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Reconnecting through Homecoming

"Students help celebrate Homecoming"
Every year, Homecoming helps bring returning alumni together with current students at Queen’s through events aimed at renewing connections and fostering new friendships. (Photo by Lars Hagberg)

As only can be expected, when it comes to Homecoming at Queen’s, the thousands of alumni returning to campus will have no trouble filling their schedules or finding new ways to connect with the university.

Every year countless hours go into creating an experience to remember for alumni and at the hub of all this activity once again is Sarah Indewey, Associate Director, Alumni & Volunteer Relations in the Office of Advancement, and her dedicated team. On campus they are also working with faculties, schools, departments, student organizations and groups to make sure that they have the opportunity to highlight the activities they are working on and to present the current campus life to alumni.

Set for Oct. 13-15, Ms. Indewey says that alumni are calling on a daily basis to get the latest updates on Homecoming 2017.

“Alumni are returning from as soon as the Class of 2017 in Reunion-Zero to as far back as Shirley Purkis (Arts’41), who is celebrating her 76th reunion and there are about 3,000 people between those two extremes coming,” she says. “They are from all faculties, so it’s really a great opportunity to showcase current activity to alumni who were once part of that faculty, club or group.”

Connections between alumni and current students continue to grow through Homecoming and there are more activities than ever. New this year is the increased involvement of international students through a partnership with the Queen’s University International Centre (QUIC), while the Residence Society is offering tours of residence rooms to add to the nostalgia.

On Saturday night, the Alma Mater Society will once again be hosting the ReUnion Street Festival, which, Ms. Indewey points out, has become an integral component of Homecoming weekend. The event requires year-round planning and has helped develop strategic interactions with the AMS, as well as community partners such as the Kingston Police.

For Ms. Indewey, the work put in by students is particularly inspiring.

“Working with student leaders is probably my favourite part of the job, because it’s hard enough to think about classes and your own organization and engaging students, but they are also thinking about the people who used to do this, the alumni, and how we can continue to engage them and get them excited about the work we are doing now,” she says. 

Another big part of Homecoming are milestones and this year Math & Engineering is marking its 50th anniversary with a special conference, while the Tricolour Guard – alumni who graduated 50 or more years ago – will once again be filling Grant Hall and Ban Righ Hall with a reception and dinner. More than 400 have confirmed their attendance.

The Tricolour Guard will also be the focus of the alumni parade as it makes its return to the Homecoming football game at Richardson Stadium. A long-standing tradition, as the number of participants grew in recent years the parade had become too cumbersome, interfering with the running of the game itself. Last year, the first in the revitalized stadium, the event was not held. After hearing feedback, and recognizing the importance of celebrating alumni at halftime, a happy medium will see the parade return with the Tricoulour Guard being honoured, as well as the volunteers who have devoted their time to organizing class reunions. 

Another event of particular note, Ms. Indewey points out, is taking place on West Campus, as the Faculty of Education presents the MacClement Lecture, featuring Kevin Lamoureux who will be speaking on Reconciliation and Post-Secondary Education.

For information and schedules visit the Homecoming website (queensu.ca/alumni/homecoming).
Twitter users are encouraged to use the hashtag #QueensHomecoming.