Best Practices

9 Homecoming Ideas You Can Steal

9 Homecoming Ideas You Can Steal

By

Sushmitha

|

September 12, 2022

Last modified: 

Homecoming or Alumni Weekend days are one of the most significant events in an institution's calendar. These are opportunities to create memories and meaningfully engage with alumni across age groups, gather up-to-date data, as well as build lasting relations, hoping they’ll come back later for another milestone event.

As an advancement professional, we understand that you’re constantly looking for ways to improve engagement, retention, and fundraising drive.

Here's how some colleges leverage their creativity to make the most out of their homecomings and alumni weekends/reunions.

1. Robert Wesleyan College

The Robert Wesleyan College Homecoming is a weeklong extravaganza of all things fun.

They have an exciting array of events planned for alumni and students alike, from live music performances and soccer games to reunions and awards ceremonies.

They also have panel discussions on navigating your next career change for middle-aged alumni, brunch and campus tours for older alumni celebrating their 50th reunion, and giant lawn games and an inflatable obstacle course for the younger ones. Truly alumni-centric!

But don't take our word for it—just look at all these events.

2. Greenwich academy

Everyone knows a party is all the more fun when you’re around someone you know. Similarly, the most effective way to get more alumni to attend your event is to ensure you know who else is attending.

Greenwich academy leveraged this and displayed who else is attending the event by class years. This created FOMO for those who couldn’t attend and encouraged more alumni to show up!

Check it out here

3. College of Idaho

Yes, that was our reaction to seeing the Homecoming schedule of the College of Idaho.

When all of us were on a break from the real world, cooped up at home in 2020, College of Idaho hosted a friends-themed Homecoming - “The one where everyone stays home.” They were on point, from the color schemes to the events and messaging!

Take a look at it yourself

4. North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

Institutions often struggle to build and maintain a consistent relationship with their alumni. In an interesting response to this problem, NCSSM encourages alumni to volunteer as class representatives. These reps serve as ambassadors, help bridge the communication gap between the alumni office and alumni, and encourage their peers to participate.

You can see how they do it, here.

5. University Of The Ozarks

Homecoming is an exciting event for students, alumni, and parents alike. Homecoming 2020 at the University of The Ozarks struck the perfect balance of events for all its constituents through an amalgamation of three major events that are celebrated at the University - Alumni Weekend, Family Weekend, and Homecoming.

Take a sneak peek here

6. Trinity University

Trinity University’s Alumni Weekend is a three-day spectacle full of activities that host anywhere between 1000-1500 alumni across all age groups. They host their signature event -Block Party Reunions by allocating dedicated space for various class years.

Another cherished occasion when alumni and faculty members can meet is the ‘Fiesta with Faculty’. Alumni can meet former and current faculty members over a drink and enjoy a wonderful afternoon together. They also invite notable alumni writers and artists to participate.

Also popular is Alumni College. Without the grades and tests, it's exactly like going back to school. Who says learning needs to stop at college?

Here’s where you can find their schedule.

7. Misericordia University

We’ve all heard of experts. But have you heard of Axe-perts? The folks at Misericordia University certainly have!

They have been throwing the best tailgates for years, and it has only gotten better this time. Their Homecoming is a mix of fun activities like Axe-throwing, caricature drawing, balloon art, and DJ music that'll keep everyone entertained for hours. They also honor alumni who've done extremely well academically and athletically.

You can check out their schedule here.

8. Murray State University

The Alumni Relations team at Murray State, in collaboration with the Campus Activities Board and Racer Athletics, crafted a week-long hybrid homecoming - Healthy at Home(coming).

It included virtual 5k runs, reunions, campus visits, and more. The week's activities had the Racer spirit screaming from every corner. Healthy competition between the students and alumni made their e-sports tournament a huge hit!

Catch a glimpse of their Homecoming here

9. Evergreen State College

Despite being stuck at home during the pandemic, Evergreen State College ensured its alumni and students had meaningful experiences, through their virtual alumni weekend -Return to Evergreen 2020.

It featured four carefully curated programs (breakout sessions) that bring together alumni and faculty leaders to tackle social challenges through the lens of racial justice and equity. Issues such as wealth inequality, immigration, racism, climate change, and gun violence were integral parts of the talks.

You can find more details here.

Want more such ideas for your homecoming? Check out our latest LinkedIn Live with Ryan Finnelly (Trinity University) and Mike Gombita (Misericordia University) where we spoke about the factors behind a successful Homecoming event.

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