Every year homecoming packs nearly 60 events into one week where students, faculty and staff can network, worship and celebrate together.
This year’s homecoming has special meaning for those who helped plan events, especially for those at the Alumni Office Sheryl Smee, Executive Director of Alumni Relations explained.
“Many of the Alumni Auxiliaries and Academic Departments are hosting events this year at which students and alumni can meet and network,” said Smee. “And this year is the 40th anniversary of the university (college in 1973) moving to Point Loma which we have put a special emphasis on this year.”
Homecoming week has been in the making since February of 2013 as ASB, the Alumni House and Campus Activities Board (CAB) began drawing up plans and contacting volunteers to coordinate different events. The homecoming planning team is comprised of students, faculty, alumni and staff who are divided into two committees: the Coronation committee and the Homecoming committee.
“The Alumni Office has the privilege of working with both committees and we are extremely grateful to the students and alumni who serve on these committees,” said Smee. “They bring new dimensions to homecoming each year.”
The Coronation committee coordinates the Variety Show and all of the aspects that the show includes such as designing and executing the stage design in Brown Chapel, selecting the emcee, music and performers, negotiating with vendors and selecting attire that fits appropriately with the theme. ASB Director of Activities, Kristi South who has been on the Coronation committee since September described this job as very rewarding.
“I love getting to be behind the scenes and watch it all come together, planning events and seeing the whole process become a finished product,” she said.
Unlike the Coronation committee, which is made up entirely of students, both alumni and students serve on the Homecoming committee. As a group they are in charge of the most popular events, such as the basketball game, homecoming chapel and the Variety Show. According to Smee they are responsible for providing ideas, creativity, problem solving and suggesting additional volunteers. Additionally, each member of the Homecoming committee help lead a couple events throughout the week.
Chair of the Homecoming committee Claire Schalin, a PLNU sophomore, is in charge of running all committee meetings and working on each of the events under her committee. Schalin says she is most excited about the Variety Show and the theme of this year’s homecoming.
“I’m thrilled that we will have our best reunion this year and that we will be able to host so many alumni this year,” said Schalin. “I think that it will be a wonderful week with a great unifying atmosphere about it.”
Both the Homecoming and Coronation committees began working on homecoming festivities shortly after the academic year started and are excited to finally see it all come together.
“Beautifully organized chaos,” said Schalin when asked to describe homecoming week. “It may be a little hectic, but it’s a wonderful time of celebration where students and alumni can come together with pride in their school as a common ground. Everyone is being pulled different directions for the whole week, but the result is beautiful fellowship.”