Alumni Relations plan for centennial homecoming

This year has marked the 100th anniversary of Wilfrid Laurier University and with it comes what Teresa Smiley, alumni relations officer at WLU, is calling “the biggest and hopefully best [homecoming] in Laurier history.”

The WLU men’s football team will take on the Ottawa Gee-Gees at 1 p.m. on Saturday Oct. 1 at University Stadium. Pre-game activities will be in abundance, though the nature of these activities as well as halftime events will not be disclosed until the day of the game. Both Smiley and director of alumni relations Bridget McMahon stress that those attending the game should arrive at or earlier than 12:30 p.m. to ensure attendance at the pregame events.

“The student body will have to trust us that it’s going to be unique,” said Smiley.

Those who have arrived and had their ticket scanned before 12:30 p.m. will be entered in a contest. One winner will have the chance to make a field goal attempt between the third and fourth quarters of the game for a chance to win $10,000.

Alumni attendance is expected to be at an all-time high for the centennial year. Homecoming festivities will act as reunions for graduating classes of 1961, 1971, 1981, 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001 and 2006. Total attendance is expected to surpass 10,000 people.

Festivities this year will include the traditional WLU favourites such as a free pancake breakfast for students, staff, alumni and community members hosted in the quad before the football game.

Alumni and community members can partake in open houses hosted by each faculty or attend the Legends of Laurier lecture in which retired WLU business professor Tupper Cawsey will be speaking in the Senate and Board chamber on Saturday morning. Saturday night will see alumni and student parties at both Wilf’s and the Turret.

New programming includes a Sunday afternoon performance of Jesus Christ Superstar in Stratford, and an alumni dinner at Bingemans Conference Center. Here, Laurier’s 100 Alumni of Achievement—alumni who are leading ‘lives of leadership and purpose’ according to the WLU institutional proposition—will be celebrated.

The fourth annual Laurier Loop, a road relay race of 2.5, five, or ten kilometres around University Stadium and through Waterloo Park will be held Sunday.

This outreach event raises money for Laurier’s Sun Life Financial Movement Disorders Research and Rehabilitation Center (MDRC) whose research focuses on Parkinson’s disease. Each year, the football team participates in this event in full force. “Whether you’re an avid runner or have never run before, it’s fun to come out and just support the cause. It’s another event we’d love to see student participation out at,” said Smiley.

“We’re marketing this as the homecoming you don’t want to miss. It’s a celebration of 100 years that’s not going to come around for another 100,” added McMahon.