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September 29 weekend was jam-packed with Trent events for many students, Peterborough locals, and Trent alumni. Head of the Trent is a long-standing tradition at Trent University that attracts thousands annually. Head of the Trent is a rowing regatta -- this tournament in particular being the largest of its kind in all of North America, with over 1,200 rowers each year from over 50 universities across Canada. The regatta dates back to the founding of the Trent University Rowing Club in 1971 and involves several races taking place throughout the day on the Trent-Severn Waterway, starting at Parkhill road bridge and coming to a conclusion at the rowdy Faryon bridge on campus.
In 1972, the Trent University Alumni Association held the very first alumni Homecoming during the Head of the Trent Regatta (HOTR). Each year thousands of Alumni attend to view the day’s racing, attend special reunions, and participate in many activities and events including some that are specifically for alumni and their family.
The events began with the annual United Way Kickoff BBQ on Thursday September 27 at Bata Podium. With lunch at just $5 and vegetarian options available, there was a healthy turn out. All proceeds go towards Trent’s $100,000 fundraising goal.
Beyond the regatta and Homecoming celebrations, the largest attraction of the weekend is the Rower’s Beer Garden. As part of the celebration and Homecoming experience, the Beer Garden is a large area where attendees can enjoy music and purchase alcohol, and is one of the main fundraisers of the Trent Rowing Club.
This year, the Homecoming experience included tours of the university grounds to display updates the campus has seen over the years. There was also a welcome tent on Bata Podium for all alumni, where they had access to special privileges like the fast-track line at the Beer Garden, discounts on Trent swag, and access to alum-only areas like the Ceilie. The tent was also the site of the Alumni Photo Booth where students, alum and their families could dress up using props to capture memories. To make the day more inclusive for alumni children, there were different kids zones throughout campus and a special guest Razberry the Clown who made balloon animals on request and did face painting as well.
There were also many department reunions and anniversaries during the HOTR weekend this year. 2018 marked the 50th anniversary of Lady Eaton College (LEC). As the second oldest college at Trent, the celebrations for LEC’s 50th are scheduled to take place throughout the year. Faculty, students, and alumni gathered in the LEC Pit for a ride down memory lane with pictures of alumni from when the college was first created in 1968. Snacks and refreshments were available as alumni caught up, and a very familiar face could be seen in the crowd. Thomas H.B. Symons, co-founder and first president of Trent University, was present. He stayed for the entirety of the event and spoke to many of the ’68 alum.
Other notable anniversaries included the 50th anniversary of Geography at Trent and the 40th of the Nantes Year Abroad program.
Accompanying the festivities over the three days, Trent Excalibur athletes faced off against visiting teams in a total of 12 varsity games in volleyball, lacrosse, soccer, and rugby. The weekend is meant to foster the Trent community, and create a welcome space for past and current students. With a copious amount of ways to show Trent pride available, it is truly a weekend where everyone bleeds green.