From the lighting of the luminaries in the Valley to the busy bustle of the street fair, Homecoming and its festivities have been tradition at AU since the university’s days as Anderson College. The theme for Homecoming this year is “reAUnited.”
Scott Tilley, executive director of alumni engagement and annual giving, says that Homecoming this year is about rekindling past relationships.
“Alumni most importantly enjoy reconnecting with friends, faculty and staff,” he said. “It truly is a place where people are reunited with those who matter a great deal to them.
“For most alumni, their years at AU were significant and memorable times. To return and relive those memories through the retelling of stories, or vicariously just by being back on campus, is pretty special.”
Tilley says Homecoming is meant to be a time for students, family and alumni to be united as Ravens.
“The goal of Homecoming—which also happens to be family weekend—is to provide a place for current students, alumni and families to come together one weekend a year, reconnect and celebrate how AU has been and continues to be a place where, like our tagline states, ‘Real Life. Transformed’ has been realized,” he said.
According to Tilley, Homecoming also provides a chance for students and alumni to connect through their experiences at AU.
“It’s a time where students can have an opportunity to engage and network with those who have gone before,” he said. “Whether a current student or an alumni, we’ve all walked the same paths through the Valley, we’ve all experienced the changing of the seasons on campus and we’ve all been in chapel. We have shared experiences, connecting us throughout all generations.”
One of AU’s long-standing Homecoming traditions is the lighting of luminaries throughout the Valley.
“Probably one of the greatest, most memorable traditions are the luminaries in the Valley on the Friday night of Homecoming weekend,” said Tilley. “Our campus is spectacular anyway, but when you light candles throughout the campus, it simply highlights just how spectacular the campus really is.”
The street fair is also a popular Homecoming event. Traditionally held on College Drive, social clubs and academic departments line the streets selling food, merchandise and other interesting experiences.
This year the fair has been moved to the Kardatzke Wellness Center walkway where there is more room for students to socialize with alumni.
Following the street fair on Saturday, the Raven football team will face off against Rose-Hulman at 1:30 p.m. for their Homecoming game.
Other Homecoming sporting events include women’s and men’s soccer games against Franklin. The women’s game will begin at 1 p.m. and the men’s game will begin at 3 p.m.
The traditional Homecoming concert will be held at Park Place Church by the School of Music, Theatre and Dance at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.
There will also be two showings of Encore, put on by the Avanti Boosters, at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Saturday. The theme for Encore this semester is soundtracks. Students will sing songs featured in their favorite films and television shows.
Presence, a male quartet made up of AU alumni, will come together for their 30-year reunion show in York Performance Hall at 7 p.m. on Saturday night.