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Colgate spirit puts spark in well-attended Homecoming 2013

By Mark Walden on September 24, 2013
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Celebrating Colgate spirit at Homecoming 2013

There was a lot of celebrating Colgate spirit at Homecoming 2013. (Photo by Madeline Horner ’15)

Neither distance, nor rain, nor attacking bulldogs could keep the Colgate community from enjoying homecoming weekend, September 19–22.

The university rolled out the maroon carpet for more than 900 alumni, parents, and friends. Coordinated for the first time by Colgate’s Office of Alumni Relations, the weekend harnessed a series of events planned by departments across campus.

“We had all of the ingredients for a memorable celebration,” said Tim Mansfield, associate VP and director of alumni relations. “Colgate spirit was as strong as I’ve ever seen.”

The Center for Career Services launched the festivities on Thursday with a visit by Keith Ferrazzi, the New York Times bestselling author and CEO of Ferrazzi Greenlight — a consulting firm designed to help people collaborate more effectively. Sharing his own personal experiences, Ferrazzi encouraged the capacity crowd in Memorial Chapel to network authentically and treat exchanges as a genuine moment of connection, rather than a simple search for employment.

That night, hearty souls began pitching tents on Whitnall Field, renamed Raider Park for the weekend. In all, more than 30 alumni and guests lodged on the lawn, braving rain showers and chilly overnight temperatures.

“We had a wonderful time on Raider Park, regardless of the rain,” said Amy Beihl ’13, who roughed it with classmates Lindsey Robertson, Kate Andrews, and Lauren Radigan. “We can’t wait for next year.”

The fun began in earnest Friday as more Raider fans poured into town. The Presidents’ Club joined with Provost and Dean of the Faculty Douglas Hicks and Professor Bruce Selleck ’71 to host an emerging leaders luncheon for students.

Alumni and parents mingled in Donovan’s Pub while former swimmers reconnected over dinner — ’80s and ’90s grads prepared for a late-night reunion in the village.

The highlight of the evening was an old-school pep rally on Whitnall Field, complete with bonfire, fireworks, pep band music, as well as appearances by three athletics teams, the dance team, and cheerleading squad.

That Colgate spirit, stoked further during a Saturday-morning tailgate under (of course) 13 different tents, carried the crowd through a disappointing 39–22 football loss to the Yale Bulldogs. Afterward, Colgate faithful found comfort at a 5th-quarter tunk on Whitnall Field with entertainment provided by the band Gent Treadly.

Raider Nation also had the chance to cheer for two more homecoming teams: field hockey took on Boston University, and the women’s soccer team reclaimed the university’s Division I momentum with a 4–1 victory over Lafayette later in the afternoon.

The weekend wrapped up on Sunday with the Alumni of Color organization’s Shaping Your Vision program, co-sponsored by the ALANA Cultural Center and the Center for Career Services.

“The integrated series of events, tried and true things like the football game, and overall energy made this year better than ever,” said Presidents’ Club chair Kevin J. Danehy ’83, P’16. “It felt like there were many more members of the Colgate community at homecoming than I can remember being here in a long time.”

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