Homecoming welcomes alumni back with a bang

For many, this past weekend was a trip down memory lane as homecoming allowed both current students and alumni to come together over a shared love for Geneseo.

The weekend began with opportunities for both students and alumni to build their careers through attending the Career Triage for Alumni and the Networking Hour for Students, hosted by the Geneseo Alumni Association on Friday afternoon. Later that afternoon the homecoming sports tradition also came into play during the men's soccer game against Potsdam.

A newer homecoming tradition was celebrated at the Third Annual Friday Knight 5K Race and Walk. Students, alumni and local residents gathered together amid shouts and laughter to begin the race, which wound its way down Main Street from the Village Park and through the campus.

The race was sponsored by the cross-country and track and field teams and offered an opportunity for the community and campus to interact. Joel Peterson, Geneseo class of 1980 and local resident, said: "I love that students integrate with the community … Geneseo would not be the same without the college."

Following the 5K, the "All Alumni Kick-Off Party" was held under a tent in the Village Park, while later that evening comedian Eliot Chang gave a free performance in Wadsworth Auditorium.

The festivities continued Saturday with events such as the Alzheimer's Memory Walk, Geneseo's second annual Block Party, various sports events and the fifth and 10th reunion celebrations for the classes of 1999 and 2004.The weekend ended with a bang as fireworks exploded over Letchworth Field that evening.

Assistant Director of Alumni Relations Tracy Gagnier said, "Without a football team there wasn't really one flagship event for homecoming weekend … we needed one unifying event." The Block Party became that event, giving students and alumni the opportunity to share food and games such as Kan Jam and ring tosses. As Gagnier said, "Everyone can be together and no one will be out of place."

Louis Sapirman, class of 1990, gave a G.O.L.D. lecture this week, returning to see the campus with his wife Nadine Kadell-Sapirman, class of 1991, and their sons. "We both had great experiences as students," Kadell-Sapirman said. "We love coming back and seeing how the school has grown. It still feels like home."

Sapirman noted that although a few changes have occurred on the campus, it remains familiar. "There are a couple of new beautiful buildings, but it is still the same great small school we loved and still love," he said.

"I love coming back and seeing the changes that have been made," said Margie Hart, class of 1976. Hart's son is currently a student at Geneseo. "It still feels like home," she said.

Gagnier said that although a large number of alumni attending homecoming events were from the fifth and 10th year reunion classes, small groups from other years came back for mini-reunions of their own. "A lot of people came out and were connecting, talking and laughing."

Gagnier said that she was satisfied at the turnout for this year's homecoming, and that she was optimistic about future events. "We welcome student feedback about this year's events and ideas for the future," she said.