Assistant Media Editor
Homecoming weekend will kick off this weekend with an array of events starting on Thursday with renowned anthropologist Richard Leakey speaking about the exploration of a life of discovery and activism.
It will come to a conclusion on Sunday following the Farwell Brunch. Events in between said dates will include Cooper Cup competitions, sporting events, a homemade bake sale presented by Aramark, the home show, and the student-favorite rope pull during halftime of the football game on Saturday.
Leakey speaks at 7 p.m. in the Campus Union Dodge Room. He is a well-known humanist, politician, and conservationist, among other things, from Kenya.
“I wasn’t really sure who [Leakey] was when I was told that I had to go,” said Springfield College sophomore Sam Catalano, who will attend with his chemistry class. “But after learning about him I’m really excited to hear what he has to say. It should be a great event.”
The event is expected to draw a huge crowd. Not to worry, however, as the overflow attenders will be stationed in Fuller Arts Center to watch a streaming of the event.
The event is made possible due to the generosity of Carlton and Lucille Sedgeley. Carlton, who graduated in 1963, is one of many alumni who will be on Springfield College’s campus this weekend. Carlton will receive the 2014 Distinguished Alumnus Award at the Alumni Awards and Athletic Hall of Fame Dinner on Saturday.
The night will not end at the conclusion of Leakey’s presentation, however, as one of two Cooper Cup events will be held on the stage of the Campus Union. Teams of six will partake in a Pop Trivia Thursday. Trivia will include celebrities, sports, music, and much more. The other Cooper Cup event will be the following day on the Naismith Green (rain location: Campus Union) from 4 to 6 p.m. It is entitled The Hunger Project: Feeding Children Everywhere. The event has a goal of creating 10,000 meals that will eventually be donated to The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. Campus Activities Board, Office of Student Activities, and the Office of Student Volunteer Programs will sponsor the heart-warming event.
On Friday at 8 p.m. Blake Arena will hold the 105th edition of the Gymnastics Exhibition Show. The show, which is often referred to as the Homeshow, will also be displayed on Saturday night at 7:30.
The gymnasts will display the century-long history of gymnastics at Springfield College with the central theme of “Motion and Film.” Tickets can be purchased in the main lobby of the Campus Union or at the door of the event at $5 for students and those younger than 18, $7 for faculty (can purchase up to 4 tickets at this price) and senior citizens, and $10 for adults. The show often sells out, so be sure to purchase tickets in advance.
Aside from the gymnasts putting on this magnificent show, the men’s soccer team will play at 1 p.m. on Saturday. The Pride (5-4-5, 1-2-1 in NEWMAC games) will face the Babson College Beavers (9-4-0, 2-2-0) in a pivotal NEWMAC match.
The playoffs, which will begin on Nov. 5, will only feature the top 5 teams. Currently Babson College is No. 4 and Springfield College is tied for the No. 5 spot with the Clark University Cougars (5-8-1, 1-2-1).
An hour after the soccer team begins the football team will follow suit, as the Pride (4-2, 2-1 in Liberty League games) will take on the United States Merchant Marine Academy Mariners (2-4, 0-3). In addition to homecoming, this will also be the Pride’s Breast Cancer Awareness Game. Fans in attendance are encouraged to wear pink in support, as coaches and players of both teams will do the same.
Perhaps the greatest part of homecoming is all of the alumni coming back home to their roots.
“I’m excited to see some of the alumni come back,” said Springfield College junior Billy Peterson. “It will be a lot of fun to hang out with them again. Just like the old times.”
In addition to the events that Springfield College holds for alumni, many classes also hold a private event for their class. The Class of 1974 has perhaps the most well-known event. Each and every homecoming weekend they hold a class reunion at the Pueblo on East Campus. The night is home to food, reminiscing, music, and a lot of fun.
“The turnout every year is incredible and it really speaks to the family-type atmosphere that Springfield College gave us when we went here,” said Norm Kosciusko, who is the President of the Alumni Association. “It’s not like people just live down the road. Everyone has some type of a responsibility—family, jobs, etc.—that they most momentarily put down to attend then event.”
Kosciusko comes year-after-year from St. Petersburg, Fla., but unfortunately is unable to attend this year. The event, however, must and will go on without him.
Some of the reminiscing will be done in the form of recognition, as 10 alumni will be coming back to Springfield College this weekend to receive an award during the Alumni Awards and Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Dinner. The dinner will begin at 7:30 and will be preceded by a reception at 6:30.
During the event six former Springfield College athletes will be inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame. Inductees receiving the honor range from the class of 1949 to 2008, and right in the middle of all of it is current Springfield College men’s and women’s diving coach Peter Avdoulos (Class of 1985). He is entering his 30th season as coach, and the Avdoulos legacy will not end when he retires, as two of his daughters attend school at Springfield College.
Advanced registration is required for both events.