by SAMANTHA STACHOWIAK
Due to the high local rates of COVID-19 transmission, the University has opted to postpone the traditional Homecoming tailgate until the spring semester. Instead, UMW is celebrating its annual Homecoming Monday, Oct. 18 through Saturday, Oct. 23 with an alternate schedule and some new events.
Throughout the week there are various events that all students are welcome to attend. These events include bingo, the Big Ash Bonfire, Clash of the Clubs and the Homecoming Concert, as well as several sporting events taking place at the Battleground Athletics Complex.
“We hope that many students will take advantage of these events to enjoy being in [the] community together and [to celebrate] being an eagle,” said Sandrine Sutphin, director of UMW Student Activities and Engagement.
In lieu of the traditional lip sync battle that usually happens during Homecoming weekend, the Class Council will be hosting Clash of the Clubs on Ball Circle at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 21. This event is open for all performing and non-performing clubs to attend, as well as spectators. Club members will be able to show off their skills and talents to the student body, the winner receiving bragging rights and prize money.
The week will conclude with a Homecoming concert, Mary Rock, hosted by the Campus Programming Board and the Radio Club. All students and alumni are invited to Ball Circle on Friday, Oct. 22 from 6 to 8 p.m. to listen to the Tyler James Band perform.
In addition to the live music, there will be food from Mission BBQ and a t-shirt giveaway.
“I am so excited to get to experience Homecoming this year!” said Cailyn Tripp, a sophomore communication and digital studies major. “I was really bummed about missing out last year due to the pandemic.”
Although the traditional Homecoming tailgate has been postponed, various athletic events will still be taking place at the Battleground on Saturday, Oct. 23. Alumni, students, parents and friends are all welcome to come cheer on the Eagles.
“Missing out on last year’s Homecoming has only made me more excited to get to support all of my friends at their games and really feel the school spirit,” said Tripp. “I can’t wait to watch the athletic teams take home some U-M-Dubs.”
Teams that will be hosting alumni events throughout the morning will include both the men’s and women’s swim teams, the softball team, women’s soccer, women’s rugby and the UMW baseball team. A naming ceremony will also be taking place at the Hegmann Family Tennis Complex.
At noon, men’s rugby will host Mount St. Mary’s at the Hanover Recreation Field. Men’s soccer will be hosting Coast to Coast Athletic Conference rival, Christopher Newport University, on the UMW Grass Field Stadium at noon as well.
“[Homecoming is] a great time to demonstrate school spirit for whatever is most important to our students,” said Sutphin. “Whether it’s being with their friends, supporting their student organizations and student-athletes or spending time on campus when campus is most beautiful in the fall.”
Summer Allen, a senior communication and digital studies major, said she is thrilled that the university is hosting Homecoming events this year.
“Over the years I have made so many memories with my friends during Homecoming,” said Allen. “I only have a few months left before graduation, so being able to attend Homecoming one last time with my friends is super special to me.”
To make up for the lack of a traditional Homecoming tailgate and to honor alumni from the Classes of 2020 and 2021, UMW will be hosting a spring Homecoming in April of 2022.
The events to take place during this new Homecoming weekend include a Post-Grad Ball, a Tailgating event and the seventh Annual Young Alumni Eagle Crawl. More information on these events is to come in the spring semester.