A little white building behind the current Health Sciences Center has been buzzing with activity in preparation for the annual Homecoming Weekend, which spans October 19-21.
That building, the Alumni House, is home to the Office of Alumni Relations. The office’s staff members decided to wipe the slate clean, changing what homecoming has been, and aim for a more distinctive experience than ever before.
“We’re really trying to appeal to a broad group of alums, and by partnering with other groups on campus like the SGA, everyone can help make sure this is a really rich weekend,” said Deleny Magoffin, the Director of Alumni Relations.
In her first year as the head of the office, Magoffin has set out to maintain some of timeless traditions, but also to revamp the entire weekend with new activities for current students and the returning graduates.
For the first time since 2019, the football team will be home for the weekend, as the Pride take on Salve Regina at noon on Saturday. Typically a centerpiece of the loaded schedule of events, the game uniquely unites the community.
“It’s all about getting everyone together and supporting our current students,” Magoffin said. “Bridging the gap between alums and students is all we hope to do.”
At halftime, another beloved tradition will return, as the alumni look to retain their trophy in the rope pull against a group of students who will look to properly represent the current student body.
Preparations for this year’s Homecoming began back in June, and about 50,000 emails and postcards were sent out to every alumni in the system. One of the office’s main goals is to include the more recent alumni, as the amount of returnees who graduated in the last 20 years is significantly lower than the older generations.
This can be seen with the addition of the young alumni party and cornhole tournament from 4-6 p.m after the game on the Naismith Green.
“I love the analogy of keeping the front porch light on for our alums,” Magoffin said. “For people to know that we are always your home and we’re kind of waiting for you is really important.”
Outside of reconnecting with old friends and professors, a major appeal of the weekend is the ability to network and establish connections with professionals in the field. The bubble of a friendly college campus, where these valuable opportunities are readily available is something that Magoffin and her colleagues urge students to take advantage of.
“You can never meet enough people,” Magoffin said.
Photo courtesy of Springfield College