Homecoming Weekend is one of the marquee weekends during the Springfield College school year. All of those involved with putting the festivities together are under immense pressure each and every year. Somehow it seems they always come through, and this year was no different.
Two women who played critical roles in the weekend’s success are Tamie Kidess Lucey (‘81), director of Alumni Relations, and Shannon O’Neill (‘08), assistant director of Alumni Relations. Both Kidess Lucey and O’Neill were thrilled with the turnout of this year’s Homecoming Weekend.
“Going into the weekend and throughout the weekend, we felt that the turnout was on the higher side of average. We’re very pleased with it,” Kidess Lucey said. “We certainly had, I’m guessing about 1,000 members of the Springfield College family back home for the festivities.”
While the Gymnastics Home Show and the Alumni vs. Students Rope Pull may get a lot of the attention and fanfare, other events like the SC Cupcake Wars and the new Taste of Homecoming were just as successful. O’Neill particularly enjoyed Taste of Homecoming.
“I thought that the Taste of Homecoming was a fantastic event, and it was a first-time program that we offered to current students and alumni. It combined engaging our current students and the population that enjoys Home Show and has been enjoying Home Show for years and years,” O’Neill said. “When they left Home Show, they were able to come out to sort of a fair on the sidewalk leading to the Wellness Center, where student groups were fundraising and selling goods.”
At the event, the local Pioneer Valley Alumni Association donated hot cider, while the Student Alumni Association contributed candy apples and cotton candy. The event was basically a mini version of the always popular Taste of SC, which occurs during Sti-Yu-Ka.
As for Kidess Lucey, there was no particular event that stood out to her as the best from the weekend. Rather, the overall vibe and connections that she saw is what she enjoyed the most.
“It’s very hard for me to pick a favorite part of a Homecoming Weekend. I actually think my favorite part isn’t an actual event, but it’s watching alums connect with each other after months, years, decades without seeing each other, and watching them connect back with the campus and with the current students,” Kidess Lucey said. “That human bond, and watching it unfold is my favorite part of Homecoming.”
Another highlight was of course the rope pull. In this year’s contest, the underclassmen pulled against the alumni, and for the second consecutive year, the alumni came out victorious. This was yet again a very well-attended event. One of the other big activities from the weekend was the Alumni Awards and Athletic Hall of Fame Dinner, which took place on Saturday evening.
“The awards ceremony and Hall of Fame Induction is always a highlight. We honored 10 of Springfield College’s best at that [event], and it was just a very moving ceremony that reminded us all why we’re very fortunate to be a part of the Springfield College family,” Kidess Lucey said.
Though Kidess Lucey and O’Neill are very important parts to what makes the weekend so special, they are far from the only ones to contribute hard work. In addition to the various staff in the alumni offices, there are also a handful of student workers who deserve much credit.
“Another highlight during the weekend is seeing our student workers interact with alumni and their peers here on campus. In past years, we’ve had a rotation of upperclassmen come through, and now we’re in a rotation of students where we have a lot of new workers for our office, and they stepped up and were fantastic throughout the weekend,” O’Neill said. “It’s a lot of hard work, but it really pays off in the interactions they’re able to have and what they’re able to give back to our family. So it was great to see those students step up and play a really large role in making Homecoming a success.”
The preparation for Homecoming Weekend is beyond intense, and all of the work can probably cause a lot of stress. Now that the festivities are in the rearview mirror, however, all of those responsible for making it so successful can reflect on the great times and look ahead to Homecoming Weekend 2013.