William & Mary

Homecoming '15: Great times, great memories

  • Homecoming:
    Homecoming:  Students wave from a trolley during Friday's Homecoming parade.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
  • Homecoming:
    Homecoming:  Helen and Taylor Reveley wave from one of the cars in the parade.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
  • Homecoming:
    Homecoming:  Cars and other vehicles line up before the start of the parade.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
  • Homecoming:
    Homecoming:  Spectators at the parade show their Tribe Pride.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
  • Homecoming:
    Homecoming:  Some of the student participants in the parade drove decorated golf carts.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
  • Homecoming:
    Homecoming:  Members of the Dhamaal Bhangra Team perform during the parade.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
  • Homecoming:
    Homecoming:  Students wave from one of the floats in the parade.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
  • Homecoming:
    Homecoming:  Members of the College Company walk in the parade.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
  • Homecoming:
    Homecoming:  The Griffin waves to spectators at the parade.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
  • Homecoming:
    Homecoming:  One of the Tribe cheerleaders performs with her team during the parade.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
  • Homecoming:
    Homecoming:  Many alumni also participated in the parade.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
  • Homecoming:
    Homecoming:  Students with the Confucius Institute perform a traditional dragon dance during the parade.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
  • Homecoming:
    Homecoming:  Members of the College community gather near the Wren Building for the annual sunset ceremony.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
  • Homecoming:
    Homecoming:  President Taylor Reveley announces William & Mary's new fundraising campaign goal.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
  • Homecoming:
    Homecoming:  A student flies the green and gold at the Tribe football game against Hampton.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
  • Homecoming:
    Homecoming:  The stands were packed for Saturday's game.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
  • Homecoming:
    Homecoming:  A spectator at the game cheers on the Tribe.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
  • Homecoming:
    Homecoming:  Students hold the likenesses of a couple alumni who couldn't make it back for Homecoming weekend: Jon Stewart '84 and Mike Tomlin '95.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
  • Homecoming:
    Homecoming:  The Griffin greets a young Tribe fan.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
  • Homecoming:
    Homecoming:  Students, alumni, faculty, staff and community members cheer for the Tribe.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
  • Homecoming:
    Homecoming:  Friends share an embrace during Homecoming weekend.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
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Jayiu Liu ’10 made her first trip back to William & Mary since graduation for last weekend’s Homecoming. She and a half-dozen or so friends spent the nicest fall day anyone could imagine visiting their old dormitory, touring the new facilities on campus, even peeking into some of their old classrooms.

An art history and economics major now living in Los Angeles, Liu didn’t hesitate when asked her thoughts about standing on Richmond Road moments before Friday afternoon’s parade began.

“So many memories,” she began, “I don’t know; it’s just our happy place.”

Liu was one of more than 4,200 alumni – one of the largest turnouts ever – who attended a wide variety of Homecoming events at the university Oct. 22-25. The festivities began with a gala dinner Thursday night, in which a $1 billion fundraising campaign was officially announced.

“Every Homecoming is special; this one may be a little more special,” said Todd Stottlemyer ’85, Rector of the Board of Visitors. He estimated that he had attended 25 of the 30 Homecomings held since he graduated, missing only when a family obligation precluded his attendance.

{{youtube:medium:center|kL4-VVydDKg, Scenes from the 2015 Homecoming parade}}

“It is a special time for the university. We've made great progress in the last 15-20 years, and I think we’re positioned to make even more progress ahead,” he said.

“We want to continue to play a great role in the affairs of our country and also in the world, not just political leadership, but business leadership, non-profit leadership.”

The announcement of the campaign inspired many people.

“I came back partly because of this wonderful campaign that they’re doing,” Sally Ives Gore said, standing on the porch of the Kappa Kappa Gamma house on Richmond Road.

Gore could rightfully be called “a daughter of William & Mary." A 1956 graduate, Gore served eight years on the Board of Visitors and eight years on the College of William & Mary Foundation Board. She herself has endowed scholarships and, in 1990 was a lead donor on the university child-care center that now bears her name.

“I have given scholarships because I think the College is a unique place, and I’d like to increase people’s ability to come here,” she said.

Karl Pete ’89 agreed. Although a frequent visitor to campus, he was attending his first Homecoming.

“The College has been great to me; it set me off on a path,” he said. “I went on to medical school and I’ve always been fond of the College and the difference it’s made in my life -preparing me for challenges, to be able to critically think, (persevere through) disappointment at times and adversity in learning. It’s been great.”

James ’66 and Merrill ’67 Dick were returning to their first Homecoming in 49 years, traveling from Florida. James Dick, a guard on the football team who spent 26 years in the Fairfax County (Virginia) School system, wanted to reconnect with legendary coach Marv Levy.

Merrill Dick, who also worked as an administrator in Fairfax County schools, said she was relishing the memories of the campus, the surrounding community and how each has developed and grown.

Meanwhile, Susie ’69 and Ronald ’70 Stewart talked about the day they met – Susie’s final day as a student at the College.

“It was nip and tuck,” she recalled, laughing. “A (Gamma Phi Beta) sorority sister that I had gone to elementary and junior high with married one of (Ronald’s) fraternity brothers – and we met pretty much at the wedding. After, we all went out to the rope swing at Lake Matoaka.”

They dated throughout Ronald’s senior year and were married the following November. Since moving back to Williamsburg in 1991, they attend all of the football games, and spend lots of time reminiscing.

{{youtube:medium:center|JYAQnweOHDw, Tribe fans enjoy Homecoming 2015}}

“I was in the sorority, the Catholic Campus Ministry and we went to all of the football games,” she said. “We had such a good time. I studied every now and then.”

“When we had to,” Ronald interjected, sending them both into laughter.

Pete, a biology major who was president of the Black Student Organization, a President’s Aide and a writer for The Flat Hat, said he often tells his children about the uniqueness of William & Mary. His daughter has listened most closely and wants to continue the family tradition.

“She just applied for early admission,” he said. “She’s a good student, gets good grades. I think she’ll get in, but we’ll just wait and see.”

He joked that “if I had $1 billion, I’d give it all. It’s my dying wish that by the time I’m done, I’ll be able to leave a couple of million to the College. If you went here, you hold it in the highest esteem.”