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Alumni Association reprises role as Homecoming tradition-keeper


October 15, 2008

In every organization, someone is tasked with taking care of the group’s collective memories. At ASU, the Alumni Association has performed this role for many years, and nowhere will this work be on greater display than at the 2008 Homecoming, which also will celebrate ASU’s 50th anniversary as a university.

The Alumni Association will kick off its celebration of ASU pride Nov. 14 by conducting reunions for the classes of 1958, 1968, 1978, 1988 and 1998. Reunion attendees will tour Tempe campus facilities such as the Biodesign Institute and the Mars Space Flight Facility, enjoy social hours at Mill Avenue eateries, and participate in the Block Party and Homecoming Parade on Nov. 15.

The 50th anniversary class will have a special tent at the Block Party, where visitors can ask alumni from the ASU name-change initiative era questions about their involvement in the campaign.

The association will also celebrate Sun Devil sports traditions by presenting a special “Legends of Football” Homecoming luncheon Nov. 14 that will feature former head coach Frank Kush, as well as legendary former players such as Danny White, Ron Pritchard and others. Tickets are $40 for Alumni Association members and $45 for non-members.

SAA, the student alumni association at ASU, is heavily involved in one of the university’s oldest Homecoming traditions, the Lantern Walk up “A” Mountain. The walk, first performed in 1917, symbolizes the passing of the proverbial torch from the senior class to the junior class. SAA activities are conducted with assistance by the Alumni Association.

The Nov. 14 Homecoming events schedule will close with a tradition now in its fifth year, the Homecoming Gala, which the association co-conducts with the Tempe Chamber of Commerce. Festivities will include dinner, dancing, a live band, a silent auction, and more.

According to Alissa Pierson, the association’s associate executive director for programs and constituencies, the organization’s work as university tradition-keeper is closely related to its mission of keeping Sun Devil alumni connected to ASU after they graduate.

“The Alumni Association exists in part to enhance the alumni experience, and one of the ways we connect graduates to ASU is through observing university traditions,” she says. “Remembering where we’ve been as a university builds Sun Devil pride and complements our focus on communicating to alumni where ASU is headed.”

For more information on the ASU Alumni Association’s Homecoming activities, visit the Web site www.asu.edu/alumni/homecoming/index.shtm.

Liz Massey, elizabeth.massey@asu.edu
Alumni Association
(480) 965-3701