Homecoming arrives earlier than usual this year, taking place through the end of this weekend.
Many traditional events are scheduled, as well as some special new activities. Coronation of the homecoming court was scheduled for yesterday’s chapel.
Tomorrow, five AU alumni from Los Angeles, California will be joining Scott Tilley in chapel.
Not only will students be hearing from the alumni, but they will also get a sneak peak of the film during the Alumni Showcase, held at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Thursday night, Student Life is hosting a bonfire for students, allowing them to kick off the homecoming weekend and engage with each other in the Smith-Martin Courtyard.
The weekend activities will be in full swing by Friday afternoon starting with the Raven Career Fair at 12:30 p.m., where students will be provided with the opportunity to meet with potential employers. Later in the afternoon, the Wilson Gallery will be opening at 4 p.m., and at 6 p.m., the Raven baseball team will be hosting a reunion dinner for 1974-1978 baseball alumni.
The traditional lighting of the luminaires will take place on Friday, at 7 p.m. in the Valley, along with the Helios reception.
Tilley said that the reception is a favorite for many.
“It is significant because it is a time where folks can connect for the first time through the homecoming weekend,” he said.
A special event this year is the School of Music, Theatre and Dance homecoming concert, featuring Jon McLaughlin—one of the School of Music, Theatre and Dance’s most successful alumni, with a career as a professional singer and songwriter.
A concert is hosted every year during homecoming weekend, featuring one of the school’s ensembles, along with presenting an Outstanding Music Alumni Award. This year, the orchestra and the wind ensemble will be playing during the concert. McLaughlin will be receiving the award and playing a piece of music.
Dr. Jeffrey Wright, dean of the School of Music, Theatre and Dance, says, “The concert is something that many alumni come back for. It always has great energy and is an amazing time to renew relationships. It is also an amazing time for us to feature students along with one alum.”
Friday night’s concert is at 7:30 p.m. at Park Place Church of God. There is no admission charge, and Wright “would love for the whole campus community to come and join them as part of their homecoming celebration.”
For worship lead by alumni at 8:30 p.m., which is a new event in the line-up of homecoming activities, head across the Valley to the library steps after the reception at Helios. The final event of Friday night will be Cheap Thrills, held by Dativus at 9:30 p.m. in Reardon Auditorium.
Although Friday is packed with different activities across campus, there are many more to participate in on Saturday, Sept. 29. The Anderson City Market, which includes Anderson University artisans, begins bright and early at 8 a.m. on Saturday.
Throughout the morning, multiple breakfasts will be held across campus at 8:30 and 9 a.m. for various groups.
The Homecoming Affinity Breakfast will take place in the Olt Student Center, and the 1960s and All African American Alumni Groups Breakfast will be in the Heritage Dining Room. The Hispanic Latino Association and Cultural Resource Center will be hosting Café con Pan and the Boosters Breakfast will be in the Kane Dining Room.
The traditional Street Fair begins at 10:30 a.m. on University Boulevard, which will be closed to traffic and lined with activities and vendors.
The day will also be filled with athletic events. Some are all about AU alumni: the 1980s to 2002 men’s soccer alumni game starts at 8:15 a.m. on the soccer field, followed by a women’s alumni soccer game at 9:30 a.m., along with a 2003-2017 men’s soccer alumni game and, lastly, a women’s volleyball alumni game at 3 p.m. in O.C. Lewis Gymnasium.
Saturday’s schedule is also full of current student athletic competitions. The volleyball team will be facing off with Mount Saint Joseph at 12 p.m. in O.C. Lewis gymnasium, women’s soccer will take on Transylvania University at 1 p.m., the football team kicks off at 1:30 p.m. against Hanover College, and men’s soccer will challenge Transylvania University at 3:30 p.m.
At 2:30 and 7:30 p.m., the Boze Lyric Theatre will present “Violet,” a story about a young woman’s journey, set in 1964.
The dedication of the Centennial Prayer Labyrinth will take place at the site of the old Warner Dome Auditorium at 1 p.m.
Wright says, “Bringing alumni back is always a highlight of the year, students can see them as models of what they can accomplish and learn how they made their path.”