Alumni Association increases community involvement

To increase school spirit and community involvement, the SHSU Alumni Association has several activities planned for Homecoming week. “We started meeting in June, and the committee is made up of university, as well as community volunteers,” said Kevin Hayes, director of Alumni Relations, of the Homecoming planning committee.SHSU Alumni Association will begin celebrating Homecoming Wednesday before the game. Festivities will end the evening of game day. “The events that we set up for Homecoming, the number one objective was what can we do to keep students here, provide fun activities for them, as well as bring alumni back to campus,” said Hayes.The first event will be the Sam Jam Carnival and M4 Simulator Wednesday night at 8 p.m. in the Johnson Coliseum parking lot. On Oct. 25, there will be four more events focusing on alumni. Beginning at 11 a.m., there will be a Golden Circle Luncheon in the LSC ballroom, followed by the dedication of the Alumni garden at 2 p.m. Night events will be held at the LSC ballroom including the Distinguished Alumni Gala Reception at 6 p.m. and the Gala Dinner at 7 p.m.It’s a very intimate setting,” said Chrissy Price of Alumni Relations.Game day will be different from past SHSU Homecomings. The date itself is earlier in the year and the parade will no longer be held during the week, but on Saturday.”Dr. Gaertner had set up a traditions committee and just to explore some of the traditions that Sam Houston has had and to see if we can start to incorporate them with some of our events. One of them is to move the parade to Saturday,” said Hayes.Hayes served as a homecoming parade judge last year and was astonished that community members at neighboring businesses had no idea that the parade was occurring. He was approached and asked what was going on by a community member.”I informed her that this was SHSU Homecoming parade and right then I said to myself, ‘this is the problem.’ There’s no reason why we can’t make a bigger parade and get the community involved,” said Hayes.The theme “Paint the Town Orange” can be taken literal since student organizations are encouraged to go out and ask permission of businesses to paint store windows orange, generating SHSU spirit.”We’re hoping that the businesses and the students become better acquainted with this effort, too,” said Hayes.Saturday events will begin at 7:30 a.m. with a 5K Raven run in the HKC. At 8 a.m. in Austin Hall, there will be an Alumni Coffee in which all are encouraged to come and have coffee. “We hope to have tons of people turn out at Austin Hall,” said Price.The parade will begin at 9 a.m. and will start at Bowers Boulevard, travel down Sam Houston Avenue, turn right on 12th Street and end at the Regent parking lot. Following the parade is the traditional home game concert and tailgate party at noon with food, games and entertainment at Bowers Stadium. The game is at 2 p.m. when SHSU takes on McNeese State.”Again, I think the committees objective is to encourage a lot of student participation as well as alumni,” said Hayes.

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