Alumni homecoming weekend has been partnering with the Head of the Trent Regatta for decades now. “It was good for the regatta to draw people back and it was good for the Alumni Association to have that big event which was already a good draw for alumni,” says Lee Hays, Directer of Alumni Affairs (class of ‘91), “…It’s such a good draw for alumni to come back to campus.” The planning for the homecoming activities started six months ago with the Homecoming Committee, chaired by Evan Fleming. They organize all of the events and recruit volunteers.
“We have the same key components year after year, but we vary it a little… so alumni can get used to what to expect when they come back.” Staples of homecoming weekend include the Alumni Association’s Annual General Meeting, an alumni barbeque at The Ceilie, The Commoner Reunion, children’s activities at the Great Hall, and alumni sports. Newer additions include an Alumni Art Exhibit, an Alumni Services tent at the Bata podium and a sculpture unveiling from sculptor David James.
The Alumni Association AGM is where the state of the organization is discussed and any new representatives for council are announced. This year’s AGM will be held at 10am on Saturday in Alumni House.
The Commoner “was a student-run pub” at Trent and “used to be the campus pub, it was an old farm that was torn down about 3 years ago.” Every Head of the Trent the remaining staff members of The Commoner meet at the Pig’s Ear Tavern.
The school of education hosts activities for children in the Great Hall on Saturday. These activities include magic, a puppet show, games, and cookie decorating.
On Saturday, there in an alumni soccer game at the Justin Chiu Stadium at 9am and a volleyball game at the AC. On Sunday, there is an Alumni Men’s Rugby game at noon at Nichol’s Oval. There is also a boat full of alumni at the regatta.
New to this year is an Alumni Art Exhibit featuring the submitted works of alumni and “friends of Trent.” The Alumni Association’s permanent art exhibits will also be on display during the art show going on Friday at 2pm and Saturday at 10am at Alumni House.
You may recognize David James’ work, “The Portal,” a six foot, 8,000-pound, Zimbabwean Belfast black granite sculpture that can be found at Trent’s most artsy and design inspired college, Gzowski College, overlooking the Otonabee near the Chemical Sciences building. A scaled down, glass version of “The Portal” will be unveiled in the Bata Atrium at 3pm on Saturday. David James (class of ‘68) was a CBC-Radio foreign correspondent before he turned to sculpting in his studio in Sutton, PQ. He is going to sign the glass sculpture as well by drilling the signature straight into the piece.
Most events are free “and we always say ‘and friends’” when mentioning the various events. “It varies depending on weather” but there have been reportedly up to 5,000 athletes, community members, and alumni on campus for Head of the Trent Homecoming Weekend. Make sure you are one of them.