Around this time each year, the Office of Alumni Relations coordinates Springfield College’s Homecoming which, in the words of Director of Alumni Relations Tamie Kidess Lucey, is a “giant family reunion.”
This year, the gathering will take place Oct. 14-16, this upcoming weekend.
Lucey, who attended Springfield College as both an undergraduate and graduate student before beginning to work at the school in 1986, enjoys piecing together the weekend.
“I’m second generation Springfield College. I was brought up being taught about the Humanics philosophy,” Lucey said. “I can’t imagine being anywhere else. Most people don’t get to get up every morning and go to work and say they believe in the place they work at.”
Lucey’s passion for her job is an important characteristic of someone who is in charge of a long-standing tradition such as Homecoming.
Acccording to Lucey, there are a few “Homecoming staples” that carry over from year to year.
In her eyes, the premier event is the 102nd Gymnastics Exhibition Home Show, which will be held 8 p.m. Friday and 7:30 p.m. Saturday. [See Page 12]
“We are so fortunate at Springfield College that we have this jewel in our crown,” Lucey said. “Very few colleges have something as spectacular, meaningful and long-lasting as the Home Show.”
The performance holds meaning to alumni of all ages, and is a good way to tie together the generations of Springfield College.
Athletics will also be on display this Saturday for alumni to root on to victory. Field hockey will take on Wheaton at 11 a.m., men’s soccer duels with Babson at 1 p.m. and the football team faces rival Ithaca at 2 p.m.
At halftime of the football game, the annual Alumni vs. Students Rope Pull will take place. Sponsored by the Student Alumni Association, this event pits the classes against each other in a classic rope pull, with the winner challenging the alumni for the right to be called champion. The Class of 2012 looks to defend their championship from a year ago.
In addition to the weekend staples, three new events have been added to this year’s schedule to breathe fresh life into Homecoming.
SC Cupcake Wars, sponsored by the Student Alumni Association, will be held in Cheney Dining Hall at 12:30 p.m. on Friday. Teams of four may enter by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the contest, each team will be given approximately 10-12 cupcakes and 10-15 minutes to decorate and build a structure with various toppings and edible materials. According to Lucey, their goal is to best depict the theme of the contest, “Homecoming, Halloween, Spirit.” A Dunkin’ Donuts coupon will be presented to all participants.
Open Mic Night, an event that has been held on various days in the past at SC, is also being held as part of the weekend festivities. It will be from 6-8 p.m. on Friday and led by senior Adam Sickler and junior Rob Kearney.
Another exciting new addition is “Minute to Win It,” which will be held at 9:30 p.m. on Friday. Ben Taylor, the director of East Campus, will host the game show-like contest. Prizes will be presented to winners.
Throughout the weekend, the Springfield College Museum, located in Judd Gymnasia, will also be open for tours. Hours will be 1-4 p.m. Thursday, 1-7 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday.
This provides a great opportunity to tour the museum, which has been open since May 19, but only during special events and by appointment, according to SC Archivist Jeff Monseau.
Students, faculty, staff, alumni and their guests will get to experience the history of Springfield College and the YMCA as told through the numerous artifacts on display at the museum, which was once McCurdy Natatorium, a swimming pool. Even the foundation of the museum is a part of SC history.
According to Monseau, the outside tiles, which are visibly older than the rest of the tiles in the room, are the original tiles from the pool. The red line of tiles that goes around the museum represents where the gutter of the pool once stood. The columns are also original, and the roofline has been moved back to its original place.
Monseau also said the museum contains the only YMCA Hall of Fame in existence, which was previously held in Marsh Memorial Chapel since 1985.
A new addition to the YMCA section of the museum is a series of interactive kiosks that can be used to look up biographies of the Hall’s inductees, photos and even some videos.
Among the items that guests can view are a copy of James Naismith’s handwritten student application to Springfield College, a recorded message from YMCA founder Sir George Williams to the class of 1894, original bronze statues by R. Tait McKenzie and the time capsule from the 1910 cornerstone of West Gym.
“I’m amazed continuously, every day, at the history and the ties that this college has with so many important events,” Monseau said. “Every school bills itself as important, the best, [but] I really believe that there is something special about Springfield College, and it is shown through its history.”
Joe Brown can be reached at email@example.com