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Tribe pride shines brightly during Homecoming & Reunion Weekend 2017

  • Homecoming:
    Homecoming:  Janet Brown Strafer '71, Karen Ely '71, Lynn Briley '71 — first three African-American residential students — serve as the grand marshals for the W&M Homecoming parade on Friday.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
  • Homecoming:
    Homecoming:  The W&M cheerleaders perform during Friday's parade.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
  • Homecoming:
    Homecoming:  Tribe fans line Richmond Road for Friday's parade.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
  • Homecoming:
    Homecoming:  Students representing the W&M Confucius Institute participate in the parade.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
  • Homecoming:
    Homecoming:  A member of the W&M Pep Band performs during the parade.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
  • Homecoming:
    Homecoming:  Students with the African Cultural Society march in the parade.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
  • Homecoming:
    Homecoming:  W&M President Taylor Reveley waves to the crowd from one of the cars in the parade.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
  • Homecoming:
    Homecoming:  Members of the W&M Olde Guarde, which includes alumni who graduated more than 50 years ago, march in the parade.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
  • Homecoming:
    Homecoming:  Future W&M alumni take a seat along Richmond Road to watch the parade.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
  • Homecoming:
    Homecoming:  Members of the Griffin Bhangra dance team perform during the parade.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
  • Homecoming:
    Homecoming:  Tribe fans turned Zable Stadium green during Saturday's sold out game against James Madison.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
  • Homecoming:
    Homecoming:  A member of the cheer team flies the Tribe flag during the football game.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
  • Homecoming:
    Homecoming:  W&M's first African-American residential students are honored during the game Saturday.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
  • Homecoming:
    Homecoming:  Earlier that day, Briley, Strafer and Ely attended a dedication ceremony for three bricks that were placed at the Alumni House in their honor.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
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As they do every year, Ben ’97 and Mandy Scandlen ’97 brought their family to William & Mary for Homecoming.

Mandy paused briefly Friday to reposition one of their four children who sported W&M T-shirts while climbing a tree in the Wren Yard. She was preparing to stake out a spot for the parade, which they were attending for the first time.

“We love coming to Williamsburg,” she said, adding that being on campus makes the pair remember their student years. The Richmond couple met at W&M freshman orientation, married in the Wren Chapel and this past weekend attended their 20th class reunion.

They were among the W&M students and alumni who celebrated Homecoming & Reunion Weekend, with the entire campus joining forces for Friday evening’s Homecoming Parade.

{{youtube:medium:right|uwhdMGpkNgc, Homecoming Parade 2017}}

The weekend included open houses, class reunions and alumni events culminating with Saturday afternoon’s football game. Happenings all over campus ranged from a Friday sunset ceremony to honor alumni who passed away in the past year to an Alumni House brick ceremony for this year’s 50th commemoration honorees to a pregame tailgate and children’s carnival livening up the Sunken Garden on Saturday afternoon.

Among the approximately 65 parade entries were student floats, walking groups, alumni participants and community partners. Lynn Briley '71, Janet Brown Strafer '71, M.Ed. '77 and Karen Ely '71, W&M’s first African-American residential students 50 years ago and honorees for the current yearlong commemoration honoring the history of African-Americans at the university, served as grand marshals.

Chief Deb Cheesebro participated in the parade for the first time, riding in the W&M Police SUV that was the lead vehicle. She said she was excited to participate.

“I love being a member of the Tribe and can’t think of a better way to show Tribe spirit than participating in the Homecoming parade,” Cheesebro said.

The class of 1987 shows its Tribe pride. (Photo by Stephen Salpukas)Also for the first time this year, volunteers were sought from all over campus to assist with the parade.

“This year we opened up the parade to all of campus because we wanted to make sure we had enough staff due to the volume of student organization entries,” said Katie Lowe, director of alumni programs and special events. “Most of the duties included assisting with parade setup, parade check-in and parade disassembly.”

Hannah Call ’20 watched the parade for her first time as part of a group from Bruton Parish Church, which she said a fair number of students attend. John Stivers ’21 also took it in for the first time.

“I figured that it would be an interesting change of pace,” Stivers said. “I don’t really get out much myself. So I figured especially with Homecoming weekend being as big as it is, this would be a good way to get out and experience some of the events that William & Mary has.

“I feel like it’s a good way to get involved with the school.”

Saturday full of fun

Briley, Strafer and Ely were honored Saturday morning with alumni bricks dedicated to each of them at the Alumni House as part of the 50th commemoration. A ceremony and reception were held as their bricks joined those of other alumni on Clarke Plaza.

Saturday’s other festivities included the Homecoming football game, with W&M falling to James Madison W&M Athletics Director Samantha Huge takes a photo with Warren Winston '72. (Photo by Stephen Salpukas)University 46-14. Warren Winston ’72, the first African-American scholarship athlete at W&M, served as honorary team captain for the Tribe and made the pregame coin toss.

Departmental open houses were held all over campus, including science events Saturday with PhysicsFest in Small Hall. For the second consecutive year all of those housed in the Integrated Science Center hosting a combined event in the ISC atrium.

Saturday morning’s brunch held jointly by the geology department along with environmental science and policy included a dedication ceremony for the new Geology Rock Garden.

The garden is located in the Crim Dell Meadow and was installed as part of the Student Environmental Action Coalition’s Crim Dell Restoration Project. Originally the idea of Geology Chair Chuck Bailey, the Geology Rock Garden (Photo courtesy of geology department)garden took shape over the past year.

Linda Morse, a senior lecturer in geology, worked with faculty, facilities management and students to plan and build the garden, with Bailey obtaining rock samples from all over Virginia and beyond. Students and faculty worked on the garden as part of a Committee on Sustainability Green Fee grant awarded last spring.

The garden will serve as a place for rainwater to infiltrate through the ground, as an educational area and a space to be outside in nature.

“It has many purposes, and we’re thrilled that this is happening now,” Morse said.

A time to catch up

Connecting and reconnecting went on in every part of campus.

Michael Ney ’66 and wife, Donna, from Haymarket, Virginia, took a pre-parade break in the Adams Garden Friday afternoon. They connect with his fraternity brothers each year for a Homecoming tailgate and planned to stay all weekend.

Though Ney said the school was different now with a smaller campus during his day, he said many things never change and there’s still the same “good feeling about the school.”

“The real fact is you don’t appreciate this school until you’re out of it for a while, then you understand what a great education you got — how thankful you ought to be for your parents paying for it,” Ney said.

Lewis Detch ’62 of Centreville, Maryland, said he attends Homecoming approximately every five years and loves it. He sees his classmates and catches up on any changes on campus.

“William & Mary provided me with an excellent education,” said Detch, sitting in the Wren Yard Friday wearing a W&M hat and his Olde Guarde medal signifying that he graduated more than 50 years ago.

“I still greatly enjoy coming back here and just watching the students, most of whom are now young enough to be my grandchildren. But it’s nevertheless a pleasure to just sit here on the campus and watch the students being students.”