Classes may have begun, but the fun is only getting started at York University with the biggest Homecoming of the decade gearing up to hit campus Sept. 26 to 29.
The University will be in full swing during this special time of the year to welcome alumni back to their alma mater for a variety of fun activities. Thousands are expected to cheer on the Lions, connect with their colleges, check out what’s new, attend lectures and devour fantastic food.
“It’s not just a time to come back and relive the good old days, it’s a time to see how your school has evolved since you left. It’s like going back home,” says Claire Simpson (BA ’12), president of the McLaughlin College Alumni Chapter. “I had a good time at York and I want to reconnect with friends and contribute to showing students that coming to York isn’t just about getting an education – it’s also about lifelong learning and lifelong friends.”
Simpson says Homecoming at York has always been unique due to the University’s close-knit community on an enclosed campus. Over the last several years, she says the event has ramped up with more advertising, events and outreach to students.
James Allan, executive director of community and alumni relations at York, agrees. “Our strategy is to slowly add events and to work with campus partners such as the Career Centre and colleges to make homecoming bigger,” he says. “This is about getting the campus community excited and we always welcome ideas.”
While the football game has traditionally anchored the Homecoming weekend – the Lions will take on the Ottawa Gee Gees at York Stadium this year at 1pm on Sept. 28 – there are several exciting new events in store for those planning to join the celebration.
Among the highlights, the York University Alumni Association Annual General Meeting and Mixer will be part of the Homecoming kickoff in downtown Toronto. A Campus Alumni Breakfast will offer about 700 grads working at the University the chance to meet each other, catch up and celebrate York over breakfast with the alumni relations team. As well, this year, Glendon Campus will be part of York’s Homecoming festivity, featuring family activities such as a barbecue, movie, free talks, treasure hunt and a magician for children. For those interested in lectures, a special Homecoming edition of The York Circle, a signature lecture series that features the University’s leading professors talking about their latest research and topical issues, will take place at the Life Sciences Building.
Aside from new events, this year’s Homecoming will see New College inducted as York’s newest alumni chapter. Christian Marjollet, the college’s master, credits students for wanting the chapter alive in order to reconnect with the University.
“We want to reach out to as many alumni as possible to let them know who we are and to have them be part of New College,” Marjollet says. “We want to create more connections between current students and alumni, to create a strong tie for them to learn from each other.”
For Jeff O’Hagan, York’s vice-president of advancement, this is what Homecoming is all about.
“I am thrilled with the many new and innovative programs we have planned for this year,” he says. “Homecoming is increasingly important to our alumni and students, and I look forward to building a great welcome-home tradition at York for years to come.”
For details about this year’s Homecoming events, click here.