Homecoming 2016: Alumni return home to #BucknellNation


Elizabeth Worthington, News Editor

The University welcomed back approximately 600 alumni and their guests over Oct. 21-22 for the annual Homecoming Weekend. The cloudy weather likely kept some alumni from making the trip to campus, as there was a smaller turnout compared to previous years.

Homecoming provides alumni with the opportunity to learn about updates on campus, gives current students ample opportunity to network, and allows all to celebrate what it means to be a member of the “Bucknell Nation.”

In the past, the student body voted on who the University would name as homecoming “hosts” to serve as ambassadors for returning alumni, but the tradition was discontinued this year. Senior Associate Director for On-Campus Engagement Chris Watters affirmed that the reasoning behind this was to allow “all students to become more involved” instead focusing on a select few. Watters said that “for future homecomings we will focus on further increasing alumni participation, involvement, and interaction.”

The weekend began with a welcome reception for alumni. Students and alumni, present or not, were encouraged to share photos on social media with the hashtag #BucknellNation.

“All who came had a wonderful time back on campus,” Watters, who was in charge of planning Homecoming Weekend’s events, said.

As part of a longstanding tradition, the class of 2020 was formally welcomed into the University community on Oct. 21 by the Alumni Association Board of Directors in Rooke Chapel during the annual First Night.

The Department of Athletics inducted new members into its 38th annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Oct. 21. Inductees were selected by a 14-member panel who completes a two-tier voting process over the course of the year. Kathryn Frazier ’82 was presented the Bison Club Award for her extraordinary contributions to the athletics program.

Prior to the football game against Lafayette on Oct. 22, alumni and their guests attended the annual Homecoming Tailgate Lunch and were able to meet with head coach Joe Susan and members of the football team.

The Weis Center for the Performing Arts drew large crowds throughout the weekend for musical performances. A large concert was held on Oct. 20, featuring award-winning singers Judy Collins and Ari Hest. Several patrons from the Lewisburg and surrounding communities expressed their delight with the performances.

“[I] wanted to thank Bucknell and the Weis Center for the beautiful facility and sound as compared to other performance centers I’ve been in,” John Soubik from Shamokin said.

“The students were really helpful with finding seats,” Katharyn Nottis from Lewisburg said.

On Oct. 20 and Oct. 22, the newly minted University Choir and Camerata performed with an orchestra and guest soloists under the direction of Director of Choral Activities and Assistant Professor of Music Beth Willer. The concert marked the christening of a new organ that was commissioned and built specifically for the University choir by Heinrich Klop in the Netherlands.

The Residential College program also celebrated its 30th anniversary this weekend with a special tour of Smith Hall, one of the new homes for students in the program and an alumni and faculty panel discussion focused on the issues in the 2016 presidential election.

Residential Colleges Program Coordinator Kelly Finley said she hopes these events “will help increase understanding of [the] program as well as capture the program’s history including its founding and early years.”

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