Ben Davis, director of alumni relations, said they have about 60 or 70 events planned and they are targeted “especially, but not exclusively, to alumni.”
“Homecoming is yet another opportunity for the community to come out to the campus,” Williams said. “And we try so hard to let the community know that this is their university.”
The homecoming king and queen’s coronation will be during Thursday’s chapel, and the five university Alumni Award recipients — chosen by the Alumni Council — will be honored, Davis said.
He said activities pick up Friday with events like the School of Music homecoming concert and presentation of the Outstanding Music Alumni Award, campus illumination, the School of Nursing Alumni Open House and Awards, Cheap Thrills (a variety show like “Saturday Night Live”) and the coffeehouse reunion for alumni of the last five years.
There will be a drawing at the coffeehouse for Jon McLaughlin Indianapolis concert tickets, Davis said.
On Saturday, the Street Fair and Ravenfest — run by the students — will precede the homecoming game.
The Street Fair has “grown and expanded over the years,” Williams said, with street performers and festival food like candy apples and bratwurst, and a bounce house, face painting and games for kids in Ravenfest.
The Street Fair and Ravenfest are from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, rain or shine, and Williams said a portion of University Boulevard will shut down from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
There will be reunion tents set up for 10th, 25th, 40th and 50th class reunions during the fair, too, Davis said.
Each class includes alumni from the year before and after the actual reunion year. Davis said this clustering gives alumni a chance to catch up with friends outside of their class whom they may have grown close to over their years in college.
AU will also be broadcasting live from the Street Fair for the third year. They conduct these webcasts so those who can’t make it can see it.
“Just in the last couple of years — since we’ve started offering that at homecoming — it really isn’t just about people who can make it back to campus anymore,” Davis said. “It’s for everyone.”
Williams said people from as far away as Hawaii, Australia, Beijing, Germany and Ireland, among other places, have tuned in.
Homecoming will be live, too, so viewers “can still feel apart of it, but remotely,” Williams said.
During halftime of the football game, the 2001 conference champion football team will be recognized, and on Saturday night is the Hall of Fame dinner for inductees, multicultural alumni reunion dinner and a special dinner for the Boosters Club’s 75th anniversary.
Davis said the Boosters is the oldest social club on campus and already has more than 200 registered for dinner with six or seven decades represented.
Sunday will close the week out with a choral concert at Park Place Church of God.
Davis said everyone is gearing up for the week, including the staff with an office decorating contest.
“It takes a small army to pull this off,” Williams said. “It’s sort of an all-hands-on-deck weekend.”
Those interested can pre-register for homecoming at www.anderson.edu/alumni/events and receive an AU homecoming shirt for $5.
Davis said more than 1,000 register, but many more just show up.
A full schedule of events can be found at www.anderson.edu/alumni/homecoming/schedule.
—Dani Palmer is a reporter for The Herald Bulletin. Story republished with permission.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing, and theology.