AU Traditions: The Hallmarks of Homecoming

 BY TRENT PALMER ’06

 2 MIN. READ

At Anderson University, Homecoming weekend welcomes the most people the institution will see altogether in any given year.

Alumni and friends can be found roaming campus, enjoying the festivities that unite Ravens both young and old. Mainstays of this must-attend weekend include the glowing luminaries, lighting the pathways through the majestic Valley on Friday night, and the excitement of the street fair on Saturday morning. Additionally, many other events, programs, and activities orchestrated by student clubs and organizations enhance the weekend with opportunities for faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends. 

The luminaries and the street fair in particular are hallmarks iconic to what a traditional AU Homecoming is all about. It is believed that the simple, white paper bags that hold a single candle and line the paths of campus have been around since 1963, originally called “campus illumination.” An all-alumni reception at the aquamarine Helios fountain accompanies this breathtaking evening of glowing radiance, complete with the Homecoming theme illuminated on the library hill and, during most years, live music — the perfect backdrop for a reminiscent walk through campus.

Street Fair 2014

The following day, homecomers experience a mid-morning gauntlet of eats, sweet treats, and due hugs at the street fair. This gathering is truly the biggest and best reunion experience that our alumni — the pride of Anderson University — can take part in annually. 

With the newly crowned Homecoming King and Queen seen stopping by the Camarada caramel apple booth, or the Avanti Boosters dunk tank and burgers booth, AU’s student clubs and organizations always bring out the goods for all to enjoy. Nate Miller ’16 and his close-knit group of alumni comrades come back each year to meander through the Valley on Friday night before reassembling on Saturday at the street fair, taking in the magical sights, tastes, and smells in the air. 

“We make a point to go every Homecoming weekend,” says Miller. “We always end up catching up with old friends, professors, and staff. It’s fun to be back on campus and relive the fun memories we made there.”  

No doubt Miller’s sentiments about this timeless event are shared by many other AU alumni.

Camarda Apples
Cotton Candy

Anderson University is on a mission to educate students for lives of faith and service, offering more than 60 undergraduate majors, 30 three-year degrees, 20 NCAA Division III intercollegiate sports, alongside adult and graduate programs. The private, liberal arts institution is fully accredited and recognized among top colleges for its business, computer science, cybersecurity, dance, engineering, nursing, and teacher education programs. Anderson University was established in 1917 in Anderson, Indiana, by the Church of God.

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