Homecoming 2015: Heading “Back to the Future”

Homecoming 2015: Heading “Back to the Future”


In what will be a time to remember the past and to get a peek of what’s to come at Rowan University, thousands of alumni, students, Glassboro community members and their families will literally go “Back to the Future” as they join together to celebrate Homecoming Week.

That’s because this year’s celebration, which runs Oct. 12-17, pays homage to the popular 1985 science fiction movie. In “Back to the Future,” the characters travel back in time to 1955, return to 1985, and then head forward to 2015.

Rowan is in the midst of an unprecedented period of growth and transformation. Given that--and the fact that thousands of alumni from all decades will be back on campus--the theme is especially fitting for Homecoming, says Constantine Alexakos, director of student activities and Homecoming co-chair.

“I’m excited to see the great ideas our students come up with through the week to celebrate the theme,” Alexakos says.

“The University is growing so much that we thought this was a really fun theme for students, alumni and community members to enjoy,” adds Michele Applegate, a graduate student in higher education administration, and co-chair of Homecoming.

While Homecoming Week includes the time-honored Rowan spirit, banner, lip sync, Battleship, and push cart competitions, as well as the 32nd annual Step Show, the two biggest events will be the Block Party on Friday, Oct. 16, and the Homecoming parade, float competition, tailgate, Alumni Tent and football game on Saturday, Oct. 17.

In “Back to the Future” fashion, what follows is look at Homecoming Week’s events in (backward) chronological order. For a full schedule of Homecoming events, visit http://www.rowan.edu/events/homecoming/.

Saturday, Oct. 17

With tailgaters, the annual Homecoming parade, the Alumni Tent, College Corner, and Rowan football, the area around Coach Richard Wackar Stadium will be abuzz on Saturday as students, alumni, community members and their families come together to celebrate Prof pride.

Chances are there will be a Marty McFly or two—and even a Doc Brown—on hand as Rowan students participate in the annual float competition and Homecoming parade, one of the University’s longest-running traditions. The parade leaves Rowan Boulevard at 10 a.m. and proceeds to Lot D on Bowe Boulevard, where students will perform skits on the “Back to the Future” theme.

College of Education alumna Diane Mazzei, ’69 M’80 will be honored as this year’s Alumni Ambassador recipient and will ride in the parade, as will Rowan President Ali A. Houshmand and the Prof, among others.

Additionally, students involved in the Student Alumni Association will present games, face painting and a bounce house for children, while each of Rowan’s colleges will offer additional activities, giveaways and information at College Corner. College Corner also gives alumni a chance to reconnect with deans, faculty members and fellow alumni from their respective colleges.

According to Chris D’Angelo, director of Alumni Engagement, more than 1,900 alumni and guests have pre-registered for the free Alumni Tent, which will feature an all-you-can-eat buffet. The stadium area also will include vendors, a photo booth, and a Flying Fish beer garden, which will provide a stellar view of the action on the football field.

Kickoff time is 2 p.m. as Coach Jay Accorsi’s team looks to improve to 5-1 on the season against Southern Virginia.

Saturday’s events conclude with the 32nd annual Step Show, presented by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity’s Nu Iota Chapter in Pfleeger Concert Hall. Doors open at 6 p.m. for the 7 p.m. show. Tickets are $12.

Friday, Oct. 16

A free “Back to the Future” Block Party on Friday from 5-10 p.m. on Rowan Boulevard will be a family affair as students and community members come together for a fun, spirited Homecoming celebration.

Last year, close to 3,000 people—including 1,200 students—enjoyed the first Block Party, leading this year’s organizers to make the event even bigger. Among the offerings will be food and craft vendors, a fire pit with s’mores, a kids’ zone and, in keeping with the “Back to the Future” theme, a hover board simulator skateboard, Segway rides, and photos with a DeLorean car.

The Heartbeats dance band will provide music throughout the decades as Rowan’s dance team and Profecy, an acapella group comprised of Rowan students, will entertain the crowd.

Also on Friday, a “mix and mingle” for alumni and students of the College of Education, Rowan’s oldest college, will begin at 5 p.m. in the atrium of James Hall.

Thursday, Oct. 15

Two big celebrations on Thursday include the traditional Lip Sync Competition for Rowan students at 9 p.m. in the Pit of the Chamberlain Student Center and the Leadership Rowan “ProfPride” ProfTalks presentations at 6:30 p.m. in the Owl’s Nest. During ProfTalks, which are patterned after the popular Ted Talks presentations, members of the Rowan community will discuss why they’re proud to be Profs.

Wednesday, Oct. 14

During the fourth annual Intramural Battleship competition on Wednesday, as many as 30 Rowan teams will try to sink each other’s canoes in the pool of the Rec Center. The winning team may include students, faculty members and professional staff.

Tuesday, Oct. 13

The annual Push Cart Competition on Tuesday will add some speedy competitors this year as 20 children involved with the Boys and Girls Club of Glassboro join in the fun along Rowan Boulevard. The children’s competitions begin at 5:30 p.m., while the Rowan students will vie for Push Cart honors—and bragging rights—beginning at 7:30 p.m.

“This is as old-school as it gets,” says the event’s coordinator Jim Thatcher, a graduate coordinator in the Office of Student Activities. “DeLoreans weren’t in our budget this year. But if anyone gets the push carts to go 88 miles per hour, there’s a rumor that they go back in time.

“It’s a really fun competition that requires a great deal of teamwork,” Thatcher continues. “We can’t wait for the kids to join us for some old-fashioned Homecoming fun.”

Monday, Oct. 12

The annual Banner Competition, during which clubs and organizations show off their creativity and Rowan spirit, will be judged at 9 p.m. on Monday in the Pit of the Chamberlain Student Center.

Event Association: