The latin phrase “Alma Mater” means nourishing mother, so it’s not surprising that alumni, students and new parents come back to Taylor for homecoming. This year, the homecoming and family weekend will be Oct. 21-23, with many events to make Taylor feel like home.
Director of Special Projects Amanda Wilson, who works to oversee the planning and execution of homecoming and other events, is an alumni herself from the class of 2002.
She remembers her time fondly, and gives a face to the alumni who will be returning for reunions or to accompany their own children who have since become students.
“There is this thing that when alumni come back, like you really feel like your room is your room, these other people come back and it’s like it’s their home,” Wilson said.
The general mood on campus is much more enjoyable during homecoming weekend, along with other things you wouldn’t expect.
Improved food options, as well as more food options are one thing available to all on campus during the weekend.
“The food is always better [during homecoming],” Wilson said. “Everyone kind of puts their best foot forward all at the same time.”
In addition to the already elevated food, there will be food trucks from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday for everyone to enjoy.
Wilson sees the event of homecoming and family weekend as a great experience for the whole family, not just the student.
Some events planned for this year’s homecoming weekend include athletics, a concert, Shop the Loop and others.
Shop the Loop allows for Taylor students who operate a small business to set up a stand outside of the Larita Boren Student Center.
Brad Yordy is the executive director of alumni-parent relations. He is keen on the fact that there will be something for everyone.
“There will be over 100 events that weekend,” Yordy said.
Yordy’s tips for the weekend are to get to chapel early and register for events early. Historically, this is one of the busiest times for local businesses such as Ivanhoes.
It’s not all fun and games, though.
“We have faculty give lectures and alumni come back and give lectures on different topics,” Yordy said.
In addition, a prominent worship group will be performing on the evening of Oct. 22.
The Vertical Worship concert starts at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m. and tickets are available online.
There are athletic events all weekend long, including football, volleyball and men’s soccer — tickets for which are included in the registration package.
This is the first time that Shop the Loop will be on the same weekend as homecoming, in addition to some new activities.
“New this year is TaylorLand scavenger hunt,” Wilson said. “By completing the TaylorLand scavenger board, people can win Taylor swag.”
Additionally, each hall is having their own events throughout the weekend to foster intentional community.
“English is hosting a tea [party] and someone is playing another hall in kickball,” Wilson said. “Even if you don’t have a family member coming back, there’s still something for you.”
The improv-comedy troupe Rice Pilaf has a showing on Friday night, Shop the Loop is from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, and there is an all-campus worship service from 10 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. followed by brunch from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
More information about registration and events can be found at www.taylor.edu/hfw. Information about Vertical Worship tickets, outside of parent registration, can be found at www.taylor.edu/verticalworship. Registration opens on Sunday Oct. 9.