For the last few weeks, things have been really busy around the Alumni House. Everyone is preparing for all of the Homecoming events. I spoke with the Associate Director of Alumni Programs Amanda Shoemaker about all the Alumni & Friends Events that are taking place during Homecoming 2014. She said they have a lot planned for everyone during Homecoming. It all kicked off with Celebrating Town and Gown last Thursday. Then, last Friday, alumni, friends, students, faculty and staff participated in the annual Paint the Paws event.
Fast forward a week, and now, Homecoming weekend is upon us with lots of events. Tomorrow starts with the Alumni & Friends Social at the Alumni House from 5 to 9 p.m. I will be here from 5 to 7 p.m. so stop by and introduce yourself to me, your Alumni Association blogger. I am very excited to mingle with all of you! Then on Saturday, bright and early, the events start taking place. At 8 a.m., the “Old Stompin’ Ground Runaround” 5k Fun Run/1.5 mile walk begins. Registration starts at 7 a.m. and closes at 7:45 a.m. at the Alumni House. For details on the race route, visit http://wiu.edu/alumni/race.php.
If you graduated in 1964, 1974, 1984, and 1989, you are invited to a Reunion Recognition Brunch and Social at 8:30 a.m.; preregistration isn’t required but preferred. There will also be an All-Alumni Breakfast at the Alumni House with complimentary coffee and donuts starting at 9:30 a.m.
The parade kicks off at 10:30 a.m. and after the parade “The Right Place” tent is open from noon to three, which is directly north of Hanson Field. It’s a place to gather before the football game and talk to the various colleges and departments. Anyone can come to the tent; you don’t need a ticket to get in. You only need a ticket if you want to feast on a great lunch for only $5. They are serving brats, hamburgers, hotdogs, potato chips, pasta salad, cupcakes and drinks. A special thank you goes to MidAmerica National bank for their support of “The Right Place.” At 3 p.m., the Leathernecks take on North Dakota State.
I asked Amanda how she has been preparing for all of the different events.
“It involves a lot of work and organization; we have a checklist that’s about six pages long of items that we need to complete every year to make sure things run smoothly. Everything from working with an offsite tent company to working with Sodexo catering here on campus…we gave a hand in almost every Homecoming activity on campus. It works well that we work closely with the Office of Student Activities because we cater to alumni and they cater to the students. We are all celebrating one homecoming so it is important everyone can celebrate together. We work with lots of different entities,” said Shoemaker.
The Alumni Programs staff organizes more than 50 events every year, but Homecoming is their big event. The Alumni staff hopes to see countless numbers of alumni and friends returning back to their alma mater to reminisce about all the great memories they had at Western.
To see what’s been happening on campus during Homecoming 2014 this week, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcTJAhS-6TY. For a detailed schedule of this year’s Homecoming events, visit http://wiu.edu/alumni/homecoming.php.