MACON – Mercer University is offering its largest-ever slate of Homecoming activities, Oct. 31-Nov. 2, as thousands of alumni and friends of the University gather on the Macon campus to celebrate with current students, faculty and staff.
The University and Alumni Association are offering more than 50 events, ranging from art exhibitions to athletic events to music performances and much more.
A sell-out crowd is anticipated for the annual Homecoming football game, as the Bears host Southern Conference foe The Citadel at Mercer University Stadium on Saturday at 4 p.m.
"Just as Mercer University's national profile is growing, Homecoming continues to attract more and more guests from around the country as well as the University," said Jill Kinsella, executive director of the Mercer University Alumni Association. "This year, we will host not only alumni, but also business partners, donors, community members, sports fans, prospective students and their families. Our vision of Homecoming as Mercer's 'annual convention' is being realized."
Several events take place on the evening of Thursday, Oct. 30, as well, as Greek Village welcomes trick-or-treaters (5:30-7:30 p.m.), Townsend School of Music presents Fresh Ink by the Verismo Trio (7:30-9 p.m.), and the annual student skit competition takes place in Willingham Auditorium (8-9 p.m.).
Check-in kicks off the full schedule of activities Friday morning, beginning at 9 a.m., at Homecoming Headquarters in Bear Rock Café in the University Center. Registration is available online through Oct. 24 or onsite beginning Oct. 31.
The annual Alumni Career Speaker Series begins at 10 a.m. at four locations across campus. Later that evening, the Southern Studies Center is hosting "An Evening with Southern Spirits" at the Woodruff House. A $35 registration fee is required for those who wish to enjoy several pairings of great Southern authors with their favorite cocktails and classic Southern food.
The Homecoming Light Parade beginning at the Hilton Garden Inn (7-8 p.m.) and a pep rally and fireworks (9-10 p.m.) in Cruz Plaza are both free and open to the public and conclude Friday's festivities.
Saturday morning begins with the annual 5K road run at 7 a.m. A day of tailgating throughout campus leads up to volleyball vs. Samford at 1 p.m. in Hawkins Arena and football at 4 p.m. Currently, only berm seating remains for the football game. Tickets can be purchased through the Homecoming registration site at http://homecoming.mercer.edu.
Several options for worship and Sunday brunch (9:30-11:30 a.m.) at the Fresh Food Company in Connell Student Center round out the Homecoming events.
Two exhibits will be available on campus throughout the weekend. Emerging Artists: New Forms is an outdoor exhibit in Tattnall Square Park that will feature new work by emerging regional artists. Civil War 150 is a traveling national exhibition encouraging public exploration of the impact and contested meanings of the American Civil War. Jack Tarver Library was one of only 50 sites nationwide selected to host this exhibition.
For a complete schedule of events, and to register, visit http://homecoming.mercer.edu.