated with basketball and football games, tailgating, a dance, and an elected homecoming court. Campbell reflects, “Last year, the idea of homecoming confused me because in high school it’s football, pep rallies, and a dance. Here it’s when alumni and parents come.”
However, EMU’s homecoming tends to shy away from the more common traditions of celebration in favor of focusing on the historical purpose of the occasion: to welcome back our alumni. As a result, the campus is featuring a donor appreciation banquet friday evening, a nurses’ reception, Hall of Honor breakfast, class reunions for years ending in “0” and “5”, an alumni reception and program at Martin Chapel, an alumni art exhibit, and a reunion band concert on Saturday.
Finally, the festivities will end with an invitation-only award recipient dinner on Sunday, followed by an annual Alumni Association meeting the following morning.
With all of the alumni-oriented activities planned for the weekend, it may seem that EMU is neglecting its current students and family. However, this year, they are also featuring a VACA art showing and sale, poetry readings, and lectures from former alumni with the entire campus invited to join.
Joseph Gascho, 1968, cardiologist, medical professor, poet and photographer is presenting at several of the events.
Andrea Saner, assistant professor of Eastern Mennonite Seminary’s Old Testament, Bible & Religion department is the speaker for the Haverim breakfast, and Brian Plum, ’01, president and chief executive officer of Blue Ridge Bank of Luray, Va. is guest speaking for the business and economics breakfast.
With child care provided, the weekend is set to appeal to people of all ages with a two-mile color fun run, as well as field hockey, and women’s and men’s soccer games running throughout the day on Saturday. On top of that, there will be chapel on Friday, a festive gathering on the lawn of Lehman Auditorium on Saturday, and a final worship service on Sunday.
Friday kicks off with a fundraising golf match, and we end on Monday with the Alumni Association Council Meeting.
Written by Esther Ajayi, Staff Writer