As president of the Wilfrid Laurier University Alumni Association, I have lots of opportunity to come home to Laurier. But every fall when I step onto our Brantford and Waterloo campuses for Homecoming, it’s a completely different feeling than usual.
As an alumnus, I feel the most amazing atmosphere and buzz at Homecoming. The alumni, students and the campuses themselves are filled with energy, pride and joy. Being a part of this experience is one of the highlights of my year.
If you’ve never experienced Homecoming yourself, I invite you to make 2017 the year you come home to Laurier. After all, there is no place like home. And there is no other place where you run into classmates that you may not have seen for five, 10, 15, even 20 years or longer; no other place where you understand what it means to watch the Golden Hawks football team go up against the Western Mustangs (#ourpurpleisbetter); no other place where you’re surrounded by students and peers who all share a deep affection for Laurier.
Our Laurier home has changed. New buildings are remaking our campuses. In Waterloo, Lazaridis Hall has transformed the feel of University Avenue. In Brantford, the YMCA is rising on Colborne Street. See the changes in person, reminisce about the spaces you remember and take a campus tour to see what’s new.
Homecoming 2017 takes place Sept. 29 to Oct. 1 in Waterloo and Oct. 20 in Brantford.
Homecoming is full of activities and offers something for everyone. Saturday, Sept. 30, in Waterloo includes a free pancake breakfast for grads and their families. With face painting, balloon animals, a clown and music, this breakfast starts the festivities on a fun, family-friendly note. Lectures will inspire you and tours of Waterloo and campus will help you rediscover old haunts and find new ones. Barbecues, exclusive alumni access to watch the football game from the stadium end zone and special reunion celebrations for the classes of 2012, 2007, 1997, 1992, 1987, 1977, 1967 provide lots of opportunities to connect with classmates.
There is nothing quite like walking through campus, more than 20 years after graduating, and running into a classmate I haven’t seen in years. I hope this year I will run into you.
On a final note: One of the changes to this year’s Homecoming is that Rob Donelson, who has been Laurier’s vice-president of Development and Alumni Relations for the past eight years, will not be there. Rob left Laurier this summer to pursue a new role at University College Cork in Ireland.
I’d like to thank Rob for his leadership in working with the Alumni Association and creating a collaborative working relationship between the association and the Development and Alumni Relations department. He has always been very supportive of the work the Alumni Association does and he worked hard to make sure we had a voice and were recognized where possible. He was very aware of the quality and level of commitment that Alumni Association representatives bring to our university.
On behalf of my fellow board members and all of the Wilfrid Laurier University Alumni Association, I wish Rob all the best in his new venture. He will be missed at Laurier.
President, Wilfrid Laurier University Alumni Association