THE EXPONENT

Community Day, Homecoming celebrations combined into one day with ‘more to celebrate’

University Relations

University Relations

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University Relations
Top, students pose with the BW mascot during last year’s Homecoming. Above, 2017 Homecoming King Andrew Bianco and Queen Bella Ison are crowned during the halftime ceremony.

During fall semester, Baldwin Wallace University offers two days where alumni, students, family, friends, and people of the Baldwin Wallace community come together to reunite, share memories, and interact with one another.

 

These days are Homecoming and Community Day, and are meant for individuals to come to Baldwin Wallace and participate in a variety of events throughout the separate occasions. But this year, there is a change. On September 15, Homecoming and Community Day will be sharing their day together.

Terry Kurtz, director of alumni engagement, said that there are resemblances between Homecoming and Community Day, which led to the decision to combine the two events.

“The spirit of both events [is] so similar,” said Kurtz. “It’s about celebrating the people of Baldwin Wallace and the BW community. We bring back alumni, plus parents, our students, our local neighbors, businesses and community members.”

While Homecoming is tailored more towards alumni, Community Day is tailored to the public and outside community.

“Homecoming is when alumni return to campus and they make a connection with a faculty member, a staff member, a physical space, or a memory of a time at BW,” said Kurtz. “Community Day is a day when we celebrate and welcome to campus all members of the BW community. That includes our alumni.”

Associate Director of Alumni Engagement, Lisa Judge, said one reason for the combination of both days was to establish a day that consisted of higher energy.

“Combining the two events we felt would give everyone more to celebrate, more energy, more excitement,” said Judge.

Judge said that over the past few years, the administration had been talking about combining the two events into one day, and, due to the fall schedule, it was decided to take initiative this year to implement the combination of both days.

Traditionally, Homecoming falls on a Saturday during October on the day of a home football game, but this year, due to the conflict between the football schedule and fall break, the decision was made to take action and move the event to September, said Judge.

“We have been talking about this for two to three years as an idea,” she said. “We don’t like to have Homecoming too far into October or November because of the weather, and the only [other] day that would have been available for Homecoming in October was the weekend of fall break.”

Kurtz said having Homecoming on the weekend of fall break would have meant that most students would not be on campus.

“It’s tough to have Homecoming when students aren’t here. We don’t want to bring alumni back to a campus where the students are out taking a break,” said Kurtz.

The festivities during this year’s event have some of the same events as prior years, he said, but there are also new events implemented this year.

The day begins with a new event, “What’s Brewing at BW: Coffee Conversations with Deans and Departments,” where not only are alumni invited, but family and community members are invited back by various departments and deans to interact with one another and see “what’s going on at BW,” said Kurtz.

The day continues with the Homecoming parade at 11:30 a.m., followed by tailgating at noon, the Baldwin Wallace football game against Mount Union at 2 p.m., and music at Kulas Musical Arts building at 7 p.m.

This year, student engagement tables will be replaced with tents that display the previous years of BW, said Kurtz.

There will be “three interactive tents that look at BW then, BW now, and BW next,” he said. “Within those tents we will be telling the BW students activities, stories, and successes [along with the use of technology] to look at historic yearbooks on an iPad. As you’re doing that, what you’re flipping through will be projected on a screen.”

There will also be live tweets broadcasted on the screen with “#boldandgold,” where all attending the event can view the tweets.

One of the newer editions taking place this year is Dine Local, said Kurtz. After the football game, visitors are encouraged to dine locally, where restaurants around Berea are “offering various discounts […] for patrons who have just come to our event,” said Kurtz.

Students attending are able to use their dining plan or flex dollars as a way to get in to the event, said Kurtz.

“For students who want to attend, they can pay day of with their Jacket Express as a meal swipe if they’re on a dining plan, or they can use flex dollars [totaling] $7.50”

With an event expecting 2,500 people, weather is unpredictable, so, if need be, the event will be moved into the Lou Higgins Center to accommodate for possible inclement weather. Regardless of weather, there will still be “room for them all,” said Kurtz.

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Community Day, Homecoming celebrations combined into one day with ‘more to celebrate’