A Homecoming Kickoff Celebration will take place for faculty and staff Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. outside the Campus Center, between the Biblical Studies Building.
Craig Fisher, assistant vice president of alumni relations and university relations, said this is one thing they are doing differently this year. There will be free T-shirts with the Homecoming 2019 logo available for the first 120 faculty and staff members. At the kickoff, they will be able to sign up for events at the carnival on Friday and enjoy food.
“It’s just a time to hangout and let them know how important they are, how we appreciate all the work that they do and we hope that they are a part of homecoming,” Fisher said.
Fisher said the main events of Homecoming kick off on Thursday with the 27th Annual Gutenberg Celebration. The Gutenberg Celebration will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday at the Hunter Welcome Center. The Gutenberg Celebration will invite back alumni and award selected alumni for their accomplishments and work in the media. The Department of Engineering and Physics will host a reception and presentation at 5 p.m. on Thursday at Bennett Gymnasium.
“Friday morning is just travel time for folks that are trying to come in a little bit early and gives us a last couple of hours to work through some stuff,” Fisher said.
Chapel begins at 11 a.m. in Moody Coliseum for Praise Day Friday and alumni are invited to attend. During the Chapel service, the fall sports teams will be acknowledged and celebrated for the work they have been doing.
Friday afternoon the Maker Lab is hosting an event called “Make-and-Take” for alumni and their children.
“We’re trying to think of things for people to bring their kids back to campus, that they could do,” Fisher said. “And the Maker Lab is a great place for them to go.”
The Maker Lab has five different activities planned for guests to create something that they can take away.
From 5-8 p.m. there will be a carnival located in the Campus Mall area and the Recreation and Wellness Center. The carnival will consist of live music, bounce houses, other inflatables, a rock wall, Abilene Axe Company, Chartwells will be serving food and food trucks such as Papa Murphy’s Pizza, 1881, Tacolote, The Sweet Side and Toasted Traveler.
“It’s just a great time of fellowship,” Fisher said.
Candlelight Devotional will follow at 8:15 p.m. in the Amphitheater.
“We have a lot of alumni that didn’t get to experience that when they were in school, they’ve seen that their kids [get to experience it], or they have kids that are on their way and they want to give them a chance to see it,” Fisher said. “So it’s a neat time.”
There will be 30 minutes of devotional and worship. Fisher said Candlelight Devo became a part of Homecoming about four years ago.
“Our alums have loved it,” Fisher said.
Saturday morning, clubs and organizations will invite members for breakfast in various locations. The Homecoming parade line up will begin around 10 a.m. and will end at Campus Court. The Saturday Homecoming Chapel service will begin at 11:15 a.m. in Moody Coliseum following the parade and end around 11:45 a.m.
After Chapel, tailgates will be set up in the Campus Mall area, with tents representing clubs and organizations across campus. Reunion lunches for certain graduating classes will be located in the Quad, about 10 reunion classes will be present.
“Some in buildings, some under tents, they’ll all be having lunch together and hanging out as a class,” Fisher said. “A lot of those alumni will come down for their reunion lunch but they’ll also want to go to their club tent or organization or go to the buildings that they were in when they were students. It’s just a neat time to have some flexibility.”
This will be the second year the class reunions will be having lunch, instead of dinner on Saturday. Fisher said the switch to lunch fit into the natural flow of the day better.
“We moved everyone from a dinner to a lunch for a couple different reasons,” Fisher said. “We had lots of feedback. Some of our feedback was that the dinner numbers were beginning to drop off. People were busy at the end of the day and it was hard for them to get to the dinner; so, the numbers were beginning to die. We also heard from a lot of alumni that they wanted to have time to get together with their friend groups, so we tried to build in some flexibility so that everything wasn’t so scheduled out.”
Moving the reunion lunches to campus has allowed the time and space for them to all take place at the same time.
A Queen’s Tea will be held to honor the Coming Home Court, homecoming court nominees of 10 years ago, and the current Homecoming Court nominees.
“We just want to celebrate them in a small way to say congratulations and honor them,” April Young, alumni and university relations officer, said. “It’s fun, just a time to get together and fellowship.”
After Chapel, at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, there will be a dedication to the Faulkner Meditation Garden on the north end of the Faubus Lake, in honor of Paul and Gladys Faulkner. Paul and Gladys were ACU graduates and involved at the university for many years. Paul taught in the College of Biblical Studies and ran a marriage seminar with a close colleague, Dr. Carl Brecheen, for many years.
“Lots and lots of people went through their program before they got married,” Fisher said.
The Faulkner Meditation Garden will include a garden area and benches looking over the lake. Paul Faulkner will be present at the dedication ceremony.
“One challenge every year is watching the weather,” Mandy Collum, alumni and university relations officer, said. “This year it’s looking good.”
The football game has kick off at 3 p.m. following tailgate.
Reunion classes are invited after the conclusion of the game, Saturday night at 8:30 p.m. in the lobby of Hunter Welcome Center, for dessert, live music and community.
“It’s a multi-generational event, where they are all in one space at one time and get to see each other and connect,” Fisher said. “Just one more time to fellowship.”
On Sunday, Women for ACU will have a lunch to celebrate their 50th year as an organization in the Hunter Welcome Center. Alumna Andrea Lucado will speak at the lunch.
ACU Theatre will perform their Homecoming musical Disney’s Beauty and the Beast on Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.
A complete schedule of events for Homecoming can be found by following the link, https://alumniassociation.acu.edu/s/1565/16/interior.aspx?sid=1565&gid=1&pgid=1529 .