posted August 30, 2013

Homecoming Highlights Include Tried, True and New

The weekend of October 4-6 will be a historic moment in the 147-year story of Hope College. Building on the annual tradition of Homecoming at the college, this year's celebration will include arts, athletics, reunion events, a 5K run and 50K bike ride, worship, a wide-range of affinity gatherings, a new Taste of the South outdoor celebration, and inauguration festivities for Dr. John C. Knapp, Hope's twelfth President.       

In a world with more ways to connect than ever, the Alumni Association continues to improve Homecoming. Based on alumni feedback, recent changes involve more alumni, students, faculty, staff and community members, increase opportunities for affinity events (like Greek Life, academic departments, etc.), provide a more flexible schedule for busy families, connect alumni with more students and faculty, and engage a variety of class years (not just traditional reunions).

This fall will mark the second year of many of these intentional changes. An updated reunion structure will continue to recognize traditional 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 year reunions at two new events for a wider range of alumni class years (these events replace specific class parties).  In addition, the most recent graduating class and other young alumni will have new opportunities to connect with each other and with the life of the college. 

The schedule is now full of affinity events, where alumni can catch up with the people, places and programs that shaped their Hope experience.  A Hospitality Center has been added, so you can experience Homecoming whenever you make it to campus through an interactive campus scavenger hunt and even Segway Tours. Other traditions continue, including Chapel Choir, art exhibits, a 5K Run, an all-sport H-Club event at the football game, and departmental receptions.

Inauguration festivities also add to the energy of the weekend. On Friday, an Inauguration Ceremony for President Knapp will be held in Dimnent Chapel, followed by a Post-Inaugural Reception at the Haworth Inn and Conference Center. The ceremony is by invitation only and will be streamed online. The reception is open to all.

Festivities continue on Saturday at a new outdoor celebration called A Taste of the South, hosted by John and Kelly Knapp. This special event for alumni, students, inauguration guests, and families will include live music by the lady and gentlemen of Branches, a growing presence in the West Coast indie music scene. Giveaways, family activities and student groups will welcome alumni home.

A variety of alumni volunteer opportunities are posted to help make it all happen, including a group of over 150 alumni hammering away on keyboards, getting the word out as Social Media Champions.

Registration for the weekend is now live at hope.edu/homecoming.  You can view the full schedule, see who's coming and sign up today.

If you are looking for the right year to come home to celebrate Hope at Homecoming, this is it. We hope you will show your orange spirit and blue pride this fall!

Email alumni@hope.edu or call 616.395.7250 if you have questions about the weekend.