Alumni Coming ‘Home’ This Weekend

Friday, October 08, 2021
News article image

First-year students are continuing the tradition of building the Homecoming bonfire while alumni are happy to participate in several activities, including a sentimental campus processional by Class of 2020 members.

Rose-Hulman’s Homecoming festivities have faithful alumni coming “Home” this weekend to participate in special events that reinforce relationships with the institute’s past while building future memories for current students.

The Office of Alumni Relations reports that registrations for many Homecoming activities have increased over past years, especially among younger alumni.

“Alumni have been looking forward to coming back to the campus to capture the sense of community that’s such a special part of Rose-Hulman. There’s an appreciation of getting together to meet old friends and their families, participating in cherished Homecoming traditions, and seeing how the campus has changed since their times on campus,” said Steve Brady, vice president for institutional advancement.

Several special events will allow members of Rose-Hulman’s Class of 2020 to get together for the first time since they left campus in March of 2020 when online classes were adapted due to COVID-19 health and safety precautions. Those graduates received their diplomas during a virtual Commencement but didn’t get to participate in the traditional “Last Walk” through campus, like other Rose-Hulman alumni.

That opportunity will happen Saturday at 12:30 p.m. when Erik Hayes, vice president for student affairs and dean of students, and a regime of bagpipers will lead returning classmates on a processional from Hatfield Hall to Cook Stadium. They will be greeted and recognized by Rose-Hulman President Robert A. Coons, other officials and family members. 

There also are special events scheduled for Class of 2020 members Friday night after the pep rally and bonfire and Sunday morning.

Witness the fun and excitement from our last on-campus Homecoming in 2019.

First-year students are continuing the tradition of building the Homecoming bonfire, which will be set ablaze following Friday night’s pep rally. Students have worked evenings throughout this week on campus to strategically place the elements of the bonfire and protecting it from late-night shenanigans by sophomore students – a longtime Rose-Hulman tradition.

“The Homecoming bonfire bonds our young and old alumni,” said Hayes, a Rose-Hulman alumnus. “It’s great to see alumni who may have built the bonfire 50 to 20 years ago standing next to students who built the bonfire this year. It’s a shared experience that’s so important to making Rose-Hulman such a special place and making Homecoming a special time.”

Other Homecoming activities this weekend include golf outings, several class reunions, a 5-kilometer Rosie Fun Run, academic open houses and student organization information booths, and the Fightin’ Engineers football game against Hanover College.

Brady pointed out that all Homecoming activities have been organized with COVID-19 precautions in mind for the health and safety of alumni and their families. The pep rally was moved outside to Cook Stadium (from the Sports and Recreation Center’s Hulbert Arena) and academic open houses moved to a tent area in front of the Mussallem Student Union building (instead of indoor academic buildings). Persons attending all indoor on-campus events must wear face masks in accordance with Rose-Hulman’s COVID-19 Rose Ready protocols.