What’s Homecoming without, well, coming home to campus?
It’s a new opportunity to bring the beloved tradition directly to the William & Mary community, wherever that community may be.
Though the pandemic means alumni and students are not able to meet on campus in person for Homecoming this year, it has necessitated creative new ideas for how the university can make this year’s Homecoming & Reunion Weekend special — while being entirely virtual.
This year’s Homecoming & Reunion Weekend will be more than a weekend — the festivities have been expanded into two weeks, from October 12-23, to provide the community with expanded access to virtual events.
“Homecoming & Reunion Weekend is an endearing and enduring tradition that brings us together to reconnect and celebrate each other and our cherished alma mater," said Marilyn W. Midyette ’75, CEO of the W&M Alumni Association. “As the pandemic continues, it is more important than ever we stay connected while safeguarding the health and well-being of everyone in our community. We hope the virtual format will allow many more alumni and friends from all over the world to join us this year.”
Most sessions will take place via Zoom. While all events this year are free, those wishing to participate must register for each event they plan to attend. Registration will open on Sept. 15 on the Homecoming website.
On Sunday, Oct. 18, at 4 p.m. ET, the Alumni Association will stream its annual Sunset Ceremony online. The tradition honors the lives of alumni, students, faculty and friends who have passed this year.
On Friday, Oct. 16, the university will hold a special celebration for class reunions. Particpants will be able to virtually mingle and reconnect with classmates, get an update on the class gift and see a sneak peek of the newly expanded Alumni House. Guests are encouraged to bring their beverage of choice for a special toast. As a thank you for participating, all attendees will receive a complimentary reusable W&M mask.
The Order of the White Jacket, LGBTQ+ Alumni and the Hulon Willis Association will hold their annual gatherings throughout the week. The newest alumni group, Asian-Pacific Islander and Middle Eastern Alumni (APIM), will also be holding their kickoff event during this year’s Homecoming.
Other highlights this year include a career coaching session, the Class of 2020 induction ceremony and a discussion on the admissions process for families of high-school-aged students. Departments across campus will also be holding virtual events.
The full schedule of events is available at the Homecoming website.