“There’s no place like Homecoming.”
That’s the theme this year as Eastern Kentucky University gets ready to welcome graduates, their families and other friends of the University to Homecoming and Reunion Weekend Oct. 19-21.
Thousands are expected for a weekend full of festivities, floats, family fun, fellowship and, of course, football. Continuing a practice that began last year, the University is combining Homecoming with the events that formerly constituted Alumni Weekend. Alumni of all years are welcome. Graduates from the following years will receive special recognition: 1942, 1947, 1952, 1957, 1962, 1967, 1972, 1977, 1982, 1987, 1992, 1997, 2002 and 2007.
“It’s a great time to celebrate EKU’s rich tradition, as well as the exciting transformation that is now taking place at the University” said Dan McBride, executive director of alumni engagement.
The annual alumni awards banquet and Pioneer celebration is scheduled for 5-8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 20, in the Keen Johnson Ballroom. Two Eastern alumni will be inducted into the University’s Hall of Distinguished Alumni: Larry Kirksey and Harve Turner. Four will receive Distinguished Service Awards: Allison Allgier, Moriah Beck, Daniel Ellis (posthumous) and Vicki Jozefowicz. Four will receive Professional Achievement Awards: Kelly Bakehorn, Theresa Klisz, Andrew Page and Clay Tipton. And five will receive Young Alumni Awards: Juliana Coffey, Allison Kilburn, Stephanie Stockburger, Tyiana Thompson and Charlie Vance.
Also at the banquet, the University will recognize its newest group of Pioneers, those who graduated at least 50 years ago (1967 and earlier).
Admission for the banquet is $25. For more information and to register, visit alumni.eku.edu/awards-celebration.
The annual Homecoming parade and 5K run will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 21, along its usual route of Lancaster Avenue to Main Street. Visitors to the parade are encouraged to park in either the Adams House Lot on Lancaster Avenue just north of the Elmwood estate, or the Lancaster Lot, just south of Elmwood. The Colonels will battle Ohio Valley Conference gridiron foe UT Martin at 3 p.m. at Roy Kidd Stadium. The Homecoming queen and king will be crowned at halftime. (Game tickets are available through homecoming.eku.edu.)
Other activities include:
Thursday, Oct. 19
· Colonel Corn Roast, 5-7 p.m., Meditation Plaza, adjacent to Powell Building, open to entire University community and public.
· University Ensemble/Gospel Ensemble (50th Anniversary) Meet and Greet, 5-8 p.m., Whitlock Building. (Contact: Joanne Simpson, email@example.com, 859-879-0729.)
· Eastern’s Got Talent, 7-9 p.m., Brock Auditorium.
Friday, Oct. 20
· John Hines Classic, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., University Club at Arlington, four-person golf scramble. (Contact: Austin Molen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 859-622-4976.)
· Decal Drive Thru, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., curb in front of Keen John Building, swing by and pick up campus map, schedule of events, parking directions and special EKU Alumni decal.
· Richmond Chamber of Commerce Town and Gown Homecoming Tailgate, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Madison County Courthouse lawn.
· Homecoming Campus Tours, 1:30-3:30 p.m., meet at Blanton House.
· Gospel concert featuring Joe Leavell with 1 Purpose, from Louisville, and opening act Lisa Renee Banks, 7:30 p.m., O’Donnell Hall, Whitlock Building. Admission $12, tickets may be purchased in advance at buyuegeconcerttickets.weebly.com or at the door. Presented by University Ensemble/Gospel Ensemble as fundraiser for scholarship fund.
· Young Alumni After Party, 9 p.m.-midnight, Paddy Wagon, downtown Richmond.
Saturday, Oct. 21
· Forever Colonel Breakfast, 8:30-10:30 a.m., Irvine McDowell Park.
· Live @ Your Library, featuring author/EKU alumnus Silas House, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Grand Reading Room, John Grant Crabbe Library.
· Community tailgate, 10:30-3 p.m., Alumni Coliseum Parking Lot.
· University Ensemble/Gospel Ensemble Memorial/Recognition Banquet, 5-9 p.m., Keen Johnson Building. (Contact: Lelani Turrentine, email@example.com or 205-873-9181.)
The weekend also includes various organizational, departmental and college reunions, as well as campus tours and numerous sporting events. To see a complete list of all Homecoming and Alumni Reunion events, including ticket/registration details, visit homecoming.eku.edu or call 859-622-1260.