A Happy Homecoming

For many Colgate students, Homecoming Weekend is a unique tradition. The Office of Alumni Affairs, which is responsible for organizing Homecoming, planned a weekend full of activities and events.

“Homecoming is often a time when smaller groups of alumni, such as athletic teams, student organizations, fraternities and sororities and reunion planning groups, hold mini-reunions,” Associate Director of Alumni Affairs Pat Buckley ’98 said. “For example, this year the pep band, Theta Chi, Phi Psi (a former fraternity that used to occupy Creative Arts House) and the tennis team all invited alumni back for Homecoming.”

Since the Hamilton area has limited lodging options, the majority of alumni that return tend to be recent graduates who stay with friends.

The weekend kicked off with the Homecoming bonfire on Whitnall Field Friday at 9 p.m.

“The bonfire gives alumni, current students, faculty, staff and members of the Hamilton community a chance to come together to celebrate Colgate,” Buckley said.

First-years shared their reactions to the event.

“As a first-year, having an event like a bonfire helps us to meet new people and really feel like we’re a part of Colgate,” first-year Taylor Shaw said.

The Class of 2007 Tailgate, co-sponsored by Colgate Activities Board, began at 11 a.m. on Saturday, followed by the long-awaited football game against arch-rival Cornell at 1 p.m. in Andy Kerr Stadium. During halftime, Colgate’s 2004-05 Women’s Soccer and Lacrosse teams, both of which won the Patriot League Championship, were recognized and received their championship rings. Colgate defeated Cornell’s Big Red 34-20 before a crowd of 6,927 fans.

“Homecoming is always a big event at Colgate ,and this year is no exception,” Head Football Coach Dick Biddle said. “Playing our biggest rival, Cornell, only added to the excitement.”

On Sunday at 2 p.m., the Women’s hockey team hosted the Toronto Jr. Aeros at Starr Rink in an exhibition game. Following the game, the men’s and women’s ice hockey teams held their annual Skate with the Raiders event. This event included food and prizes, and fans had the opportunity to get autographs and have pictures taken with the players. The Women’s hockey team defeated Toronto 8-1.

“I have always enjoyed all the various events and seeing all the alumni that come back to campus,” Women’s Ice Hockey Head Coach Scott Wiley said. “This is the first year that we had a game scheduled and I was looking forward to putting on a great show for everyone that attended the game!”

Other Homecoming events included a volleyball match Friday against Holy Cross, a women’s soccer game Saturday against Bucknell, movies in Golden and Love Auditoriums and a CAB-sponsored Take Two $3 weekend.

The Colgate University Orchestra held a free concert on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. in the Chapel, in which they performed Mendelssohn’s Italian Symphony, Shostakovitch’s Ninth Symphony, Verdi’s Overture to Nabucco and Weber’s Second Clarinet Concerto.

“The Colgate University Orchestra is one of the best liberal arts college orchestras in the country and Sunday’s concert, with the magnificent talent of solo clarinetist Alexander Fiterstein, was memorable,” conductor Marietta Cheng said.

Buckley discussed the broader significance of Homecoming.

“We’re really promoting Homecoming as a chance for alumni to enjoy the energy and excitement that takes place at Colgate every weekend,” Buckley said.