Furman alumni from near and far returned to campus Oct. 18-20 for the university’s annual homecoming weekend. The community showed their purple pride both on and off campus at the many events and activities throughout the four-day celebration.
Thursday kicked off with a presentation from Michael Beschloss, the best-selling presidential historian and author of nine books about U.S. presidents, at an event sponsored by the American History Book Club and Forum (AHBC) and Furman University. Following were the annual spirit week competition skits, held by student organizations, and the time-honored tradition of students building homecoming floats on the Furman Mall.
Celebrations continued Friday with a number of special reunion events, including the Golden Paladin Reception for alumni who graduated 50 or more years ago; a behind-the-scenes tour of Furman’s special collections and archives; a retirement reception honoring Gil Einstein, professor emeritus of psychology; and two Paladin victories — the women’s soccer team defeated Wofford 2-0 and the volleyball team beat Mercer 3-2. That evening, alumni, students and families gathered on the mall for bonfires and pep rallies at the homecoming carnival.
Tropical Storm Nester proved no match for the energy and enthusiasm of homecoming Saturday. Alumni, affinity groups and academic departments enjoyed the annual tailgate lunch before cheering on the football team in their game against The Citadel. The festivities continued in downtown Greenville, South Carolina, as Furman teamed up with the Hyatt Regency to host over 600 alumni across 11 class reunion celebrations. Alumni of all ages danced the night away at the official homecoming after-party, headlined by Rev O and the Barnburners. This year’s after-party, also hosted at the Hyatt, boasted a sellout crowd of 400 alumni.
A Sunday service honoring the late Betty Alverson ’57 capped off the weekend. The service was held in Daniel Chapel and celebrated Alverson’s legacy in establishing the Collegiate Educational Service Corps (CESC), now known as Heller Service Corps.
“Homecoming weekend is such a special and meaningful time for the Furman community. It was exciting to welcome generations of alumni to campus and support opportunities to connect with classmates, friends, faculty and staff,” said Executive Director of Alumni and Parent Engagement Allison Foy ’05. “I am proud of my dedicated colleagues and an army of energetic volunteers who made this year’s homecoming weekend an occasion to remember.”
The 2020 homecoming and reunion weekend festivities will take place on Furman’s campus and in downtown Greenville Nov. 6-8, 2020.