By Kristy Strauss
Carleton University alumni will discover a great chance to get “thrown back” to their university days when the first official homecoming ceremonies in more than a decade kick off this September.
Throwback 2013 is offering a bit of something for everyone – from lectures and pub nights to barbecues and panel discussions. Central to it all, though, is the first home game of Carleton’s new football team.
“We have a rejuvenated football team that’s creating a lot of buzz,” says Paul Armstrong, a senior development officer with the Department of Athletics.
“And with all the new buildings and programs, I think the timing is perfect,” adds Armstrong, a long-time staff member who remembers the university’s past homecoming events.
For many, he says it will be a first chance to see the new campus buildings – including the River and Canal buildings, latest residence, renovated dining hall and fitness centre.
Along with these additions, homecoming attendees will see many positive changes in the Athletic Department.
“We have a new football field, Fieldhouse and hockey rink,” he says. “Back in the 1990s it wasn’t as robust. Now the quality is better. I think someone coming to campus in 2013 versus 1996 will notice a better vibe. They’ve really beautified the campus a lot more.”
Carleton is counting on social media to spread the word among its more than 100,000 alumni.
Jennifer Brenning, director of the Department of Recreation and Athletics, says the return of Carleton’s football team has added an extra layer of excitement.
For the first time in some 15 years, homecoming visitors will enjoy a game at the upgraded 3,000-seat Keith Harris Stadium on Sept. 21 – which is also NFL Day during the event.
“It’s such a high-profile sport and it fosters pride,” Brenning says. “But it’s not just about football – it’s about community.”
Ryan Davies from the Department of University Advancement says the weekend will be full of other events – including building tours and celebrations like the 50th anniversary of the Faculty of Engineering and Design.
“The place has been transformed so much,” says Davies. “(Alumni) can come back and relive the past, learn about the future and celebrate milestones.”
In recent years, Davies says these type of activities took place when Carleton hosted spring reunions – but bringing alumni back in the fall provides a more vivid reminder of their university days.
He adds that this year’s homecoming theme “throwback” represents more than just looking to the past.
“It’s not all about nostalgia,” he says. “It’s about seeing where we are as a university, where the university is going, and what it’s taking from its past.”
For more information about Throwback 2013, and a schedule of events, please go to: www.carleton.ca/throwback/
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