Due to the coronavirus pandemic, two upcoming university-community events hosted by Indiana University of Pennsylvania will be celebrated through technology, with several events free and open to the community.
While the traditional football games and the homecoming parade will not take place due to the pandemic, there are several virtual sessions planned for both events that are open to community members. Online registration is required for most sessions.
Virtual events for Family Weekend, scheduled for Sept. 24-27, begins with “Are You an IUP Tradition Keeper?” on Thursday from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. This online session will bring together IUP legacy alumni parents, current students and members of the Alumni and Friends team to discuss some of IUP’s most tried and true traditions, while connecting with members of the IUP family. Prizes will be available.
Additional virtual events planned for Sept. 26 include “Mapping Your IUP Career Game Plan,” presented by Dr. Tammy Manko, director, and Kelsey Thompson, assistant director, IUP Career and Professional Development Center, from 11 a.m. to noon; “Can They Really Say That? Free Speech, Hate Speech and the Obligations of Public Universities,” presented by Adam Jones, director of the IUP Office of Community Standards and Student Support, from 1 to 2 p.m.; “Fraternity and Sorority Life at IUP,” presented by Betsy Sarneso, director of Greek Life, with several members of IUP fraternities and sororities, from 3 to 4 p.m.
Family Weekend events also include an IUP Family Photo contest. Students and family members are asked to show their Crimson and Gray #IUPproud photos by tagging IUP on social media channels using #IUPFamilyWeekend or commenting on IUP’s Facebook post to enter to win. Winners will be randomly selected.
On Sept. 25, IUP Residence Director Tori Campbell will showcase student life on campus on IUP’s Instagram channel. STATIC, IUP’s major event programming board, is virtually hosting “Live at IUP: An Evening with Issa Rae,” on Sept. 24 at 8 p.m. for students, and a Netflix & Chill event, the movie “Knives Out,” for students and families on Sept. 25 at 8 p.m. More information is available at staticiup.com/upcoming.
IUP will celebrate virtual Homecoming this year with a “Spirit Week” Oct. 4 through 11.
The IUP Marching Band will kick off events Oct. 3 at 3 p.m. with a concert in Miller Stadium. Due to coronavirus pandemic restrictions, tickets are limited to guests of band members, but the event will be livestreamed; information about the livestream will be posted on the IUP homecoming webpage. The concert will include recognition of senior band members.
While conditions prevent the traditional homecoming parade, video footage of past parades will be shown on IUP social channels on Oct. 10 at 10 a.m., the same time the cannon would have signaled the start of the parade on Philadelphia Street. This video montage, set to the music of the IUP Marching Band, will revisit parades held during the last 50 years.
The virtual parade will be followed by a virtual “Coach’s Show Special: IUP Homecoming” at 2 p.m. The show will feature “the voice of IUP Football,” Jack Benedict, and former IUP football coach Frank Cignetti discussing the 2005 IUP-Slippery Rock Homecoming game. The two also will discuss some of the IUP players who participated in this IUP victory. Immediately following “Coach Talk,” the 2005 game will air in its entirety, with a halftime performance by the 2020 IUP Marching Band from its Oct. 3 concert.
To help alumni and friends celebrate virtual homecoming and show their IUP spirit at any time, the IUP Office of Alumni and Friends is offering “Homecoming in a Box.” It includes an IUP T-shirt, mug, pennant, pompom and additional IUP memorabilia. The box is available for $40 plus shipping; ordering information is available at alumni.iup.edu/hocobox.
A number of alumni-organized Zoom sessions are available for Spirit Week, including “Mimosas & Masterpieces: IUP Paint with a Twist,” sessions with the IUP Alumni Association board of directors and affinity group reunion Zoom breakout rooms. All of these events require registration.
The full schedule and registration details for Homecoming events are available at IUP.edu.