Although the in-person Homecoming scheduled for this weekend had to be cancelled, Brandon University has new ways to come together this year.
“We are bringing Homecoming to you, wherever you are — either here in Brandon, or as one of our alumni around the world, there are new ways to explore BU and reconnect with your friends and former classmates,” said Carla Eisler, BU’s Director of Advancement and Alumni Affairs. “Creativity has helped us all adapt to the reality of the pandemic, and it is helping Homecoming as well.”
In lieu of in-person events on campus this year, BU is celebrating Homecoming in new ways, including a brand new virtual tour, a delicious Bobcat Appreciation Meal that can be picked up or delivered locally, video research features, and a special announcement of Alumni Award recipients, who will be revealed tomorrow. As well, this weekend will see the new Brandon University sign at 18th Street and Victoria Avenue permanently lit up for the first time.
“This time each year, the campus is usually buzzing with the energy and excitement of new and returning students as they settle into their new routines. It is also a time when we would be welcoming back alumni and friends to campus to celebrate Homecoming Weekend,” Eisler said. “Although we are unable to host in-person events this year, we want to mark the importance of our alumni and the spirit of this weekend.”
Homecoming kicks off with a video welcome message from BU, featuring a range of alumni speaking about their memories at Brandon College and Brandon University. It’s available at BrandonU.ca/Homecoming, which is also a hub for other content over the weekend.
Local alumni, Bobcat fans, and the entire community will be able to dig into a special blue-and-gold meal through Everyone Eats Brandon on Friday, which is increasing its capacity to 500 for the nights. Meals include seasoned chicken drumsticks and a delicious assortment of vegetables. Orders should be made at EveryoneEatsBrandon.ca before 2 p.m. Friday, for pickup between 4–6 p.m. at BU. Orders can also be phoned in to 204-571-8524. Volunteers from the BU Alumni Association and the BU Bobcats women’s basketball team will be providing a limited number of deliveries.
Alumni near and far will also be interested in a new virtual tour of the entire BU campus, made possible through a partnership with eBrandon. The new tour features approximately 90 stops on campus, including outdoor vistas and prominent spaces like the Observatory, the Bell Tower and the campus greenhouse.
Research at BU is also being featured, with links to the Research Connection summaries that showcase the value of BU research in a short format designed for non-experts. Some are also being featured in a new podcast, and in three-minute video features.
“A highlight each year at Homecoming is the presentation of our Alumni Awards, which honour and celebrate some of the fantastic alumni we’re so proud of, and their incredible accomplishments and achievments,” Eisler said. “This year, we’re announcing the awards online, but the alumni are just as impressive. We look forward to honouring them in person as soon as we can.”
While the traditional highlights of class reunions are also on hold for the moment, Eisler says that many people are interested in connecting with friends and former classmates through social media or other digital means. The Office of Advancement & Alumni Affairs at BU is able to help, and anyone interested is asked to email email@example.com or call them toll free at 1.888.282.4483.
“We’re celebrating differently this year, but we’re still celebrating,” she said. “Like everyone else, for me this year reinforces the value of the personal connections that we develop at Brandon University, and I cannot wait to come together in person again. We are already planning for next year, and we hope to welcome you to Homecoming 2021 next October!”
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