BRANDON, MB – For Gerald Butler, attending Homecoming 2013 at Brandon University (BU) is a must.
“Since graduating in 1963, I have rarely missed a Homecoming,” says Butler, who was born in a house right across the street from BU, or Brandon College as it was known back then. “Homecoming is a great chance to reconnect.”
His childhood home is no longer standing and his career has taken him to another city but Butler’s ties to BU remain strong. He has served on the Alumni Board, the BU Foundation, and is helping organize this year’s Homecoming on October 18-20.
“It’s not about seeing the buildings,” he says. “It’s about seeing the people. Getting together is always a challenge, especially now-a-days. People go all over the world now for their careers. Young alumni may be starting families. But it is really important to maintain your relationship with your University family.”
Open to all BU alumni, Homecoming 2013 will feature three days of events both on and off campus, with special recognition for the classes of 1943, ’53, ’63, ’73, ’83 and 1988.
This year is Butler’s 50th anniversary for his Class of 1963. “My hope is that we get 100% of our class to attend, so I am encouraging everyone to make the effort,” says Butler. “I wish we could see more of our teachers and coaches but the passage of time has made that impossible.”
BU Alumni Relations Officer Carla Eisler expects a great turnout. “We have RSVPs coming in from coast to coast,” she says, “including at least two alumni from the class of 1943, who are celebrating 70 years since graduating from Brandon College.”
“Coming home to BU is an emotional experience,” says Butler. “These emotions may not be uncovered for ten or 20 years. But then, it hits you. The people that I met and the friendships that were formed during my time at Brandon College remain a meaningful and important part of my life. And, this seems to be a common theme when speaking with fellow classmates,” he says. “Many share the same fond memories and are looking forward to reconnecting and rekindling friendships.”
Among the events including tours, class reunions, dinners and the unveiling this year of a Sports Wall of Fame in BU’s Healthy Living Centre, is the Farewell Brunch. “It is an alumni favourite where we have the chance to get up and speak, impromptu, at an open microphone,” says Butler. “People reflect on…the memories, the relationships. It’s a great reminder of our youth and the good times we had.”
A full listing of events, accommodations and registration information is available at: https://www.brandonu.ca/homecoming/.
Brandon University, founded in 1899, promotes excellence in teaching, research, and scholarship; educating students so that they can make a meaningful difference as engaged citizens and leaders.
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Alumni Relations Officer