Photo courtesy of Husson University

BANGOR — With 99 percent of University employees and 93 percent of all students either partially or fully vaccinated, Husson University is looking forward to returning to live Homecoming events this year. Homecoming Weekend is traditionally an excitement-filled celebration that features fun for current students, their families and alumni. This year, the celebration runs from Sept. 24-25. As part of this year’s event, all campus Homecoming attendees will be required to adhere to campus COVID-19 protocols. Vaccinated attendees will need to wear masks whenever they are indoors on campus. Unvaccinated attendees are being asked to wear masks regardless of whether they are indoors or outdoors.

“We are looking forward to reconnecting with alumni as they return to campus to enjoy our Homecoming festivities,” said Robert A. Clark, PhD., CFA, president of Husson University. “While we will still need to take some precautions against COVID-19, we are confident that our Husson family can once again gather together to celebrate Homecoming, just as we did for Convocation at the end of August.”

“Just a few weeks ago, utilizing a combination of masking, physical distancing and outdoor celebrations, we were able to safely hold an in-person Convocation ceremony with nearly 800 first-year students,” continued Clark. “We are confident that by replicating the necessary healthcare protocols, we can safely enjoy a Homecoming with outdoor tailgating and sporting events.”

The weekend kicks off on Friday, Sept. 24 with the Alumni Hall of Fame Ceremony & Reception in the Gracie Theatre at 5 p.m. Each year, Husson recognizes several special individuals who have brought distinction to themselves and their alma mater through their devotion to education, professionalism and service. These individuals are honored for their personal and career achievements, as well as their support of the university and its mission.

Four Husson graduates and one retired Husson employee will be recognized this year. Kasey Mehuren-Kimmel ’09 will be honored as this year’s young alumna and inducted into the Alumni Hall of Fame. During the event, Allen L’Italien ’88 and Tim Cabral ’90 will also be inducted into the Alumni Hall of Fame. In addition, Dan Hutchins ’83 will receive the Presidential Outstanding Service Award. Tom Martz and the late Mary Martz will be recognized as this year’s Honorary Alumni. Martz retired from Husson in 2016 after serving for nearly six years as the University’s vice president of Advancement.

Homecoming weekend resumes the following day on Sept. 25 with a “Cider and Donuts with the President and Academic Deans” event for first-year students and their families from 8:30–9:30 a.m. in the Alumni & Friends Welcome Tent (in parking lot 6, near the Dr. John W. Winkin Sports Complex). This is an opportunity for students and family members to informally meet and get to know President Clark as well as the deans from the Colleges of Business, Health and Pharmacy, Science and Humanities, and the New England School of Communications.

From 9–10 a.m., the Wellness Learning Center will be conducting an open house. This building, located between O’Donnell Commons and the Gracie Theatre, is the home of Husson University’s Student Health and Counseling Services. First opened in 2019, it also features a series of innovative learning spaces with programmable lifelike manikins used by a variety of our Health Sciences programs – including nursing.

At the conclusion of the Wellness Learning Center Open House, Husson University will provide parents, alumni and friends with an opportunity to experience some of the technology used by students in programs around campus. The event known at “Husson 101” will run from 10–11 a.m. in three different learning spaces on campus simultaneously.

First, the School of Nursing will show what it’s like to be a Bachelor of Science in nursing student and work with the simulation manikins. This demonstration will take place in the Wellness Learning Center. Concurrently, the School of Legal Studies will host a demonstration where guests can experience a simulated crime scene at Harold Alfond Hall. Those who attend this session will also have the opportunity to examine evidence and lift fingerprints as they explore Husson University’s Forensic Science Lab.

The final simultaneous Husson 101 learning session will take place in Harold Alfond Hall. During this session, faculty from the School of Technology and Innovation will demonstrate the capabilities of Husson’s newest technical lab space on campus; the XR (Extended Reality) Lab. Visitors will have the opportunity to learn more about the latest developments in augmented reality, virtual reality and other immersive technologies

Athletic competition begins at 10:30 a.m. when the men’s cross-country team participates in the Husson Harrier Invitational race event at Saxl Park on Mount Hope Avenue in Bangor.

Parking is located at the Dorothea Dix Center next door. Saxl Park is located on the west side of the Center’s campus. Immediately following the men’s competition, the Husson Harrier Invitational race continues with a competitive race at 11:30 a.m. featuring the women’s cross-country team. Spectators are welcome to cheer on both of these teams.

Anyone interested in a campus tour can meet at the Alumni & Friends Tent. Tours will be conducted on the hour and half-hour between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. Husson swag will be available from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for anyone who’s interested.

Homecoming attendees can also participate in a rousing game of “Where’s Baldwin?” between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. To start, participants will need to stop by the Alumni & Friends Tent to get a card for the activity. To complete the card, students, family members and visitors will need to explore campus. Once the card is completed, participants will be entered into a drawing for a swag basket

Tailgating for the football game will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in parking lots five and six. These are the parking lots surrounding the O’Keefe Softball Field and adjacent to the Dr. John Winkin Sports Complex.

Campus visitors can also enjoy an “all you can eat” barbecue in the Dickerman Dining Center (DDC) for just $9 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The DDC is located between Carlisle Hall, Peabody Hall and Bell Hall.  

Kick off for the Homecoming football game between the Husson Eagles and the Springfield Pride (lions) will take place at 1 p.m. at the Dr. John W. Winkin Sports Complex. During the game, there will be a silent auction for the track & field teams.

At approximately 2 p.m., when halftime begins, members of the campus community and visitors can enjoy some complimentary doughboys (also known as fried dough) under Alumni & Friends Tent.

Following the football game, from 3:30-5 p.m., there will be an alumni reception. All alumni and friends are welcome. There will be a cash bar and adults of legal age will be provided with one complimentary drink ticket. All visitors will need to bring a valid ID to be served.

Concluding Homecoming at 6 p.m. will be a field hockey game where the Husson Eagles face the Pilgrims of New England College. Husson University is encouraging everyone to join us at the Dr. John W. Winkin Sports Complex to cheer on the team.

“Homecoming is always a special time on our campus when current students and alumni get to reconnect, reminisce and make new Husson memories,” said Sarah Robinson, vice president for advancement. “We hope all of our current students and alumni can join us for what will be a fun-filled day of food, sports and fellowship.”

Registration information for Homecoming events can be found at https://www.husson.edu/alumni/homecoming/. It’s suggested that all Homecoming attendees register early since some events have capped attendance due to the pandemic.

For more than 120 years, Husson University has shown its adaptability and strength in delivering educational programs that prepare future leaders to handle the challenges of tomorrow through innovative undergraduate and graduate degrees. With a commitment to delivering affordable classroom, online and experiential learning opportunities, Husson University has come to represent a superior value in higher education. The hallmarks of a Husson education include advanced knowledge delivered through quality educational programs in business; health and education; pharmacy studies; science and humanities; as well as communication. According to a recent analysis of tuition and fees by U.S. News & World Report, Husson University is one of the most affordable private colleges in New England. For more information about educational opportunities that can lead to personal and professional success, visit Husson.edu.