Homecoming 2010 is not a typical homecoming. Concordia favorites, like the bonfire, concert, and football game, are still a part of the tradition, but the Homecoming Committee has added or altered activities that highlight this year’s theme, “Cultivate, Celebrate, Cherish.”
To cultivate new experiences, the Homecoming Committee created the “Homecoming Ticket.” Each student got a ticket through campus mail, and by going to the major events listed and getting the ticket punched, the student is entered to win $300 and other prizes at the Johnny Holm Dance Saturday night.
Homecoming buttons are free this year, as compared to last year’s one dollar cost, because Anna Haugo, homecoming committee chair, said her primary goal this year was to get wider involvement throughout campus.
Even though the buttons are free, students are still eligible for prizes such as gift certificates to restaurants, massages, and an iPod Nano. Each button comes with a slip of paper for the student’s name and campus post office box number that will be entered into prizes drawings.
This year, homecoming T-shirts were made available to alumni for the first time. They are the same T-shirts sold to the current students, but with “alumni” on the sleeve, and this is a way to celebrate a shared experience, Haugo said.
Class reunions will be held on campus, as is the annual case at Concordia, but it is also a relatively unique feature among other colleges.
“Coming into this role [as associate director of alumni relations], I assumed so much about what this was,” Searle Swedlund said. “It should be a gathering of a community and a moment to reconnect with people that were near and dear to you, [but] most institutions will break apart homecoming and reunions.”
Brittany Gronewald, a 2010 graduate, agreed with Swedlund.
“I’m excited to see how Concordia is still thriving,” Gronewald said. “It’ll be cool to see it as an alumni.”
In addition to alumni, student organizations also get a chance to participate in homecoming. Before Saturday’s football game, student organizations can set up underneath the south side of the Jake Christensen Stadium and try to “cultivate, celebrate, cherish” better than any other student organization. The organization that does one or all three the best will win money, Haugo said. The student organization booths will also be a way for alumni to connect to students.
“We want to get people there right away, because that’s a fun way for alumni to connect with students at that time,” Haugo said. “Until then, it’s kind of the student things and the alumni things, and this is a combined event.”
Somewhere in the uniqueness of the “Cultivate, Celebrate, Cherish” goal of the 2010 Homecoming Committee, this homecoming will share one trait with many before it.
“You just see the campus come alive,” Gronewald said.
Alumni and students “have this cross-section where you’re excited about each other’s worlds and hearing those stories,” Swedlund said. “[Current students] keep that fire ignited in a way that alumni want to come back and hear your stories.”
I am a senior majoring in political science and journalism, and I am minoring in music. Next year, I will study law at the University of St. Thomas, and I can’t believe my time at Concordia has gone so quickly.