Northern Michigan University's week-long Homecoming celebration for alumni, community members and students will be modified because of the COVID-19 virus.
A newly formatted, “reverse” Homecoming Parade will be held from 3-6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25, in the athletic complex parking lot located in front of the Berry Events Center and alongside the PEIF. Residence halls and student organizations will decorate cutouts that represent their favorite Michigan destinations. Their parade entries will remain stationary in the parking lot, and the student body and community can drive through the lot to view the designs.
The NMU Alumni Association will hold its Homecoming events online.
“Homecoming has always been a weekend for alumni to connect with current students, fellow alumni and the NMU community—and to reminisce about their time as a Wildcat,” said Kylie Bunting, digital engagement architect for Alumni Relations. “By hosting these virtual events, we are still able to provide this opportunity and it gives us the ability to connect with even more alumni across the country. The virtual approach to events this year keeps our NMU community safe while still providing the opportunity to connect, see what NMU students are continuing to achieve and remember why we are all proud to be Wildcats.”
The following NMU Alumni Association events are free, unless otherwise indicated. Register at https://www.nmu.edu/alumniassociation/homecoming.
A virtual Wildcat 5K Fun Run will be held Saturday, Sept. 19-Sunday, Oct. 4. The cost is $15 for NMU students and $25 for non-students. Registration includes a Wildcat Fun Run T-shirt. A portion of the revenue will support the NMU Food Pantry.
A virtual Wildcat Trivia Night hosted by alumnus and NMU Theatre and Dance Director Bill Digneit (‘08 BS) will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25, via Zoom and the Kahoot app. Alumni can test their Wildcat knowledge and compete against fellow alumni as they answer questions about the history of NMU, campus buildings and monuments, big Wildcat moments and more.
Arts and Athletics, a virtual showcase, will be held at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26. Those who register will take a virtual "stroll" through the arts and athletics at NMU, hosted by Digneit and Director of Choral Activities Erin Colwitz. Viewers will be treated to performances by the NMU marching band, dance program and choral and theater students, as well as showcases from Art and Design majors. The event will also provide a behind-the-scenes look at NMU Athletics, with exclusive practice footage and interviews with NMU fall sports coaches and athletes.
Bunting said that the Alumni Association plants to continue virtual programming in the future.
“Through creative programming like the Fireside with Fritz chat, Virtual Happy Hours and panel discussions, we have found the opportunity to continue to connect with our alumni across the country,” said Bunting. “We aren't able to visit every city every year, so pivoting our programming to virtual has ensured we stay connected to all of our alumni, all of the time. Even when we are able to host in-person events again—and we can't wait for that day—we will continue the digital programming, allowing us to stay even more connected to our Wildcats throughout the year.”
Student Homecoming events will kick off with the Dead River Games at 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 20, at the Academic Mall, located between Jamrich, Harden Hall and West Science.
“Instead of our normal games, which were very contact forward, we decided to provide a number of lawn games that students can compete in,” said NMU special events coordinator and student Anna Watson. “There will be mini-golf, corn hole and ladder golf. These games give us the flexibility to social distance students while playing and allows us to sanitize the equipment between each use.”
The movie Twilight will be aired at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26, at the Shoreline Theatre, located behind the Superior Dome.
For a full list of student events and to register for them, visit https://www.nmu.edu/organizations/homecoming.