This year’s Homecoming is set to be on Zoom. The time usually spent at a football game or College Coffee will now be replaced by Zoom events. Instead of the traditional weekend, Elon has made it a week-long with over 100 opportunities for alumni to get involved in the Elon community.
The events hosted this year will range from virtual tours around campus to a town hall with President Connie Book. According to the Senior Director of Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving, Brian Feeley, the university is going to be using Zoom for most events, but will also take advantage of video reporting.
A new addition to the normal Homecoming events will be the social media challenge. For each day of the week, there will be a new task and will possibly be posted on Elon’s social media account. For example, on Monday, participants must wear maroon to show their Elon pride and will have the chance to be featured on Elon’s social media platforms.
According to Feeley, this innovation to Homecoming allows for more people to participate and become actively involved with the Elon community.
“There’s aspects of the technology that allow us to connect across geographic boundaries and those that are not able to normally come to a signature event or program that we can now connect with.” Feeley said.
For parents wanting to learn more about Elon, there are multiple academic discussions by faculty scheduled for Homecoming Week. For instance, on Thursday, associate professor MIS Haya Ajjan will be leading a discussion about the power of analytics and how the increase in data processing has created a larger field of opportunities for the world.
According to Feeley, Elon’s faculty has made it so that the online Homecoming feels more inviting and engaging.
“What we’re trying to do is provide platforms for alumni to engage. That includes the class of 2020 in their first year as alums. And then we’re working to find some ways that we can do some things specific. So as they log in, they’re not just mingling and interacting with their fellow alumni across different years, but specifically some of their classmates, and really provide a positive way to engage.” Feeley said
Elon is still keeping up the normal traditions that would usually take place. These include College Coffee, tours and networking events. However, these will all be on Zoom. Each day of the week, there will be a new virtual tour people can watch, such as a tour of Loy Farm.
Alumni can join the celebration by connecting with current students. For example, The school of communications is hosting “Networking from Bed.” This event will connect communication students with alumni to talk about their experiences, possible internships and career opportunities.
According to the former class of 2020 SGA President, Noor Irshaidat, the move to Zoom is nothing new and was expected. She adds that alumni need to take advantage of this change and see this as a positive experience.
“I think it really gives you something to look forward to in October. I mean, it’s something different, but at the same time, I feel like we’re all kind of used to having experiences through Zoom and online in some form or way, like if it was for school, if it was even for family members or even if it was for your job.” Ishaidat said.
Elon has published all events and their date and times on the university’s website by searching “Homecoming and Reunion Week 2020.”