MACON – Mercer will welcome thousands of alumni and friends of the University to the Macon campus Nov. 4-6 for Homecoming 2016.
The Office of Alumni Services and University Special Events is offering more than 35 events, ranging from the annual Friday night Homecoming Party to class reunions, athletic events, musical performances and much more.
A sell-out crowd is anticipated for the annual Homecoming football game, as the Bears host Southern Conference foe East Tennessee State University at Five Star Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 5, at 3 p.m.
“Each year, we welcome dedicated alumni who come back regularly to reconnect with friends, but we also welcome friends who have not been back since graduation,” said Jill Kinsella, executive director of the Mercer University Alumni Association. “They are always amazed and proud to see all that Mercer has accomplished since they left. Each year, Mercer's 'family' grows to include not only alumni but also business partners, donors, community members, sports fans and prospective students and their families.”
The Alumni Career Speaker Series kicks off activities on Friday, Nov. 4, with presentations by Steuart Botchford, CLA '07; Darin Wettengel, BUSM '95; Dericus Harvey, EGR '99; and Dr. Runi Arepally Foster, CLA '84, at locations across campus beginning at 10 a.m.
The second 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 Award, the Meritorious Service Award and the Thomas Sewell Plunkett Young Alumnus Award.
This year's pep rally and fireworks will take place on Cruz Plaza from 8:30-9 p.m., followed by the annual Homecoming Party from 9-11 p.m.
Saturday's events begin with the Home of Hope Orphanage Fundraiser on Black Field. This effort is organized by Sam Johnson, CLA '14, who was a former refugee and now runs the Home of Hope Orphanage in West Africa.
The Townsend School of Music will host a free Homecoming Kaleidoscope Concert, a fast-paced musical offering featuring students and faculty, from 11-11:45 a.m. 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. This popular event welcomes alumni who graduated 50 or more years ago. It will take place in the University Center, downstairs on the intramural courts.
A day of tailgating throughout campus will include a class reunion tailgate for the undergraduate classes of 1976, 1986, 1991, 1996 and 2006. Then, gates will open at 1:30 p.m. at Five Star Stadium, followed by kickoff of the football game at 3 p.m.
Rounding out the weekend will be the Orange and White Game, a men's basketball scrimmage and sneak peek of the Bears in action before their season begins on Nov. 11. The scrimmage begins at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 6, in Hawkins Arena and is free to all.
Many events are open to the public, but registration is required. To view the complete schedule, and to register, visit homecoming.mercer.edu.
Join in the fun on social media by using the University's official hashtags for Homecoming 2016. They include #mercerHC16, #mercerUalumni, #gobears and #wherestobybear.