Homecoming and Family Weekend events planned

Contact: Deanne Puca
Picture of a brown flag with the words W Forever Gold '18, Homecoming and Family Weekend.

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Bronco football highlights Western Michigan University's Homecoming and Family Weekend Friday through Sunday, Oct. 5-7.

"Forever Gold" is the 2018 Homecoming theme, and a host of activities will mark this year's celebration. Most are open to the public and a number are free or low cost, although advance registration or tickets still may be required.

Numerous organizations and academic units are gathering across campus to welcome alumni home, stage award programs and hold special pregame tailgates Saturday, Oct. 6, to gear up for the 95th annual homecoming game, which will pit WMU against the Eastern Michigan University Eagles. In addition, the WMU Bookstore is offering discounts to alumni during homecoming weekend.

Family members of WMU students can purchase tickets at a discount using the Family Weekend promotion code, FAMILY, through the Bronco Athletic ticket office. WMU students get into athletic events for free with their Bronco Card.

Details about most student homecoming activities and alumni activities are posted online. The campuswide calendar lists both, as well as various other events.


Monday through Friday, Oct. 1-5

  • Bronco spirit activities—Teams must register by Sunday, Sept. 30, online to compete and see who has the most Bronco spirit. The competition includes a variety of activities geared toward students but also is open to faculty and staff. Activities include a three-on-three basketball tournament at the Student Recreation Center, karaoke at the Bernhard Center and the Homecoming Block Party at the Miller Plaza.
  • Students had the opportunity in September to vote for Homecoming king and queen, and winners will be announced during the football game on Saturday, Oct. 6.

Thursday, Oct. 4

  • Homecoming tailgate luncheon—WMU Dining Services lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at all dining centers, Bistro3, Burnham, Hoekje/Bigelow and the Valley Dining Center will feature a variety of tailgating favorites. All WMU affiliates and guests are welcome; Cost is $9.75 per person; Dining Dollars, cash and debit/credit payments accepted.
  • The College of Education and Human Development Society for Alumni and Friends—Annual Golden Apple and Keystone Alumni Awards reception and dinner, 5:30 p.m., Fetzer Center. Golden Apple Award winners are Dr. Manuel Brenes, principal, San Juan Diego Academy in Wyoming, Michigan; Tracy Daniel, physical education instructor and coach, Comstock Public Schools; and Dr. John Severson, superintendent, Muskegon Intermediate School District. The Keystone Alumni Award honoree is Dr. Kenneth Schmidt, executive director of Trauma Recovery Associates and pastor of St. Catherine of Siena Church in Portage.

Friday, Oct. 5

  • Esports Arena grand openingnoon to 2 p.m., WMU Esports Arena, previously known as the Little Theatre, on the corner of Oakland Drive and Oliver Street in Kalamazoo. Free parking will be available behind the building in Lot 10, and a short distance away in lots 11 and 12. All three lots are off of Oliver Street.
  • Haworth College of Business Awards Ceremony—4 p.m., Room 2150, Schneider Hall. Award recipients include Alessandro DiNello, president and CEO of Flagstar Bank, and Gregory Durant, vice chair and deputy CEO of Deloitte, both Outstanding Alumni Achievement; Todd Sanford, president and CEO of Sanford Financial Services, Outstanding Service; and Molly Millerwise Meiners, principal deputy assistant secretary for public affairs for the U.S. Department of Treasury; Christine Walsh, director of talent, engagement and development for Nielsen data analytics company; and Meagan Ward, founder and co-owner of FEMOLOGY and owner of Creatively Flawless Branding Agency, all Outstanding Young Alumni; along with several departmental honorees.
  • Night of Excellence—Featuring the Distinguished Alumni Award, the University's top honor for alumni, 6 p.m. reception, 6:45 p.m. dinner, Read Fieldhouse/University Arena. Honorees are Carrie Jones-Barber, CEO of Dawn Foods; Ed Gordon, Emmy-award winning journalist and radio host; and Dr. James Olson, renowned cancer researcher and principal investigator at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. The event also will honor up to three alumni from each academic college. Tickets are $65 per person during early registration and $75 after Friday, Sept. 28.

Saturday, Oct. 6

  • Haworth College of Business Homecoming Pancake Breakfast—Complimentary all-you-can-eat pancakes, eggs, sausage, coffee and orange juice served from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. in Lot 1 off Oakland Drive. Registration is requested. To register, click on the Events tab and then select Homecoming and Family Weekend from the menu. 
  • WMU Homecoming Stampede Village tailgate—Brunch buffet, live entertainment, games and activities for the entire family and campus alley featuring each of WMU's academic colleges, 9 a.m., Parking Lot 1 off Oakland Drive. Admission is $15 for adults and $5 for children 12 and younger. Donations of non-perishable food items for the WMU student food pantry, Invisible Need Project, also are requested. More information is available online.
  • Parade of Flags—This colorful display of multicultural diversity on the WMU campus has become an annual tradition that precedes the homecoming football game at noon. Flag bearers meet at Kanley track before making their way to Waldo Stadium. This fall, WMU has 1,872 international students from 101 countries. Students, staff and members of the campus and local community volunteer to carry flags from these represented nations down the field.
  • Football game—WMU versus Eastern Michigan University, noon, Waldo Stadium. Fans are encouraged to wear Bronco gear to the game. Visit online to order an official 2018 Game Day T-shirt. For every sale, $5 supports the Student Emergency Relief Fund. 

Sunday, Oct. 7

  • Family Weekend Sunday Brunch—Full breakfast and lunch buffet, with live entertainment by WMU students and alumni, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Valley Dining Center. Cost is $9.75 per person; WMU students can swipe in with valid meal plan or use Dining Dollars.
  • Work out at the Student Recreation Center—Free with MyWMU Concierge Card, noon to 9 p.m.

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit WMU News.

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