California Baptist University’s annual Homecoming Weekend Feb. 28-29 was filled with new and old traditions that brought alumni and current students together for an event-packed weekend.
The weekend started on Friday, Feb. 28, with a men’s baseball game against Houston Baptist University, followed by an event on the front lawn called Up: A Hot Air Homecoming Event.
“This event is new to California Baptist University this year,” said Janet Crate, associate director of Signature Events. “We are hoping it will be successful and become a tradition.”
This event consisted of food trucks, music, activities and six hot balloons — three of which took groups of three to four students up into the sky.
“It was neat to be able to see students and alumni come together to enjoy an event,” said Keylee Patterson, freshman exercise science major. “I enjoyed seeing the hot air balloons on the front lawn and it was cool that you could go inside them.”
The second day of Homecoming Weekend consisted of many events. Festivities on Feb. 29 included the Lancer Tailgate Lunch, campus tours, a hymn singalong and reunions events for alumni.
As the evening drew near, a massive party at Lancer Plaza and in front of the Events Center began in preparation for the Homecoming basketball game.
Festivities included face painting, live music, a Ferris wheel, food and more.
More than 5,000 attendees packed the Event Center to support the men’s basketball team in its last conference home game of the season against Seattle University. Alumni were honored throughout the game, and during half-time the cheer team performed its routine alongside alumni cheerleaders.
“It was fun being able to perform with some of the alumni that made the cheer team what it is today,” Patterson said.
Homecoming Weekend ended with a thrilling men’s basketball game that the Lancers won 88-87, scoring the close victory by one point during overtime.
Organizers said the 2020 Homecoming Weekend would not have been such a success without the hard work of many people who have been prepping since July 2019.
“This event has so many different elements and it requires nearly a year of advanced planning,” said Josh Moss, director of Alumni and Parent Relations. “We work with so many different departments across the campus, so the coordination is essential earlier rather than later.”
Crate and Moss both emphasized that Homecoming is both for alumni, and for current students.
“My heart for the students at CBU is for them to truly understand that Homecoming is for them too,” Crate said. “I want them to be able to come back as alumni and remember how many memories they made while here because you truly cannot replace the memories you make at your university.”