Homecoming 2017: Alumni deserve warm welcome back

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Heather Newberry | The Daily Wildcat Wilbur and Wilma Wildcat pose in front of the lit up "A" on top of Main Gate garage on Oct. 22.

Homecoming, while meant to be a celebration at the University of Arizona, can sometimes be controversial. Is it worth all the time, money and effort put into it? Or is it just a waste of time to have a weeklong celebration for alumni? I would strongly argue that it is worth it. Students come to the UA from all over the world and make lifelong friendships and some of their best memories on this campus. But, right when their four years are done, they’re expected to move on and grow up.

Having so many wonderful Homecoming events for alumni, recent or not, just shows how inclusive and welcoming the UA community is. Events are planned all year to make the week as fun and reminiscent of people’s past college experiences as possible. 

Think about when a recent college graduate moves to a new city to start their dream job. The hours are more demanding than they are used to, they don’t have their friends to help them manage their stress and they feel all alone. Taking a weekend off to come back to the place they called home for four years and seeing their friends can be exactly what someone who is getting accustomed to a new lifestyle needs. 

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There are class reunions, alumni awards, a Homecoming parade and more. The first Homecoming event was the traditional lighting of “A” Mountain. The Tucson community had the chance to get together, sing “Bear Down” and reflect on their years as a student at the UA. There are two class reunions that the school is supporting this year. The 50th reunion for the class of 1967 and the 60th reunion for the class of 1957. The reunions include events hosted by individual colleges, a brunch, a private “fiesta” hosted by an alumnus and the football game. 

Throughout the whole week, there will be alumni campus tours for past students to show them the updates and changes that have been made to campus since they graduated. There is an anniversary luncheon to honor the 1957 and 1967 alumni classes and to celebrate 120 years for the University of Arizona Alumni Association. The Alumni Awards ceremony will also honor alumni who have been the most successful in their respective colleges since graduation. 

One of the most anticipated events of Homecoming is the crowning of the king and queen. The ceremony takes place at the bonfire and pep rally on Friday and the king and queen will have their own float during the parade on Saturday. During the parade there will be a tailgate on the mall to get ready for the football game. 

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There will also be specific events for Greek alumni and former student athletes. Each sorority and fraternity organization on campus celebrates their alumni in a different way. The alumni are welcomed back into their former homes and have the opportunity to meet the new members in their respective organizations. For former student athletes, there is a block party held on Friday to catch up with old teammates and coaches before attending the rest of the alumni events. 

For some people, the amount of money spent on this week is extraneous and unnecessary but they often don’t realize how much it means to alumni to come back to campus and have such a warm welcome. There is nothing worse than feeling like the place you once loved has forgotten you, so it’s not only necessary to make the alumni feel welcomed and remembered, it is the right thing to do. They donate money to the school and carry on the name and legacy of the UA and they deserve to have a week dedicated to celebrating their achievements.


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