Looking forward to Homecoming

Looking forward to Homecoming

October 19, 2015


[Queen's Homecoming]
Homecoming is always an opportunity for alumni to reconnect with Queen’s University, former colleagues, faculty and current students. (University Communications)

Each year thousands of alumni return to Queen’s to reconnect with one another and relive some of their student experiences.

Homecoming 2015 

Main hub for the weekend is Grant Hall – Alumni Meet and Greet 
Friday, Oct. 23 11:30 am-6 pm Saturday, Oct. 24, 8:30 am-12 pm 
Kick off the Homecoming Weekend by visiting Grant Hall. Representatives from Queen’s Archives, student clubs, Athletics and Recreation, Queen’s Bands and more, are eager to welcome you home to Queen’s. Pick up your reunion pin at the registration tables, along with any football tickets that you’ve purchased. 

Academic Excellence events: 

School of Policy Studies presents “Dear Premiers: How Does 20 Years of Fiscal Austerity Sound?” by Don Drummond, Stauffer-Dunning Fellow 
Friday Oct. 23, 5:30-7 pm, School of Kinesiology and Health Studies, Rm 100. 
In this presentation Don Drummond will explain why economic and revenue growth will be insufficient and what provinces and territories can do to bolster growth. All welcome. 
Battle of the BooksDepartment of English 
Saturday, Oct. 24, 10:30 am-12 pm, Stauffer Library, Speaker’s Corner 
Eight teams will do battle to persuade the audience that their pick merits the 2015 Giller Prize. Teams participate in a series of three elimination brackets, with just three minutes to make their case. Open to all. 

Queen’s Spirit events: 

Engineers Without Borders – Pumpkin Smash 
Friday, Oct. 23, 12-3 pm, Agnes Benidickson Field 
A chance to chat about the work the group does in the community and the overseas ventures it supports. Watch as they drop a 500-pound pumpkin at 2:30 pm. 
Queen’s Solar education Centre Open House  
Saturday, Oct. 24, 12-4 pm, Upper parking lot West Campus 
Join alumni, students and community members at the QSEC, an off-grid home powered exclusively by solar energy. Team members will be offering tours of the home. 
AMS ReUnion Street Festival  
Saturday, Oct. 24, On Union Street 
A celebration of Queen’s pride and spirit that offers alumni and students the opportunity to interact through a variety of activities and entertainment. 

Homecoming 2015, slated for Oct. 23-25, is a time of excitement and renewal for the returnees as well as the university.

Making sure the annual event will be one to remember for both the alumni and Queen’s takes months of planning and preparations, as well as a lot of hard work by staff and volunteers.

With Homecoming mere days away, everything is coming together quite nicely, says Sarah Indewey, Manager of Volunteer Relations and Reunions at the Office of Advancement.

Registrations for this year’s Homecoming weekend have topped 2,700, well ahead of last year’s numbers, she says.

Classes having milestone graduation anniversary years will enjoy special programming hosted by the university. Events are planned for classes celebrating their five-year and 25-year anniversaries, as well as those who graduated 50 or more years ago, better known as the Tricolour Guard.

One of the nice surprises this year is a significant increase in the number of alumni returning for their five-year reunion.

“There’s been some great work done in terms of engaging the younger alumni population. We started a pilot program last year to start recognizing the fifth reunion in a more significant way,” Ms. Indewey says, adding that organizers worked with Colin McLeod (Artsci’10), who is the Director-at-Large, Young Alumni for the Queen’s University Alumni Association (QUAA). “They did a strategic analysis of what it is their classmates are interested in that are coming back to the reunion.”

The result is an event that will be hosted at The Underground ahead of the AMS’ ReUnion Street Festival. There are more than 300 confirmed attendees, while a similar event last year attracted less than 100. Overall, more than 500 members of the Class of 2010 will be attending their first Homecoming, a number never seen before.

“So that committee and that approach really blew things out of the water,” Ms. Indewey says. “And that’s an important group for us to think about in the future when engaging the alumni. It’s a really positive win for this year.”

That positivity also reaches to the hundreds of volunteers who help make Homecoming the best event it can be.

There are over 200 student volunteers who help out throughout the weekend with the signature reunion activities as well as the wide variety of activities hosted by the faculties.

Another important aspect of Homecoming is philanthropy, particularly through class giving. Many classes choose Homecoming as a time to make a difference at their alma mater, usually with direct benefit to students.  For example, BioSci’75 is working to raise $5,000 to purchase a number of one-person bunkies in support of students conducting field research.

“Class giving reconnects alumni with the student experience. It’s another way that they (alumni) can continue to make a difference at Queen’s and contribute to the traditions that were memorable to them as students,” says Tom Harris, Vice-Principal (Advancement), adding that more than 100 volunteers are working on this year’s philanthropy effort. “It speaks volumes about the dedication and pride that surrounds Homecoming weekend. We look forward to welcoming our alumni home, and to a safe and respectful celebration of the Queen’s spirit.”

For more information and schedules visit the Homecoming 2015 website. Also the Homecoming Program Booklet is available online.