Alumni to be welcomed for homecoming

Mace Mackiewicz, Staff Reporter

Every year during Homecoming Week, Eastern invites alumni to visit the campus for its 50th year anniversary. This year the class of 1964 will be visiting the campus during Homecoming weekend.

Amber May, the alumni services events coordinator, said her office tries to host a special group every year.

“In the past, it has been Pink Panthers, Lab School, Housing and Dining alumni,” May said. “This year we unfortunately are not hosting a special group.”

May also said it is important for the alumni to come back for Homecoming.

“It is important for them to come back because it gets them connected again to their alma mater,” May said. “Alumni are what keep the doors open at Eastern; Homecoming gets them back to campus where they can see firsthand the tremendous changes that have been happening.”

One of the events this year is an alumni dinner where eight distinguished alumni will be honored from different years. They each get their own distinguished awards. Alumni must have at least celebrated their sixth class reunion to be eligible.

According to Eastern’s alumni page, the award was established in 1973, the Distinguished Alumni Award is the most prestigious award, provided by the Alumni Association.

This award is presented to individuals who have distinguished themselves in either academic or literary fields, business, public service and/or service to the university and who, through their accomplishments and service, have brought prestige to their alma mater.

There are also three other alumni awards that past students can be nominated to win; the Louis V. Hencken Alumni Service Award, which is dedicated to an alumni who has done a lot of charity work for the campus; the Outstanding Young Alumnus Award, which is for alumni who are younger than 35 who are doing exceptionally well in their career; and the Distinguished Educator Award, which goes to an Alumni who is teaching in the K-12 grade area.

There will also be a tailgating event before the football game on Saturday.

“Every year we also put on a tailgate before the football game,” May said.  “Our office specifically has a tent and offer food and drinks, and then the seven colleges also host alumni tents. Alumni are encouraged to come back and stop by and visit with faculty, staff and students, and mingle with the other alumni.”

She also said upwards of 750 alumni participate in the tailgating event each year. Between some of the other events, they expect 200 alumni to be on the Eastern campus for homecoming for the entire weekend.

May said alumni come back to campus to revisit their “stomping grounds” like old bars they went to or a sorority or fraternity house, and are able to ask for tours if they want to see how the campus has changed over the years.

“Homecoming is great for Eastern; it builds school spirit, gets the campus excited about the football game and allows alumni to tap back into their ‘college days’.” May said “It is great to see students, alumni, parents, family and friends all on campus celebrating a great thing.”

Mace Mackiewicz can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]