By Addison Rothrock
Amidst the flurry of midterm exams, students had the opportunity to blow off some steam, grab a milkshake at the drive-in, soar across E-Field, roller their way in the rink and catch a bird’s-eye view of Furman at the top of the Ferris Wheel.
FUSAB offered the student body a wide array of activities that stretched across Homecoming week. The dispersion of programming throughout the week incorporated more students and inspired a sense of excitement for the weekend’s main events.
The Student Alumni Council (SAC) organized the competition aspect of Homecoming, including Horse Play, the float building and the chalking. “We deal with the logistics of the competition and getting the organizations excited about Homecoming,” said Kaitlin Parham, president of SAC.
New this year, SAC extended competition involvement to the freshmen class. Therefore, the competitors included Greek organizations, Engaged Living, the Music Department, the Baptist Christian Ministry, and the freshmen class. Jessica Berkey, Associate Director of Student Activities, hoped that in the future more groups would be incorporated.
The Alumni Office launched another new initiative for Homecoming. A specific website for the Homecoming event was established, allowing alumni to see all the Homecoming material in one place and register for any events, if they so desired. Leo Fackler, Associate Director for Furman’s Alumni Association, said, “We have had great feedback on this site and hope to grow it in the coming years.”
Though the sparkle of carnival rides and the newfangled aspects enthralled, the purpose of Homecoming remained the same. It wasn’t just about the fun, food and frenzy. The heart of Homecoming was when our alumni returned.
Berkey said, “The purpose of Homecoming was to welcome alumni back and to continue to cultivate that greater sense of community. It was about being a part of that Furman family. Also, it was [about having] a week where we could celebrate being at Furman and being a part of this great community. We could celebrate our students and everyone here.”
The point of Homecoming is to bring current and previous students together to celebrate Furman. Scott Derrick, Director of Student Activities and the Trone Center, came to a similar conclusion. “The institution changes over time, but it’s still, at its core, Furman. It’s important to know your legacy and know the ones who came before you. We want to celebrate that we’re really all a part of this blood line, this purple blood line,” he said.
Although not its primary purpose, Homecoming arrived when students needed it most. “That mall event is the one time of the year that the majority of the campus comes out and they have a lot of fun. If we didn’t have this I’m pretty sure the students would burn up. This gave them a chance to have some fun together in one big community,” said Derrick.