By Lauren Lavelle
For students vying for a connection to Rider’s past history, stop by one of the many homecoming festivities on Oct. 28 to link up with alumni, grab food truck delicacies and experience the very best of Rider’s sports, learning and activity departments.
For several schools throughout the country, homecoming is an event for graduates to celebrate their school spirit and catch up on the memories they made during their time at their alma maters.
Associate director of alumni relations Lynn Schindel wanted Rider alumni to have a chance to reconnect with their college experiences, prompting the alumni relations team to bring homecoming out of its long hibernation.
Rider’s last homecoming took place in 2004.
“We’re always looking for ways to engage the entire Rider community,” she said. “We thought that homecoming would be a great way to underscore our commitment to the Rider strategic plan to create an engaged community.”
According to Schindel, although students enjoyed the yearly tradition, alumni attendance was too low in the past to continue hosting the event.
“Attendance dropped from the alumni side,” said Schindel. “Homecoming is a time for students, alumni and the whole Rider community to come together, so it was decided to hold reunions in the summertime instead.”
Now, the decision to bring back homecoming has united Rider’s numerous programs to produce fun events for the attendees to enjoy.
“We’re working across divisions for homecoming,” said Schindel. “We’re working with academics, athletics, student affairs, Greek life and alumni relations. It’s a very broad group.”
The day kicks off with a global education chat hosted by the College of Education and Human Services at 10 a.m., followed by a tennis match, a swimming and diving team alumni gathering, a Greek life 5K Color Run/Walk and much more.
Alumni can round out the day by treating themselves to a selection of beers at the “Beer Garden of Eatin’” and enjoying a view of the stars from Rider’s telescope on the roof of the science building.
“Right now, we have a big disconnect between the alumni and current students,” said Leandra Acosta, junior dance major and Student Government Association vice president for alumni affairs. “I think it’s really great to have an event that brings us all together at one time and in one place. I’m excited to see how students are going to work together with the alumni in the future after this event.
“I hope that after this year, we can expand homecoming and make it an event that becomes a tradition and happens every year. I want it to continue to grow and potentially put more events into it and make it a full weekend.”