As AU prepares for an eventful Homecoming weekend, Ravens past and present anticipate an in-person celebration full of traditions and new festivities.
Unlike last year’s online Homecoming, this year all activities will take place in person, including favorites like luminaries, Encore and the street fair.
Director of Alumni Relations Trent Palmer has been busy ensuring this Homecoming will be one not easily forgotten.
“The theme for this year’s Homecoming and this whole year at AU, is ‘Called to Soar’…being called to soar in our faith and our professions,” Palmer said. “We know our alumni have been soaring out in the world and maybe found those callings when they were here.”
The AU alumni community amounts to roughly 35,000 Ravens. Palmer has been hard at work making sure they all feel “really invited and welcome to come back to campus.”
With major traditions and events like the luminaries and the Helios reception, light is a major theme highlighted for Homecoming.
“Light is just so critical to the history of AU,” Palmer explained. “The eternal flame. Helios representing light stretching up. The luminaries.”
Palmer described the beauty of the luminary experience.
“It’s just a beautiful night to be on campus,” he said. “We light up the Valley with 3000-plus bags. It’s just breathtaking.”
A new addition to the Homecoming schedule is President John Pistole’s book signing. In the Nicholson Library at 9:15 a.m. on Saturday, Pistole will be speaking on his experience working in the FBI during 9/11. Free copies of his book will also be available at the event.
Senior Brayden Collingsworth looks forward to Homecoming every year, and this one is no exception.
“My favorite things to do over Homecoming are going to Encore and walking through the luminaries,” he said.
Collingsworth is heavily involved in multiple events as president of Avanti Boosters, Homecoming king and a member of CAB.
“This year, [Avanti Boosters] are having a dunk tank and selling burgers. During the football game at half time, the court and I will be on the field, as well,” he explained. “As part of CAB, we help set up the street fair and just offer assistance throughout the whole weekend. We also light the luminaries.”
Other events include hot air balloon rides in the Hartung parking lot, the SOMTD Homecoming concert in Park Place Church of God and Cheap Thrills in Reardon Auditorium.
The festivities kick off at 11 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 8 with the Alumni Career Fair in Reardon Lobby and conclude Saturday, Oct. 9 with Encore performances at 7 and 10 p.m.
The full Homecoming schedule can be found at anderson.edu/alumni/homecoming.