Whether it's tailgating near the fountain, pulling for your favorite soapbox racer, enjoying an Uptown concert, or reconnecting with people you once used to know, Lander University students and alumni are gearing up for another high-spirited Homecoming Week.
"I look forward to it every year," said junior elementary education major Lauren Creswell. "I love the tailgating and getting ready for the basketball games."
Junior Danielle Green added, "It lets me take a breath from studying, and I like seeing the spirit come out in everyone."
Held Feb. 5-10 with an ambiance of a carnival theme, Homecoming Week features a Ferris Wheel, Banner Competition, Human Checkers Tournament, Human Bowling, and many other new and long-time activities.
"My focus is to get more of the student body to participate in the competitive events," said Jill Franklin, director of Fraternity & Sorority Life and assistant director of Student Activities. "I've also enlisted Student Government Association and University Programming Council's support in executing events throughout the week."
Several big-ticket events include:
Lander Homecoming Golf Outing - Friday, Feb. 9.
Open to Alumni and friends of Lander, sign-in begins at 11 a.m. at the Greenwood Country Club. Cost is $65 per person or $250 per team - and each team must have a minimum of two Lander alumni. Register by Feb. 5. Interested golfers may contact Debbie Dill at the Alumni Office by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or 864-388-8351.
Community Concert at the Uptown Farmer's Market - Friday, Feb. 9.
This free concert begins at 7 p.m. Come relax for a few hours to the music of Bad Weather States, featuring Lander alumni Granger Smith and Austin Landers.
3D Concessions Food Truck will sell funnel cakes, corn dogs, french fries, cotton candy, and other carnival foods. Howard's on Main will have a cash bar for beer and wine, plus sell soft drinks, water and hot chocolate.
Nursing Alumni Reunion - Saturday, Feb. 10.
Starting with a 9:30 a.m. breakfast at Alumni Center, this half-day event features a College of Nursing Tour, fellowship, and group photos.
"This is a new event in which we partnered with Dr. Holisa Wharton in the College of Nursing," said Denise Manley, executive director of Alumni Affairs. "A total of 1,290 invitations went out to our nursing alumni, and we are gathering RSVPs through Jan. 26."
5K Race For Excellence Fun Run/Walk - Saturday, Feb. 10
Open to all ages among the community and Lander alumni, this annual race will award best overall male, overall female, first runner/walker with stroller, and first runner/walker with pet.
Cost to enter is $20 with early registration, or $30 same-day registration. Online registration is encouraged and interested runners may contact Alumni Affairs at (864) 388-8351 for questions.
Men and Women Varsity Basketball - Finis Horne Arena.
Four games are on the agenda this year:
- Wednesday, Feb. 7, Bearcats vs. Francis Marion, beginning at 5:30 p.m.
- Saturday, Feb. 10, Bearcats vs. Columbus State, beginning at 1:30 p.m.
"These two game-days tend to be our most-attended regular season games of any sport throughout the school year," said Justin Burger, director of Marketing and Productions for Lander Athletics. "The extra fans really bring the atmosphere in the arena to a different level."
Judging from the current level of anticipation among students, that different level of spirit is expected to be present everywhere during Homecoming Week.
"I'm the 2018 Homecoming Chair for our sorority Phi Mu," Lauren Creswell said, "and we're going to build a new soapbox, decorate it, and try to win the soapbox race!"