Emory Report
September 27, 2004
Volume 57, Number 6


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September 27, 2004
Campus to dress up in 'Varsity Blue'

BY Eric rangus

Many members of the Emory community, past and present, take great pride in the school’s lack of a football team. Yet there, right in the middle of the logo for Emory’s upcoming Homecoming Weekend, is an old-time quarterback, complete with leather helmet and stylish horizontally striped uniform. Even the theme, “Varsity Blue,” is a reference to a recent football movie.

What gives?

“There is historically a strong tie between homecoming and fall sports,” said Gerry Lowrey, senior director of campus relations for the Association of Emory Alumni (AEA). “It’s an ironic little jab on the students’ part,” he said, referring to the work of the homecoming planning committee, of which students are a large portion.

With two varsity soccer games and a host of other sports activities as its centerpiece, Emory’s 2004 Homecoming Weekend is athletically inclined, but it’s the award ceremonies, mixers, family gatherings and a concert by rock musician Howie Day that will make the long weekend of Sept. 30–Oct. 3

Homecoming weekend kicks off at 5:45 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 30, with the Spirit of Emory Parade. The parade, which winds through the main campus, features floats constructed by residence halls, fraternities, sororities and other service organizations.

“It’s at the end of the workday, so it’s ideal for staff and faculty to attend,” said Sarah Cook, director of young alumni and student relations in AEA.

The festivities get a bit more formal that night with the black-tie Emory Medal Ceremony at 6:30 in Miller-Ward alumni House. The Emory Medal is the highest University honor an alumnus can receive, and recipients are confidential until the ceremony. Wrapping up the evening is the student-judged
Mr. and Ms. Emory contest in Harland Cinema.

Lowrey said alumni research has shown the best-remembered places on campus are the Quadrangle and Lullwater. Interestingly, he added, these are two of the places that have changed the least. “When alumni think of the Quad, they have very warm feelings, just like current students,” he said.

With that in mind, the Quad will host the Homecoming Ball Friday night. From 9 p.m.–1 a.m., alumni and students can dance the night away under the stars. For stargazing of a different sort, the Math & Science Center planetarium will be open from 8–11 p.m. on Friday night, so celebrants can view the night sky through telescopes.

Athletics is the focus of activities on Saturday, Oct. 2. The day starts early at 8:30 a.m. with a 5K run through Lullwater. In lieu of an entry fee, runners should bring a canned good for the Atlanta Community Food Bank.
In the afternoon, Emory’s varsity soccer teams host conference rival the University of Chicago for a double-header. The women play at 1 p.m. and the men at 3:15 at the P.E. Center. But those games are just a couple of the day’s highlights.

There are alumni games for the baseball, women’s soccer and women’s water polo teams, as well as student and alumni tournaments in tennis (singles and mixed doubles), flag football, sand volleyball and 3-on-3 basketball. Also, four club sports (men’s and women’s lacrosse, men’s rugby, and ultimate Frisbee) will feature contests
that pit current students against alumni.

“The alumni love playing against students,” said Dan Magee, coordinator for recreational services. The alumni vs. student games were instituted last year and were such a hit that they returned.

Finally—while calling the event a “sport” would be a stretch—halftime of the men’s soccer game will feature students in a giant tricycle relay race around the P.E. Center track.
A free-standing but immensely popular event last year, the race was moved to the featured soccer games to capitalize on its crowd-pleasing potential.

In addition to the P.E. Center, the Clairmont Campus will be a hub of Homecoming activity. This is the second year Clairmont has played a role, and Homecoming offers a perfect opportunity for Emory to show off the new facilities to alumni.

“It’s the perfect place to hold Homecoming events,” Cook said. “Many of the alums have never seen the Clairmont Campus. With the swimming pool, it’s great for children and families; there is just a lot to do.”

To close out Saturday, the Homecoming concert and barbecue at 5 p.m. will feature rock musician Howie Day. “Some people might participate in the run or take a swim in the pool, but the concert really ties everything together,” Magee said.

For a full listing of Home-coming activities, including school-specific events and admission prices where applicable, visit www.alumni.emory.edu/homecoming.