By Joseph Ringer
Anderson University is celebrating its 105th year of operation at the 2022 Fall Homecoming. AU alumni will be returning to their alma mater for a variety of enjoyable events that graduates, current students, and families can partake in.
Homecoming will take place Oct. 14-15, with events proceeding both on and off campus. Participants in the homecoming festivities can expect an abundance of home sporting events, well-known celebrations such as the homecoming street fair, numerous decade reunions, and anniversaries of Anderson University facilities.
Trent Palmer, Director of Alumni Relations, encourages students to be on campus during homecoming. “You want to be on campus,” said Palmer. “It’s an opportunity for students to rub shoulders with those who have gone before.”
In terms of appeal to both current and past students, Palmer says, “It’s Important for students to come back and see the value, love, and affinity that people have for this place. It bonds us all together.” “Those shared experiences that we all have as Ravens – it’s just so cool to see those unearth on that special weekend.”
Palmer also emphasized the enormous amount of collaboration that takes placewith numerous campus partners, stating, “Homecoming is the monster – in a good way that it is – because of so many people and departments that collaborate and partner to make it big and something worthwhile for our alumni and families.”
The tone of the 2022 Fall homecoming will be set with the Helios reception from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday night. Donuts and hot chocolate can be savored by many, and registration forms for the weekend’s upcoming events can be filled out.
Soon after, a magnificent evening campus illumination will take place in the evening at dusk. Paper bags with flickering tea lights will be strewn across the valley, providing a picturesque scene that students can stroll through and become a part of.
During the evening luminaries, passersby can enjoy live music from Anderson alumni and winner of “The Voice” season six, Josh Kaufman. Kaufman won the singing competition in 2014 and followed his success on “The Voice” with lead roles in the two Broadway musicals Pippin and Home for the Holidays. Kaufman is known to sing an array of genres, including pop, rock, and soul. He will be performing from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. in The Valley.
Closing out Friday’s festivities is the long-standing tradition of “Cheap Thrills,” presented by Dativus men’s social club. Palmer commented that Cheap Thrills is similar to “Saturday Night Live!”, and can be watched by the student body, families, and alumni alike.
Saturday has a full slate of events, including the Homecoming street fair.
The renowned Homecoming street fair will take place on University Boulevard between College Drive and Nursery Road from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.
The street fair will consist of student clubs and organizations promoting events, handing out club information, playing games, selling merchandise and food, and fundraising for their groups. Palmer described the importance of the street fair, noting that “the fair is a fantastic fundraising opportunity for our student clubs and organizations.” Palmer also emphasized the appeal of the street fair for alumni, saying, “the alumni that were a part of the clubs, teams, and residence halls can get excited to support and see what’s happening with the student organizations.”
In addition to numerous student clubs, vendors, and teams handing out information, fairgoers will encounter a giant Rodney the Raven balloon, balloon arches, and can slip down a super slide at this year’s street fair.
Simultaneously, Anderson University alumni of 1972, 1982, 1992, 2002, and 2012 can reunite with old classmates and faculty at the Street Fair Reunion Village.
Palmer anticipates thousands of people will attend the street fair, with it being the most notable event of the Homecoming festivities. He credited Melissa Bond, Anderson University’s director of student engagement, for her help in managing and setting up the street fair.
Rounding out the fantastic arrangement of weekend events Is the “must attend”, as Palmer puts it, Avanti Boosters’ “Encore” on Saturday evening in Reardon Auditorium, with shows at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.
The performances at the show are produced by student instrumentalists and vocalists, and commonly maintain a theme, such as “Disney” or “The 80’s.” Encore has been a long-standing A.U. tradition, with its first show in 1992, making 2022 the 30 year anniversary of Encore. The Fall 2022 Homecoming show will be the first of four shows to occur this school year.
In addition to the many Homecoming events offered this Fall, Anderson athletic teams will compete in a number of home sporting events, including men’s and women’s swimming and diving, back-to-back men’s and women’s games, and a home football game.
The men’s and women’s swimming and diving programs will swim against the Hanover College Panthers at Bennett Natatorium. In connection with the competition, Anderson University is celebrating its 50th anniversary of Bennett Natatorium, with the historic natatorium being erected in 1972.
The women’s soccer game will begin at 1 p.m. on Fridley Field, followed by the men’s soccer game at 3 p.m. Both Anderson teams will compete against the Hanover College Panthers. Currently, the men’s soccer team stands with a season record of 4-6-2. The women’s soccer team stands with a record of 6-3-2.
The men’s football game will take place Saturday at 1:30 p.m. against the Ohio-based Mount St. Joseph University Lions at Macholtz Stadium. Presently, the Anderson University football team is looking to achieve their first win of the season, with their record standing at 0-5.
Palmer also commented on the home sporting events for the weekend, saying, “I do think that people spend time at the sporting events. They gather there and that ends up being fun to watch, but can be reunions in and of itself.”
Other notable events for the weekend include the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance’s Homecoming Concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday evening, as well as the 20th anniversary of Mocha Joe’s and Mocha Joe’s barista reunion, the Dunn Hall renovations ribbon cutting with Jay and Nancy Ricker.
New to Anderson University’s Homecoming event lineup this year, is the alumni golf tournament Friday morning, with tee-off at 11 a.m. at the Anderson Country Club.
Anderson students, families, faculty and alumni have a wide array of events, celebrations, and traditions to look forward to this year at the 2022 Fall Homecoming celebration.
Alumni may register at the Helios reception Friday evening and at the alumni gazebo during the street fair on Saturday. Online registration also is available, along with the full Homecoming schedule, at