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Celebrating Homecoming traditions, new and old

October 4, 2010 : Sarah Wittcop

Campus is buzzing with excitement, as Liberty University prepares to celebrate Homecoming 2010, Oct. 8-9, with its largest-ever alumni crowd expected.

Melissa Small (’02), director of Alumni Relations at Liberty, says alumni have new reasons to return for Homecoming, including many new and renovated campus facilities and a stronger alumni relations program.

“We have a lot of exciting developments on campus and within our alumni community,” said Small. “Our alumni are out promoting Liberty, and they need a home base to return to for encouragement and support.”

This year, the festivities will include timeless Homecoming traditions such as the annual parade, bonfire and pep rally, pre-game tailgating, alumni reception, Chancellor’s Dinner, and Flames football in the newly expanded Williams Stadium.

New traditions will be established during the First Annual Liberty Godparent Foundation Jerry Falwell Memorial Golf Tournament, Pastor’s Luncheon, and the Marching Band Reunion Halftime Show.

“We want to continue to meet the needs of alumni by starting new traditions and providing additional opportunities to reconnect,” said Small.

Additional Homecoming events include a free concert by alumnus Meredith Andrews (’05), campus tours; soccer, hockey and volleyball games; and a Business Executives Luncheon, featuring special guests Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr., Virginia Sen. Steve Newman and Region 2000 president Rex Hammond. Liberty’s Theatre Arts Department will also be presenting Hairspray in the new Tower Theater.

Aside from the football game, Small said the Chancellor’s Dinner is the highlight of the weekend, especially this year.

“Our alumni will have the opportunity to dine with Chancellor Falwell and his wife, Becki, in the renovated Williams Stadium and tour the new facility,” she said. “It’s an exciting event that shouldn’t be missed.”

The Alumni Relations Office works tirelessly year-round to promote National Alumni Chapters, the Alumni Mentoring program and Alumni Recruitment, but Homecoming is when Small and her team can put a face with the names of those they serve.

“We talk to our alumni on the phone and e-mail with them throughout the year, but there is nothing like talking to them in person,” said Small. “When we meet them and see them reconnecting with their alma mater, we know our efforts are worthwhile.”