1,000+ Arcadians Come Home to Celebrate Homecoming & Family Weekend

By diprinziod | October 21, 2021
Fireworks light up the sky by Arcadia's Castle.

On Oct. 8 and 9, Arcadia alumni, donors, students, parents, families, faculty, and staff, were invited to attend Homecoming & Family Weekend—one of the first opportunities to attend a community-wide, on-campus event in over a year and a half. With a lineup of in-person, hybrid, and virtual activities planned for the weekend, a total of 1,058 Arcadians joined together for a long overdue celebration for the Scarlet and Grey. All weekend long, festivities indulged Arcadia’s unparalleled community spirit and shined a light on the shared pride among all who call Arcadia home.

To commemorate the 20th Anniversary of Arcadia University, this weekend featured a special processional and celebration for the 20 alumni leaders representing each class of Arcadia’s 20-year history. In addition to the class representatives, Walter Weber ’91 and his wife Bonnie, one of our most recent AFAI contributors, lead the processional demonstrating the connection and foundation of Beaver College graduates as an integral part of our history.  

Thursday, Oct. 7
The Arcadia Class of 2022 kicked off Homecoming & Family Weekend with their Tie-Dye & Treats event. Nearly 100 students came out to the Blankley Alumni House lawn, excited for their first opportunity to gather with their classmates in celebration of their senior year. Students enthusiastically greeted friends as they picked up their commemorative Class of 2022 t-shirts, tie-dyed, and enjoyed a tasty treat from the Hardy Funnel Cake food truck. 

As the Class of 2022 prepares to become alumni this year, this event is just the first of many programs hosted by the office of alumni engagement, designed to build class affinity and introduce graduating students to the fulfillment of lifelong engagement with their alma mater. 

Friday, Oct. 8
Beginning on Friday evening, alumni, parents, and families traveled from as far as California to join students, faculty, and staff for the first festivities of the weekend. Guests toured Arcadia in the splendor of Autumn’s colors with the University’s Student Ambassadors before heading over to the official Homecoming & Family Weekend kick-off event: Fired Up! Block Party. 

As attendees enjoyed s’mores and caramel apples around fire pits, alumni began to revel in the comfort of returning to their home away from home while parents and students caught up and connected with other Arcadia families. This fall-inspired family fun event was complete with pumpkin decorating, candle making, and scarecrow crafting. In the final hour of Fired Up, attendees channeled their inner Beyonce and Olivia Rodrigo with a lively karaoke session that had everyone clapping, dancing, and singing along. 

Saturday, Oct. 9
Saturday morning began with President Nair’s State of the University Address, which kicked off the University’s inaugural Volunteers in Partnership Summit. As he reflected on the University’s legacy, most recent accomplishments, and future goals, President Nair shared, “None of this would be possible without our volunteer groups…all of you are extraordinary and make it a privilege to be a part of this great University. Thanks to you, we are able to provide students with a world-class education and a clear pathway to a career while building Arcadia’s national and international education.”

Following Dr. Nair, Brigette A. Bryant, Vice President for Development and Alumni Engagement and Durice White Galloway, Associate Vice President for Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving Strategies presented on the alumni volunteer experience and volunteer impact, empowering current and future University volunteers to discover the tools, resources, and knowledge needed to become the strongest advocates for Arcadia University, its students, and the Alumni Association. “Today is the launch of what we hope will become a new tradition at Arcadia,” said Bryant. “Our Volunteers In Partnership Summit should serve as a reminder of our ongoing commitment to engage you, our alumni family, in meaningful work and  to celebrate you as you raise your hand to become a part of Arcadia’s bold, bold future. We’re planning to take the University from where it is today to it’s next logical step and beyond.” 

Attendees also learned how to strengthen their leadership skills and identify their volunteer strengths during engaging workshops and the professional development session Positive Leadership with Dr. Priscilla Jeter-lles ’09EdD. 

Saturday afternoon, eager to be the first 100 to enter and receive their special edition Homecoming & Family Weekend t-shirt, guests began lining up for the highly-anticipated ArcadiaFest. 

Held in the heart of campus on the beautiful Haber Green, ArcadiaFest celebrated the 20th Anniversary of Arcadia University and commemorated the milestone occasion with a special procession through campus. With donor and alumnus Walter Weber ’91 and his wife Bonnie locked arm-in-arm with the Arcadia Knight, 20 Class Representatives—one from each year of Arcadia University—made their way down the Alumni Walk of Pride toward Haber Green. When they arrived at the Haber Green stage, the processional was met by a cheering crowd of alumni, students, faculty, staff, and families.

After welcoming remarks and the recognition of 20th Anniversary Class Representatives, Arcadia spirit was alive and well as guests of all ages enjoyed dumplings, funnel cakes, and treats from food trucks; yard games; hayrides; pumpkin painting; and shield making. In typical Arcadia style, lively music kept everyone energized and dancing throughout the event.

All attendees enjoyed a special performance by Ellect (alumnus and former Black Alumni Association President, Steve Tyson, Jr.’13M) and cheered on the Arcadia Knight Club Dance Team.

During the Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, Dr. Kimberly Canfield ’15, ’17M (women’s soccer), Kate Allen Duncheskie ’98 (women’s lacrosse & field hockey), Justin Loomis ’05 (baseball), Cindia Lukomski ’05 (softball), and Rebecca Soda Thomson ’05, ’07MEd (women’s basketball) were all honored as the tenth induction class in the Hall of Fame’s history. Of course, Homecoming & Family Weekend also offered the opportunity to see the Arcadia Knights in action. In the battle of the Knights against the Monarchs, Arcadia Field Hockey won 5-0 to King’s College. Both the Women’s and Men’s Soccer went head-to-head with Misericordia University for a final score of 0-1 in both games.

As the sun began to set over campus, a sold out crowd tested their luck during the all-time Arcadia favorite BINGO Knight before cozying up with their blankets and chairs on Haber Green for the outdoor Movie Knight screening of Disney’s Soul. 

In the culminating event of the celebratory weekend, Homecoming & Family Weekend went out with a bang as attendees watched fireworks light up the night’s sky and dazzle above the iconic Grey Towers Castle.

Arcadia invites the community to stay tuned for more events throughout the year and to save the date for the University’s next community-wide event, UKnightedTuesday. Beginning on Tuesday, Nov. 30 at 6 a.m. through Wednesday, Dec. 1 at 12:53 p.m., we will celebrate Arcadia University with 1,853 minutes of collective philanthropy to support our students and the future of the institution.