Homecoming 2018: Brave New World

Logo of USAO's 2018 Homecoming featureing a gold outline of a globe with the text Brave New World: Homecoming 2018

Homecoming 2018: Brave New World


It’s almost that time of year when alumni and students gather on campus to reconnect with old friends, revel in their Drover pride and their love of this university. In keeping with tradition, the first weekend of November has been set for the 2018 event.

This year, homecoming is getting a reboot: what has formerly been two separate programs, one for alumni and one for students, is moving towards a more holistic and collaborative university event.

“Tradition is an important part of this weekend,” said Misti McClellan, director of alumni development. “We have worked to create a schedule that provides opportunities for both students and alumni to participate in activities such as Singing on the Steps that have been happening on campus for years.”

Determined to build a weekend that offers something for everyone, both the Student Activities Board President Miah Baker and Homecoming Committee Chair Edgar Tafoya began working with the alumni office to look at the event with a critical eye and find ways to give it a much-needed energy boost.

“I’m most excited to see the new connections between the students and the alumni,” said Tafoya, a junior biology major.

 "I am most excited to have some more time with the alumni!" agreed Baker. "This year has been about connection and the students are looking forward to connecting with the alumni more!" 

Homecoming participation rates reached new lows last year, and, after surveying both students and alumni, it was clear that 2018 was the time to find ways to bring back the fun.

“The focus is on creating a much more inclusive weekend that will unite and engage current students as well as alumni,” said Cate Perry, interim Student Activities Board Advisor.

Previous homecomings have seen few young alumni and even fewer students in attendance.

“The alumni board of directors acknowledged that the event we had been producing does not draw the younger demographic, and they made a commitment to work with current students and make the changes necessary to do just that,” said McClellan.

Traditional features of the alumni weekend do remain, though perhaps moved to a different day. For example, the Sunday Memorial in the chapel is now happening on Saturday morning right before the Hall of Fame Brunch, which was formerly a luncheon. Rearranging the schedule allows Sunday to be a day for groups or honor classes to gather on their own. By making these strategic changes and working with students on specific events for the weekend, the registration cost is considerably lower than previous years.

“This past year, many alumni have voiced their likes and dislikes to me in regards to homecoming weekend,” said McClellan. “Attendees don’t want to feel overscheduled. They want time to reconnect with their friends, to relive the magic of their experience on campus, and the free time to do their own things with their peers. We are making every effort to plan a weekend that is accessible to all alumni and offers a little something for everyone,” said McClellan.

Look for the tentative schedule and registration link online at

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