What does a college reunion look like in a world with Facebook, busy lives and shifting views of connection, events and alma mater?
This is the type of question the Hope College Alumni Association is serious about answering. Starting in 2010, feedback has been gathered through a comprehensive Alumni Attitude Survey, the Alumni Board of Directors, and multiple feedback sessions, alumni conversations and follow-up surveys.
Through this listening and planning, a future direction for Homecoming at Hope has emerged. The goal is to have a Homecoming Weekend that invites more alumni, students, faculty, staff and community members to participate, increases opportunities for affinity based events, provides a more flexible schedule for busy alumni and families, connects alumni with more students and faculty, and engages alumni from a variety of classes (not just traditional reunion years).
This fall, these changes are already beginning. On October 12-14, the tradition of Homecoming will get even better! An updated reunion structure will continue to recognize traditional 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 year reunions, but provide two new events for those classes to connect with other friends from their time at Hope (these events replace specific class parties). In addition, the most recent graduating class and other young alumni will have new opportunities to connect with each other and with the life of the college.
The schedule is full of affinity events, where alumni can catch up with the people, places and programs that shaped their Hope experience. New twists on existing traditions turn events like the tailgate into the Fall Fling BBQ in the heart of campus, the Pine Grove! A resource center has been added, so you can experience Homecoming whenever you make it to campus through an interactive campus scavenger hunt and even Segway Tours! Other traditions continue, including Chapel Choir, art exhibits, H-Club events, and departmental receptions.
There are also new ways to get involved in making Homecoming happen. Two new Reunion Party Planning Committees are busy planning memorable events for Friday night, while a group of over 60 alumni are hammering away on keyboards, getting the word out as Homecoming Social Media Champions. They will be using the hashtag #hopehomecoming on Twitter to promote the weekend and share the excitement as it happens.
Registration for the weekend is now live at hope.edu/homecoming! You can view the full schedule, get a discounted hotel room, see who's coming and sign up today.
We hope you will show your orange spirit and blue pride at Homecoming this fall!