There is no question about it – alumni definitely come out for Homecoming. All day Saturday the College was teeming with hundreds of past, present and possibly future Lions. Events on Friday and Sunday rounded out a weekend of reunions and celebration.
“I love visiting the campus and seeing how it’s changed since we graduated,” Stacy Foster, class of 2002, said.
Tailgating in the parking lots began as early as 9 a.m. and continued into the late afternoon. The bleachers were packed during the first half of the big game, but spectators steadily filtered out during the second half, even though the game went into overtime. It was evident that those who attended the festivities were most interested in catching up with old acquaintances and drinking lots of beer.
According to the alumni of a former fraternity at the College, Homecoming is the only opportunity they have to get together and have a good time.
Tailgaters grilled food under tents with coolers of beer and stereos blasted music at high volume. Students and alums played intense games of beer pong and ring toss between the parked cars. Others chose to have football catches.
There was a strong feeling of camaraderie in the air throughout the day, with many happy reunions and the occasional playful scuffle breaking out between friends.
“(My favorite part of Homecoming) is running into people I haven’t seen since freshman year,” Mark Calaguio, class of 2004, said.
One alum summed up his feelings about the day in an amusing way when he commented to his friend, “I feel very old and very drunk.”
With such a high level of commotion and excitement, many were surprised at the minimal amount of intervention from Campus Police. Their relaxed presence seemed to be at odds with the recently heightened penalties for underage drinking on campus. According to Tracy Vargo-Boehm, class of 2002, the police were much stricter during past Homecomings.
“Usually they kick you out by halftime, but the game’s over and we’re still here,” Vargo-Boehm said.
For the youngsters in attendance, inflatable moon bounces were set up on the lawn by Lot 4.
After the game, alums congregated in the Brower Student Center Atrium, the Rathskellar and outside in the “beer garden” for the Alumni Happy Hour, part of the 1970s-themed “Brower Power” party. The event celebrated the building’s 30th anniversary with hit songs from the ’70s.
Reunion tables were set up throughout the atrium for numerous student organizations. These included the Student Government Association, College Union Board, Group Student Development Services, Student Finance Board, Black Student Union, Leadership Development Program, WTSR, The African-American and Latino Alumni Network and alumni from the business, law and justice, nursing and music programs.
Other Homecoming events included an alumni-exclusive luncheon with College President R. Barbara Gitenstein and former presidents Harold Eickhoff and Clayton Brower on Saturday, and the College Athletics Annual 5K Walk-Run around campus on Sunday.