Averett’s Homecoming Celebrations Bring Out School Spirit

Posted on October 10th, 2018 by Danielle Staub

By Nate Lake, special to the Office of Marketing and Communications

Homecoming at Averett University is a time of year where the past meets the present and this Homecoming was no different. From spirit week, to the Hometown Homecoming party and tours of the newly renovated Main Hall, students, faculty and staff came together to show their school spirit.

For most alumni Homecoming started on Friday, but on campus the celebrations began on Monday with spirit week. The students participated throughout the week with their jerseys, pajamas, tourist clothes and even took it back a few years with “Decade’s Day”. Faculty and staff members say they couldn’t let the students have all the fun.

“Homecoming was great for me. During the week, my whole department participated in dressing up for spirit week,” said Kamrin Johnson, the new start coordinator for GPS. “I was able to wear a onesie and groovy pants all in one week!”

For the second year, the Student Engagement Team (S.E.T.) planned a full week of events for Homecoming. Monday, around 200 students joined in to kick off the week with a block party filled with games, prizes and recognition of the fall sports teams. Tuesday, there was a banner making contest that brought out students’ artistic abilities. On Wednesday, students gathered in the Carrington Gym for a movie night. The following night, more than 150 students and staff enjoyed a comedy show in Pritchett Auditorium. Members of S.E.T. said there was not sad face in sight that night. Finally on Friday, the Cougar Festival brought students out to Jordan Commons for snow cones, cotton candy and a mechanical bull.

“We want a really inclusive campus,” said Kennsel Anderson, coordinator of the Student Engagement Center. “A student asked me at the beginning of the year before school started ‘What is the heart of Averett?’ I replied, ‘The heart of Averett is the students.’”

After a full week of activities, alumni started to arrive on Friday for the Hometown Homecoming Party at the Stratford Conference Center. This was the first year it was held there, yet that did not stop Averett’s alumni from enjoying the reunion.

“We had a lighter crowd for our Friday night party, but for everybody who came had a really good time,” said Dan Hayes, director of alumni and friend development. “I saw more alumni that haven’t been back since they graduated. You know 20 to 30 years, and they are excited back about the things that are going on.”

Even after that busy week, the Averett’s football team faced the Greensboro Pride on Saturday. Meg Stevens, director of Athletics, recorded more than 2,000 people at Frank R. Campbell Stadium.

“To bring that many alums back, to see students here, to create that game day atmosphere at small university is incredible,” said Stevens. “People seemed to have a good time and play with-in the rules and that’s always kind of part of it too, and we rode that happy medium. I think it will help bring more people back to Averett football games and not just to Homecoming.”

Stevens has seen change come to not just the tailgating atmosphere, but to the fans and the students that attend.

“It was interesting this year. I’ve had people that have been back every year so they watched it grow, then I talk to a few alums that literally haven’t been back since I first started,” Stevens explained.

She enjoys watching alumni come back and seeing their faces. It makes her realize how change can affect people and how every year is different from the last. Hayes would also agree that each Homecoming is a new experience.

“If you did not come you missed out on something fun, meaningful and refreshing,” said Hayes.

With new experiences come new changes. Changes that Hayes says are helping Averett change for the better.

“Be proud of Averett,” said Hayes. “Averett’s family is growing every year and Homecoming has become important to not only look at Averett’s past but what’s to come.”