Homecoming wish for 2020: Stay home!

Homecoming 2020 logoFor more than a century, Colorado State University has been inviting its thousands of alumni back to campus to celebrate Homecoming.

This year, however, will be different. For the first time, CSU is asking its alumni to sit this one out. Stay Homecoming is the theme for 2020 – a nod to the COVID-19 pandemic and the desire to keep campus safe.

“When we looked at Homecoming and ways to celebrate, our first priority was to keep the people on campus – students, faculty and staff – safe,” said Kristi Bohlender, executive director of the Alumni Association. “What we kept coming back to is that the most important aspect of Homecoming is community. It’s all about being part of this campus and finding your connection.

“Yes, Homecoming traditionally is about the parade, the bonfire, fireworks and a football game. But it’s more than that – it’s about reconnecting with a campus you love. This year, we’re going to do that virtually.”

Three-day celebration

Homecoming weekend is set for Thursday, Oct. 1, though Saturday, Oct. 3. Unique events include:

  • Homecoming & Family Weekend kickoff with Old Elk Distillery: A fun, Jeopardy!-style Facebook event for Alumni Association members from the popular Fort Collins distillery. The fun begins at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 1.
  • CSU Alumni Association Virtual Member BBQ (members only): Bohlender will host a Zoom event Oct. 2 that includes appearances from CSU volleyball coach Tom Hilbert, country music artist and CSU alumnus Jon Wolfe and more.
  • Lighting the “A”: Details are being finalized for this Oct. 2 event.
  • Little Shop of Physics Live Demo Homecoming Edition: The iconic community outreach program will bring science to life Oct. 3 in a family-oriented Zoom event.
  • Homecoming 5K: This popular race will celebrate its 40th year virtually, inviting participants to run or walk their own course and send in results by 9 a.m. Oct. 3. The always-popular race T-shirts are still available.

Honoring the Class of 1970

The annual Distinguished Alumni Awards will be postponed for a year, and the 50-Year Club luncheon has been canceled. However, Bohlender said all members of the Class of 1970 will be celebrated with a video that honors a landmark year in CSU history.

“That really was a pivotal time on our campus,” she said. “That was the year Old Main burned down, there was campus unrest and we had our first Black Homecoming queen. Two of our greatest athletes – Lawrence McCutcheon and Earlie Thomas – were on the football team. The whole campus was active and vibrant.”

Alumni and friends can also participate in a social media photo competition, learn how to draw CAM the Ram and get a digital spirit pack. Details about these and other events are available at homecoming.colostate.edu.