The University of Wyoming’s 2020 Homecoming schedule will have many virtual activities in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Homecoming is scheduled from Saturday, Oct. 10, to Saturday, Oct. 17.
As UW leadership has continually monitored the current environment for the start of the fall semester, there is a consensus that in-person alumni Homecoming traditions could not be held with the integrity, quality and safety level as past celebrations, says Keener Fry, UW Alumni Association (UWAA) executive director.
Meanwhile, Homecoming activities for students will be determined individually following guidance from the university’s fall return plan.
“The current pandemic has necessitated a number of changes for the fall semester, and our Homecoming activities for alumni are no exception,” UW President Ed Seidel says. “Moving from in-person to virtual events was a mutual decision among departments of the university to minimize the risk of transmission of the virus on our campus. At the same time, we are excited about keeping Homecoming engagement alive virtually and actually increasing accessibility for all UW alumni and friends.”
The UWAA traditionally oversees Homecoming planning and activities in conjunction with campus partners. The association will not hold two traditional in-person events: the Homecoming parade and the 50th Club Reunion. The UWAA is working to conduct a virtual event for the reunion, which was set to celebrate the class of 1970. All alumni from that class will be invited back to campus to celebrate in fall 2021.
Details on other virtual Homecoming 2020 activities are being developed.
Fry says there are many opportunities and benefits to hosting a virtual Homecoming for alumni this fall, including: safety for alumni and friends by limiting the number of outside guests gathering in large groups on campus; increasing reach and exposure to alumni throughout the world who may never travel to Laramie for a Homecoming celebration; and increasing the potential for virtual creativity that could lead to new engagement opportunities for future in-person events.
The Distinguished Alumni and Medallion Service Award recognitions also have been postponed until fall 2021. The three Distinguished Alumni are David Burman, Nancy Freudenthal and Peter Sherman; the Medallion Service Award honoree is April Brimmer Kunz.
“Our Homecoming plans may have changed, but that hasn’t changed the pride and spirit of the University of Wyoming Cowboy community,” Fry says. “Our most important priority is doing everything we can to protect our students, faculty, staff and UW guests. We look forward to everyone continuing our Homecoming traditions with us — and to restoring in-person campus celebrations next fall.”
For more information, call the UWAA at (307) 766-4166 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.