MACON – A near perfect fall weather forecast awaits thousands of Mercer alumni and friends when they arrive on campus this weekend for Homecoming 2017.
The Office of Alumni Services, in partnership with other University entities, is offering dozens of events Nov. 3-5 ranging from the annual Friday night pep rally to class reunions, award presentations, arts performances and much more.
A sell-out crowd is anticipated for the annual Homecoming football game, as the Bears host Southern Conference foe Samford University at Five Star Stadium on Saturday at 3 p.m.
“The Mercer family includes not only our 77,500 living alumni, but also sponsors, donors, community members, sports fans and prospective students and their families. Homecoming weekend is an annual celebration of all of the people and efforts that make Mercer the special place it is. We welcome all of our friends to join us this weekend,” said Jill Kinsella, executive director of the Mercer University Alumni Association.
The sixth annual Alumni Career Speaker Series kicks off activities on Friday with presentations by Brian Boire, BUSM '99, '00; Sam Sorice, EGR '95; Amy Reeder Worley, CLA '97, LAW '00; and Dr. Ben Toole, CLA '02, at locations across campus beginning at 10 a.m.
The third annual Alumni Awards Dinner will begin at 6 p.m., and will recognize Athletic Hall of Fame inductees, Alumni Chapter leaders, Greek Challenge winners and Alumni by Choice, as well as the recipients of the three traditional University awards – the Distinguished Alumnus, Meritorious Service and Thomas Sewell Plunkett Young Alumnus awards.
This year's pep rally will take place on Black Field from 8:30-9 p.m., and participants are encouraged to go out on the town afterwards for the inaugural Macon Mercer Mixer. Registrants who purchase a $15 wristband will receive free trolley transportation and food and drink specials at participating establishments downtown as well as near the University in Mercer Village and Mercer Landing.
Saturday's events include a Throwback Tailgate from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. on Black Field where alumni are encouraged to wear the styles of their era for a decades-themed tailgate party. Members of the anniversary classes of 1977, 1987, 1992, 1997 and 2007 will receive a gift.
The Townsend School of Music will host its annual Kaleidoscope Concert, a free, fast-paced musical offering featuring students and faculty, from 11 a.m.-noon in Fickling Hall.
A crowd of several hundred guests is expected at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday for the annual Half Century Club luncheon. The popular event welcomes alumni who graduated 50 or more years ago and will take place in the University Center, downstairs on the intramural courts.
Gates will open at 1:30 p.m. at Five Star Stadium, followed by kickoff of the football game at 3 p.m.
Mercer Theatre will offer two performances of award-winning musical “James and the Giant Peach” on Friday, 7:30-8:45 p.m., and Saturday, 1-2:15 p.m., at Tattnall Square Center for the Arts. Tickets may be purchased through Mercer Ticket Sales.
Many events are open to the public, but registration is required. To view the complete schedule, visit homecoming.mercer.edu. Online registration is closed, but in-person registration will be available on Friday in the University Center Bear Market and Saturday on Black Field.
Join in the fun on social media by using the University's official hashtags for Homecoming 2017. They include #mercerHC17, #mercerUalumni and #gobears.