Homecoming evolves in its’ 3rd year

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Nichelle Trulove -- The Homecoming Block Party weekend takes place Feb 17 - 18.

Homecoming weekend Feb. 17-18 promises “pomp and circumstance” as the Office of Institutional Advancement promotes this year’s celebration of living God’s purpose through the theme “One World, One Mission,” Earl Harris, director of conferences and events, said.

The international theme of “One World, One Mission” will honor the 15th anniversary of the International Service Projects (ISP).

“As a college, we have sent a lot of people out to live their purpose,” Harris said, “not only referencing past students who participated in service projects, but all students who are now living out their dreams in the workplace.”

According to Harris, living out the mission is not confined to programs like ISP or United States Projects (USP).

“Live your purpose is a global statement. Homecoming reminds us of how many people we have sent out. The event is designed to bring them all back to celebrate God’s purpose for life,” Harris said.

CBU launches its third annual Homecoming with the intention of growing the event larger with each succeeding year. The university plans on making Homecoming a “big event,” Harris said.

Noting the evolution of Homecoming, Carrie Smith, manager of alumni and parent membership said, “Homecoming is becoming a signature event not only about bringing alumni on campus, but it is a chance for each department to showcase what they do. We invite the community on the campus, who otherwise, would not come and visit.”

Friday’s events were designed with current students in mind, but alumni and family members are also invited to celebrate.

“We want this year’s Homecoming to attract even more students,” Harris said. “Last year we had around 1,000 students attend the bonfire on Friday night. We are hoping to double that. We want Friday night to be for the students. We want the students to come out in droves.”

By announcing the court at the bonfire and pep rally event, rather than at the game on Saturday, committee members believed that more people would be able to attend. Last year, court nominees’ guest lists were limited, but this year nominees will be able to invite more people if they so desire.

“Previously, only people at the game saw the court revealed. Attendance was limited,” Harris said.

Court nominees will caravan onto the scene in style and the winners will be announced at the pep rally, making the event more accessible to students.

“We will bring the court in riding in classic convertible cars. We will be able to drive them out onto the lawn, something we could never do in the Van Dyne gym,” Smith said.

Concerning the bonfire, Harris has it on good authority that the fireball launch will be even more exciting at this year’s Homecoming celebration than last year.

The launch will still feature the trebuchet, designed by the School of Engineering, but the rest is a surprise, Harris said.

International entertainment and student testimonies will be part of the events, showcasing the fruit of the university’s global focus.

Kristin White, director of global mobilization, will provide those in attendance an overview of what ISP stands for and their mission for Christ. Chuck Sands, dean of the college of allied health, will host a lecture on health and global engagement. Anthony Donaldson, dean of the school of engineering, will cover the topic of engineering and its global impact.

As far as live entertainment, Friday promises a concert by the School of Music, a pep rally and concert by the “Daylights” among other events. The “Daylights” are a trio from the Los Angeles area who, in past days, toured with Katy Perry, NeedtoBreathe and OneRepublic.

The block party extravaganza will continue on Saturday with an artisan walk, food court, “little lancer land,” live entertainment, department booths and games.

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