Homecoming 2005: A Celebration for Alumni and Students
No matter where life may take the 200,000-plus living UC grads, their old college campus will always be home. That pretty much makes Homecoming a Bearcat family holiday, and tens of thousands of UC family members celebrated during the Oct. 15 festivities.
Go East, Young Bearcat! was the Homecoming 2005 theme, recognizing UCs entry into the BIG EAST Conference and the first-ever BIG EAST game played at Nippert Stadium. Perfect fall weather greeted Bearcats of all ages, many of whom also participated in special Homecoming and reunion events throughout the weekend for their colleges, student groups, fraternities or sororities.
Among the many sights, sounds and experiences of Homecoming 2005, several highlights stood out:
A steady stream of alumni and friends cheerily visited the UC Alumni Associations large welcome tent on McMicken lawn just off Clifton Avenue a sort of front door for all those who made the journey home.
The Homecoming parade traveled down Clifton Avenue through the noon hour, featuring UC students/Army ROTC Cadets/Iraq War veterans Nick Browning, Brandon Curry and Tara Pope as Grand Marshals; members of the Homecoming Court; representatives from more than 30 student groups and organizations; 17 floats; the Bearcat Marching Band; and nine marching bands from high schools throughout the region.
A carnival geared toward the many hundreds of little future Bearcats in attendance was held in Tangeman University Center immediately following the parade. Many returning alumni were seeing the revamped TUC, McMicken Commons, Steger Student Life Center and the new Campus Recreation Center for the first time, and the flow of foot traffic through the new Bearcat Plaza and down the unfolding MainStreet drew plenty of I cant believe it! comments.
It was also Parents Weekend, so many students hosted family members for the weekends festivities.
Jerry Tsai, a junior political science major representing Student Government, and Adhrucia Apana, a senior International Marketing major representing Panhellenic Sorority, were named Homecoming King and Queen.
The UC football team surprised Connecticut, dominating the favored Huskies to notch the Bearcats initial BIG EAST victory, 28-17.
By working so diligently on planning and staging Homecoming, the students on the committee feel almost as if they establish a personal bond with the alumni who come back to campus, said Homecoming coordinator Sarah Ammann, Program Director with the UC Alumni Association. They consider it a privilege to do this special work which creates a unique connection between students and alumni.
The date for Homecoming 2006 wont be determined until next spring when the football schedule is finalized and released.