NEW WILMINGTON, Pa.-- The pandemic may have canceled the fall football season this year's Homecoming game, but the coronavirus will not stop the Westminster school spirit and Titans from coming together. The COVID-19 pandemic and the limits on in-person gatherings, Westminster College's Homecoming 2020 events, will move to a week-long virtual, online format from Sept. 28 to Oct. 3.
"Canceling in-person Homecoming was obviously a very difficult decision, but one made easier with state regulations and guidelines that were set to help keep our alumni and campus community safe," said Kara Montgomery, senior director of alumni engagement at Westminster College.
"Our line-up of events for the week uniquely touches on various areas of campus that we normally couldn't incorporate into a standard Homecoming weekend, so in some ways, it was a wonderful alternative and the chance to make the best out of a not-so-ideal situation."
The virtual format will also provide alumni who live across the nation or globe—and who sometimes find it difficult to attend Homecoming—the opportunity to participate this year, Montgomery said.
"We are thrilled to be able to welcome some of our long-distance alumni back to campus for Homecoming, along with those who live more locally and celebrate together from our own corners of the world," said Montgomery.
Homecoming events will begin at noon on Monday, Sept. 28, with a live Facebook kickoff. The mini-celebration can be viewed at www.facebook.com/WCAlumniAssociation.
The rest of the week will include several activities such as virtual tours, Zoom reunions, online concerts and performances and participation events.
ALUMNI REUNIONS & SPECIAL EVENTS
Alumni from all class years can join in a virtual happy hour and Titan trivia event at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 29, via Zoom.
A series of virtual Zoom class reunions will be held throughout the week. Recognized this year are the 30th cluster reunion for the classes of 1989, 1990 and 1991 at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 30; the 10th cluster reunion for classes of 2009, 2010 and 2011 at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1; the 25th class reunion for the class of 1995 at 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3; and the 65th reunion for the class of 1955 at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3.
Virtual Greek and specialty reunions include:
• Phi Kappa Tau brothers from all class years can reunite from 8 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1, via Zoom. A unique Zoom link can be obtained by contacting Tim Brennan '91 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• A virtual 45th cluster reunion for Zeta Tau Alpha alumnae from the classes of 1974, 1975 and 1976 at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 2.
• Alpha Sigma Phi alumni from all class years can reunite from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3. A virtual tour of the fraternity house and breakout rooms for cluster years will be held. For more information and a Zoom link, contact Rob Sheehan '79 at email@example.com.
• A virtual Department of Music 45th cluster reunion for alumni and friends from 1974, 1975 and 1976 will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3. This event is for majors, non-majors, choir, band and orchestra alumni and friends.
Westminster alumni can participate in online mindfulness and meditation events on the morning of Saturday, Oct. 3. A virtual yoga session for beginners will be held at 8 a.m., followed by a 9 a.m. special Homecoming meditation message from the Rev. Jim Mohr, college chaplain.
Vice President for Finance and Management Services Kenneth J. Romig '85 and Jason Janusziewicz, director of facility operations, will offer an online tour of the campus' current construction projects at 5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 28. Current projects include the new soccer and baseball fields, the UPMC Sports Complex featuring the new soccer and lacrosse field and the addition of Hoyt Science Center. (Rain date for this event is scheduled for 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 30.)
Explore the Foster Art Gallery with Assistant Professor of Art Summer Zickefoose, who will take alumni on a virtual tour of the "We Are Here: Black Identity in White Spaces" installation at noon on Wednesday, Sept. 30. Zickefoose will introduce alumni to the showcased works by current and former students.
Join Dr. Helen Boylan '95 and Dr. Patrick Krantz from Westminster College's Center for the Environment for a virtual tour of Westminster's apiary at the Outdoor Laboratory at noon on Saturday, Oct. 3, via Zoom. Learn beekeeping basics, including hive structure, bee culture, honey production, the role of pollinators and more.
CONCERTS & CROWNING
The Westminster College Chamber Singers, under the direction of Dr. Andrew Withington, and the Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Timothy Winfield, will conduct a live performance, "Melodies of Titan Country," at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 28.
The Titan Marching Band will perform in your home at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3. Under the direction of Dr. Tad Greig, the marching band will showcase their halftime numbers. Immediately following the band's performance, the Homecoming Court will be presented, and the Homecoming King and Queen will be crowned. The Rising Titan Award will also be given to senior nursing major Megan Parker '21.
Westminster College President Dr. Kathy Brittain Richardson and her Leadership Team will host "Leadership Team Bingo" at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 29. Join this Zoom event as Richardson and her team update alumni on campus happenings, including academics, admissions, fundraising, athletics, student life and strategic goals—all in a Titan Bingo format!
Join Westminster College student leader and social media personality Jack Karson in the "Canoe Ride with Karson" event at 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1. Karson, a junior from New Wilmington, will answer questions and share fun facts about Westminster College student life as he paddles around Brittain Lake.
The Westminster College Office of Admissions will host a Legacy Family Virtual Campus Preview for alumni and their college-bound children at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 30. Admissions counselors will participate live on this chat to answer admission questions, share our Legacy Scholarship opportunity, and provide first-hand information about being a student at Westminster.
The Westminster College Office of Admissions will host a Virtual Campus Preview for Titan alumni high school counselors and teachers and their students at noon on Friday, Oct. 2. Admissions counselors will participate live on this chat to answer admission questions, share opportunities like the Jerb Miller and Young Presbyterian scholarships, and provide first-hand information about being a Westminster student.
Most of the week's events require registration on Westminster's website unless otherwise noted. To register for activities, please click here. Registrations are due Sunday, Sept. 20.
For more information about Homecoming week, please contact the Office of Alumni Engagement at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All week long, Westminster alumni can celebrate and post messages about Homecoming and to classmates using Westminster's digital bulletin board. We encourage alumni to wear their Titan gear and send videos, messages and photos to email@example.com or use #WCHC2020 on social media.
Above: Faith Howell of Honesdale, Pa., is crowned the Homecoming Queen during last year's festivities.