Homecoming celebration underway; Alumni Association


Sarah Bedford, News Editor

Homecoming festivities are to begin on Friday and continue through Sunday afternoon.

Homecoming is organized through the Alumni Office, which is staffed by Bridget Giunta, Jacki Lukas, and Mary Simmons; The Alumni Board of Directors; Homecoming Committee; and the student homecoming team.

The Alumni Association Board of Directors and the Homecoming Committee is composed of a group of volunteers who work throughout the year to come up with ideas for the events.

This year, the classes which end in fours’s and nine’s will be having reunions. It is also the class of 1964’s 50th reunion, “they have a special celebration that’s only for their class,” said Lukas.

The big event at this years Homecoming is the “Share the Spirit” Celebration on Saturday evening in the Marts gymnasium. At the event, special guests, Bo Ryan class of 1969, and “Colonel Bob” class of 1989, will be in attendance.

Ryan is the head coach of Wisconsin Badgers basketball team and also a member of Wilkes Hall of Fame.

He is a very well known coach.. people who don’t know or aren’t associated with Wilkes know of him,” said Lukas.

Colonel Bob” is an iconic alumni who has symbolized the Wilkes school spirit for that era.

He was the mascot here at Wilkes when he was a student and he is a legend on campus,” said Giunta.

“Colonel Bob” will be sporting his costume at the “Share the Spirit” event as well.

The Tailgate Tent will also be on Saturday at 11am, at the Ralston Athletic Complex. Here, the classes will meet along with The Beacon, WCLH, A-List, Sidhu School/business, letterman and letterwomen, and communication studies, psychology, and political science majors.

A lot of planning goes into the event and through the assistance of the volunteers and student team, the event is made possible.

“We compile a student team to help us with a lot of our Homecoming duties… we expect over 500 people to come back to campus,” said Lukas.

This year, there are roughly 30 students as part of this team; their duties range from filling bags, making signs to greeting people.

Lukas commented that, “its also a great opportunity for them to network with alumni.”

Senior Political Science major and second time volunteer, Peter Tuzzo agreed, “I really enjoy the opportunity to meet Alumni and being behind the scenes to prepare for the exciting weekend.”

“We have our veterans who do it for multiple years in a row… we also do a call out to the student body to look for volunteers and we give flyers for orientation so students know about it before they even get to campus,” said Giunta on student recruitment.

Lukas recalled when she was a student at Wilkes how the team was not as large; “its growing every year,” she said.

Along with being a great opportunity for current Colonels, alumni also enjoy the student involvement.

They love to see what a slice of life is like at Wilkes in the now,” commented Giunta.

Not only has the student body been able to be involved through the student team, but this year, the Alumni Office created a poster board contest which allows clubs to create displays which will be hung in the Henry Student Center Concourse this week for alumni to view. They will be asked to vote on their favorite poster and the winning club receives a pizza party from the Alumni Office.

Some students are also given the opportunity to attend some of the events with alumni throughout the weekend.

“We provide student tickets to the organizations or majors that have reunions. Usually the advisor or faculty member of student club leader decides how they give out those tickets” said Giunta.

The office works with the numerous departments on campus who are interested in having reunions; this years group has recurring reunions as well as the Beacon and WCLH celebrating anniversaries.

Throughout the year, the Alumni office also plans events for classes and departments that which to have events.

On average, between 600-800 people usually attend the Homecoming events however weather plays a factor. Regardless, “we have strong registrations at this point,” said Giunta.

Homecoming activities begin Friday morning and continue until Sunday afternoon.