Homecoming 2018: Rowan Goes Hollywood

Homecoming 2018: Rowan Goes Hollywood

Homecoming 2018 graphic image portraying theme Rowan Goes Hollywood

In a sense, Rowan University has been going Hollywood for decades.

This year alone, seven Rowan alumni won Prime Time Emmys: Adam Chazen ’08, Jake Chusid ’12, Evan Hage ’10, Ben King ’10, and Paul Russo ’12, for HBO’s Game of Thrones; and Brian Pacek ’11 and Ashley Zazzarino ’10 for Amazon Prime Video’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

Other Rowan alumni who’ve “gone Hollywood” include the late Robert Hegyes ’73, a Glassboro State College alumnus who rose to fame playing Juan Epstein on TV’s Welcome Back Cotter in the 1970s and, later, famously wore a G.S.C. sweatshirt on episodes of Cagney & Lacy.

And then there’s G.S.C. alumna Sue Kroll ’83, a longtime Hollywood power player, who this year left her position as president of worldwide marketing and distribution at Warner Bros. to start her own production company, according to industry trade pub Variety.

For Homecoming 2018, Rowan is again “going Hollywood,” but just for the fun of it, with events and programming that play upon the theme.

Assistant Director of Marketing & Student Programs Melissa Ulmer said Homecoming Week, which runs Oct. 15-21, will include a series of traditional competitions that will be judged, at least in part, on how well students incorporate the Hollywood theme.

 “For example, during the banner competition, one of the components is how closely they draw to that theme,” Ulmer said. “Lip sync is another one and the block party is completely built around the theme.”

She said hundreds of students are expected to take part in the week’s events including a new competition, “Canstruction,” in which teams will build structures from cans of food. After the event, the canned food used in it will be donated to the SHoP, Rowan’s campus food pantry.

While Homecoming Week technically starts Monday, Oct. 15, the biggest draws for alumni, family and friends are expected over the weekend for such events as the annual Homecoming Block Party on Hollybush Green and a 25-year celebration of the Rowan Rec Center, both Friday evening; this year’s homecoming football game versus Wesley College at 2 p.m. Saturday; and, on Sunday, the Paul A. Hilton Fellowship Breakfast and the 2018 induction ceremony for the Rowan Athletics Hall of Fame.

The alumni event of the year

“For the alumni community, Homecoming has turned into a reunion weekend,” said Director of Alumni Engagement Chris D’Angelo. “We moved our 50th reunion to Homecoming Weekend three years ago and, for the second year, we’re also hosting a 10 year reunion. There are also several opportunities for alumni with shared interests and affinities to reconnect, including a WGLS-FM reunion, and, for baseball alumni, the Baseball Diamond Club Golf Tournament.”

Saturday’s tailgate party and ball game are expected to draw more than 2,000 alumni, family and friends. At halftime, alumnus Jeff Hickman ’95, a recruitment manager for the Walt Disney Company in Florida, will be honored as the 2018 Alumni Ambassador Award recipient.

The Alumni Ambassador Award is one of four that celebrate Rowan alumni each year including the Distinguished Young Alumnus(a) Award, which is bestowed during the President’s Welcome at the start of the fall semester, the Distinguished Alumnus(a) Award at Commencement and the Lifetime Service Award during the Golden Years reunion.

D’Angelo noted that Homecoming also gives Rowan’s schools and colleges the opportunity engage with alumni and showcase student accomplishments and will again feature a College Row in the parking lot outside Coach Richard Wachar Stadium.

“To a certain extent Homecoming is a huge celebration but it also exemplifies how much pride our students and community have in Rowan,” he said. “The most rewarding thing for us is to see students connect with alumni who may have been here 20 or more years ago. For as much as Rowan and Glassboro have transformed over the years, students today continue to enjoy the same close-knit community that’s shaped the lives of thousands of alumni who came before them.”

Ulmer said with each new year, Homecoming seems to get ever more popular.

“Students want to participate,” she said. “It’s exciting, something everyone looks forward to celebrating together.”

Read more about Homecoming 2018.