Many of us will remember for years to come Nichols’ homecoming 2014. I was particularly pleased with the Bicentennial Kick-off celebration that drew nearly 400 people, including alumni, faculty, staff, students and community members. It was a great event to showcase the new bicentennial video and poem, and to recognize the energy and innovation that is taking place on the Hill, especially for those who haven’t been on campus in a number of years.
In addition to the dinner, returning alumni saw the many updates to our campus. They were truly impressed with the construction projects and plans; those who hadn’t yet seen and toured the Fels Student Center were thrilled with the facility.
Of course, what would homecoming be without football and tailgating? I loved seeing the stands full for the football game, which we won. It was also was fun to see our mascot, Thunder, out and about. Thunder received a new costume this summer, and I think he looks fabulous. To create even more enthusiasm for the game, I threw Bison stress balls into the stands. From where I stood, there was quite a scramble for these mementos.
Numerous alumni told me how much they appreciated the significance of the event, including comments from this individual: “I am writing to extend my most hearty congratulations and thanks for our Bicentennial Kickoff Celebration. In short, I have never experienced a more perfect meeting! Thanks to all, our bicentennial year and our next two hundred years are off to a wonderful start.”
Overall, the entire weekend exceeded my expectations. It looked to me that everyone enjoyed all the events: from the Golden Bison reception, to the Bicentennial Kick-off event, to the Athletic Hall of Fame Brunch and football game, to the 5K Tint Me Nichols race that included many runners from the local community.
Thanks to the many people who made the pilgrimage to the Hill to join us for homecoming and the beginning of our year-long celebration of Nichols’ bicentennial. Even if it isn’t homecoming, you’re welcome to visit us anytime! Check out bicentennial.nichols.edu to learn about the history of this great institution and our upcoming events.