Community invited to help WMU celebrate 2015 Homecoming

contact: Jeanne Baron
| WMU News
Photo of the Parade of Flags.

Volunteers line up before the Homecoming game for the 2014 Parade of Flags.

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—History and traditions are taking center stage during Western Michigan University's Homecoming week and Family Weekend, Monday through Sunday, Oct. 19-25, and Friday through Sunday, Oct. 23-25.

"Generations Evolve, Traditions Remain" is the 2015 homecoming theme, and a host of activities are marking this year's celebration. Most are open to the public and a number are free or low-cost, although advance registration or tickets still may be required.

Numerous organizations and academic units are gathering across campus to welcome home alumni, stage award programs and hold special pregame tailgates Oct. 24 to rev up for the annual homecoming gridiron contest. In addition, the WMU Bookstore is offering discounts to alumni during homecoming weekend. Shops and restaurants in downtown Kalamazoo have gotten into the spirit by putting up window displays and providing discounts to students and holders of WMU's free Concierge Card.

Family members of WMU students can purchase tickets at a discount using the Family Weekend promotion code. WMU students get into athletic events for free with their Bronco Card.

Exciting activities abound

Details about most student homecoming activities are posted at wmich.edu/homecoming, and alumni activities are posted at mywmu.com/homecoming. The campuswide calendar at wmich.edu/news/events lists both as well as various other events. This year's schedule of major homecoming activities is a blast from the past, with a little something for everyone. Activities include the following.

Thursday, Oct. 22

  • College of Education and Human Development Alumni Society—Annual Golden Apple and Keystone Awards reception and dinner, 5:30 p.m., Bernhard Center. Honorees are Dale Schreuder, retired superintendent of the Bloomingdale Public Schools; Dr. Rigoberto Rincones Gómez, associate vice president at Broward College; Nancy Stefanick, department manager at Stryker Instruments; and Dr. Lawrence Beer, owner-director of Child and Family Psychological Services, PC.
  • Tug of Oar and food drive—New tradition, 9 p.m., Gabel Natatorium. Student groups compete in a rowing contest, plus a food drive for WMU's Invisible Needs Project pantry.

Friday, Oct. 23

  • Heritage Hall, formerly East Hall, unveiling—Public unveiling of renovated Heritage Hall on Prospect Hill off of Oakland Drive. Ribbon-cutting ceremony followed by self-guided tours, 2 to 4 p.m. Oct. 23. No on-site parking allowed; shuttle service available.
  • Student-sponsored pre-game rally—Annual Yell Like Hell, 6 p.m., and pep rally, 7 p.m., Student Recreation Center.
  • Pride Alumni Network social—Gathering for lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender alumni and their friends, 5 to 7 p.m., Zhang Legacy Collections Center. Tammy Collins, owner of Evolve Visual Design, will be presented with the Alumni Community Impact Award and Dr. Sharon Carlson, director of WMU Archives and Regional History Collections, will speak on the University's LBGT past.
  • Onyx Society Meet and Greet—Annual gathering with proceeds going to the group's retention efforts and the Onyx Scholarship, 3 to 7 p.m. (happy hour) and 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., Frazier's Lounge, Kalamazoo.
  • Distinguished Alumni Awards reception—Presentation event for WMU's top alumni honor, 6:30 p.m., Bernhard Center. Honorees are James S. Brady, office managing member of Dykema Grand Rapids, and Thomas P. Englert, past CEO of Discount Tire Co. Inc.

Saturday, Oct. 24

  • Homecoming Campus Classic—Run and walk, Student Recreation Center, with 1K fun run at 8:45 a.m., 5K run/walk at 9:15 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. awards ceremony and refreshments. Visit wmich.edu/campusclassic to register today or get on-site, event-day registration information.
  • Open house—Self-guided tours of Heritage Hall, 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. No on-site parking allowed; shuttle service available.
  • WMU Alumni, Family and Friends Homecoming Tailgate—Fun and entertainment for the whole family, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Parking Lot 1 off of Oakland Drive. Included will be specialty tailgate areas such as those for Family Weekend, the Haworth College of Business Pancake Breakfast (10 a.m. to noon) and the all-class University High School reunion.
  • Football game—WMU versus Miami University, 2 p.m., Waldo Stadium.
  • National Pan-Hellenic Council Marchdown—Annual student-planned step show that has become a local community tradition, 7 to 10 p.m., East Ballroom, Bernhard Center. Doors open at 6 p.m. Online ticket purchase at bit.ly/1RMPCW1 is required.
  • Onyx Society Ball—Annual gathering with proceeds going to the group's retention efforts and the Onyx Scholarship, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., rooms 105-07 Bernhard Center.

Sunday, Oct. 25

  • Family Weekend Sunday Brunch—Full breakfast and lunch buffet, with entertainment by WMU School of Music students, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Bigelow Dining Hall. $8 per person; WMU students can swipe in with valid meal plan.
  • Open house—Self-guided tours of Heritage Hall, 1 to 3 p.m., Limited parking in Lot 1 off of Oakland Drive.

For more news, arts and events, visit wmich.edu/news.