OCTOBER 11, 2012
by Kylee Perez, Contributing Writer
For one week, Furman University is bringing its entire family back to campus.
Furman alumni, students and friends will celebrate Homecoming 2012 with a week of reunions, student activities and events. The festivities begin Oct. 15 and culminate Oct. 20, when Furman’s football team hosts Georgia Southern at Paladin Stadium.
“Our No. 1 objective is to make sure everyone feels welcome and has an enjoyable time,” said Leo Fackler, associate director of alumni.
Helping boost spirit on campus are a series of Furman traditions, ranging from chalking the campus to performing horse play skits at McAlister Auditorium. Furman’s Greek community will begin chalking the streets Oct. 16 and student organizations across campus will build parade floats Oct. 18 on Furman Mall. This year, the artwork will depict Furman through the ages.
On Oct. 18, the mall will be filled with thousands of students, alumni and friends for Furman’s traditional bonfire and pep rally. The following evening there will be a carnival on the mall as well as a homecoming dance.
For the students involved in the float building process, the tradition isn’t for the sleep deprived. Many students will spend most of the night on the mall prepping their float for homecoming weekend.
“We bring out generators so they can work throughout the night,” said Hannah Haas ‘13 (Saint Thomas, Pa.), the student alumni council’s homecoming chair. “It’s a very social activity and there’s a lot of people out on the mall.”
The weekend will also include the beginning of some new traditions.
The Furman University Student Activities Board is planning to turn Blackwell E Field into a skating rink on Oct. 16. Students can enjoy music, fresh air, and a beloved pastime on wheels. One day later, the field-turned-skating-rink will be transformed into a zipline park.
“We want to build a connection between current students and homecoming so that when they graduate, they are encouraged to come back.” said Kaitlin Parham ‘13 (Hendersonville, N.C.), president of the Student Alumni Council.
The biggest celebration, however, may be reserved for classes celebrating reunions this year. Classes ending in years two or seven will have an opportunity to participate in a number of special events, including a reunion dinner and group stroll around the lake. Alumni can reserve their spot at these free events by registering online before Oct. 12.
Other alums can take advantage of other events. On Saturday, for instance, alums can reconnect with their former instructors by attending one of the open houses for each academic department. Alumni can find their favorite professors at each department’s drop-in location.
The Furman Alumni Association will also host a tailgate on the lawn of Cherrydale Alumni House before Saturday’s football game. Following the game, young alums who graduated between 2001 and 2012 can head over to Timmons Arena for happy hour.
“One reason to come is to reconnect,” Fackler said. “It’s a great opportunity for our alums to reconnect with classmates, old friends and our campus.”