Community and Legacy: 2021 Marks Return to In-Person Homecoming, Launch of Bicentennial Celebration
They say there’s no place like home.
And while ‘home’ holds many meanings, the physical space is certainly a compelling one.
After a completely virtual Homecoming in 2020 due to the pandemic, Widener is thrilled to bring the community physically together on campus this year. It will be a weekend to reunite with friends, cheer on the blue and gold, renew many time-honored Homecoming traditions, and debut some new events, all with health and safety in mind.
“We are thrilled to be able to welcome our Widener community back to campus and be together again at the place we all call home. With a diverse lineup of programming and events planned, there is something for everyone,” said Jessica Lista, executive director of alumni engagement.
This Homecoming is extra special as it marks the public launch of Widener’s 200th anniversary celebration, which will culminate with a new tradition, Founders Day, in the spring.
For health and safety precautions, all in-person, campus Homecoming events will be held outdoors. To accommodate everyone, several programs will be offered virtually, as well.
This year’s Homecoming will include such favorites as athletic competitions, including the football game, the crowning of a king and queen, and of course, the Broom Drill.
Members of the 1981 football team, which won the NCAA Division III national championship 40 years ago, will be honored and recognized on the field during halftime of the Pride’s game against Wilkes University.
A signature event is the new Tailgate Village, a pre-football game extravaganza featuring a beer garden, food trucks, kids' activities, and live music courtesy of the alumni band, The Shade, and DJ Kiko, also an alum.
Also new this year is the School of Business Administration Career Day, a half-day conference on Friday, Oct. 15 on Memorial Field. Career Day will feature sessions on work and industry trends, a dynamic keynote address on cancel culture, and opportunities for attendees to network and connect with one another. The event is free and open to alumni, students, faculty, and staff.
On the virtual side, there’s a lineup of academic program-specific gatherings, and the new Career Pivot Week, which will include a workshop on aligning careers with personal values, and 30-minute personalized sessions in which participants can meet with Career Design & Development team members.
“With the great resignation taking place, many are considering making major or minor changes in mid-career to further align their professional goals with personal values. This will be very valuable for those interested," said Lista.
As part of the bicentennial kickoff during Homecoming, attendees will have a chance to submit video clips sharing their favorite Widener / Pennsylvania Military College memories, moments, and experiences. The community will be able to continue to submit these videos throughout the academic year.
Widener traces its origins to the Bullock School in Delaware in 1821. The institution has experienced numerous name, location, and philosophical shifts in the ensuing years, and spent more than a century as a military academy or college. It has resulted in a fascinating history, a strong foundation of service and leadership, and a rich legacy on which to build.
“The bicentennial celebration recognizes our past, examines its impact on present-day Widener, and explores the ways it can inform our future so we may create an even better version of ourselves in our next 200 years,” said Amy Pecsi, director of university events.