#StillAU: Homecoming 2020

// By TRENT PALMER ’06

How do you celebrate a Homecoming event virtually? Well, you give it the “old college try” of course! #StillAU Homecoming 2020 was certainly one to remember, as Ravens across the world found time and space to virtually connect, engage, and celebrate Anderson University. 

Livestreamed events were included to encourage unique ways of connecting back to AU. Through virtual platforms, our community was able to experience the Luminaries and meet this year’s Homecoming court. Musical performances by the Women’s Chorus in the Fine Arts breezeway, and the premier of the Alumni Showcase Concert, brought the community together in song. Other events included the fall sports tribute show and an esports exhibition.

Additionally, events like the virtual 5K, trivia night, and academic department reunions, called “Collegians on a Computer Drinking Coffee,” gave alumni an intimate opportunity to connect through the festivities. Some alumni joined in from Montana, Texas, and Utah, as well as from Turkey and South Korea, which makes the prospect of virtual attendance during future Homecomings exciting.

Reflecting on Homecoming 2020, where none of our alumni actually “came back home” in the traditional sense, there were still moments of relationships formed, fostered, and bound more tightly, along with memories made and shared, which is what Homecoming is all about. Even in the midst of a pandemic, the future of AU Homecoming is bright, as we discover new ways to maximize community and engagement with a greater population of alumni.

This year’s event was successful in ways many never thought possible, but did it accomplish enough to warrant only connecting online from here on out? Did it replace what we’ve done in the past, like gathering for the street fair, walking through the Luminaries hand-in-hand with our sweethearts, cheering on the football team, or laughing in Reardon at “Cheap Thrills”? Of course not. 

Still, just as the Whos in Whoville came together after the Grinch stole Christmas, we found a way to come together, too. 

We still celebrated the heritage and history of AU, and still connected with friends we met here. We were still entertained, and are still bound by shared experiences. We are still excited for the future, we are still Ravens, and most importantly, we are #StillAU!  

 

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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