Wow - what a weekend! Homecoming 2022 is officially in the books, and full of moments we'll always remember! For those who aren't aware, this was the WVU Alumni Association's first Homecoming since becoming partners with the greater University. Our goal with the transition was to improve programming and events offered to our alumni around the country and here in Morgantown, and I'd say we met that goal last week. Our Alumni Association presence was seen across campus as Homecoming banners hung in downtown and Evansdale, and there were dozens of virtual and in-person events for Homecoming 2022. I'd like to thank all of our alumni, campus partners and the WVU Alumni Association team for making the week a huge success!
For those that weren't able to celebrate Homecoming here in Morgantown, we hosted several virtual events, like my talk with Dean of Students, Corey Farris. We covered how student life at WVU has changed over the years and what we can expect in the future. If you're interested, you can watch a recording of the conversation at the link below. There's plenty of information I know a lot of alums will find interesting! You can watch the recording here: WVU Student Life: Then & Now | A Conversation with Dean of Students, Corey Farris
Our Director of Volunteer Engagement, Geoff Coyle, spoke with Ted Svehlik, Associate VP of Auxillary and Business Services at WVU, to cover the evolution of our campus over the years, and what changes are in store for the future. This was a fascinating conversation that I personally learned a lot from. You can watch the recording here: WVU’s Campus: Past, Present & Future. A huge thank you to Corey and Ted for giving us their time to share all of the exciting things happening at WVU!
To bring students into the Homecoming celebration, we had our first-ever Alumni Truck Pop-Ups at various locations around campus! We were joined by special guests each day to hand out Homecoming giveaways like postcards, posters, pins, and of course, pepperoni rolls. The students and staff both had a fantastic time sharing our excitement about Homecoming and all things WVU.
Of course, everyone's favorite parade on Friday was welcomed by a packed High Street. Leading it all was Mary Marantz ('02), our 2022 Parade Marshal, who has an incredibly inspiring story. She embodies what it means to be a Mountaineer and we were honored to have her lead us in the celebration. Our team had the chance to sit down with Mary before the weekend to share a bit of her story and hear what it meant to her to be selected as the grand marshal. You can watch it below.
Mary was just one of many alumni honorees that joined the Alumni Association team down High Street for the Homecoming Parade. We were also accompanied by Charles E. Emanuel ('97), Greg Darby ('80), Hilah Zia ('11, '13), Ben Ashley ('15), David Hill ('80) and Jihad Dixon ('17, '19) - our 2022 Homecoming & Service Award Winners! Also recognized during the Homecoming parade and as part of this year's Homecoming halftime performance was the first group of trailblazing women to participate in the Mountaineer Marching Band as they marked this 50-year milestone of women in the band. While I've done so personally, I'd like to publicly congratulate all of our 2022 honorees and thank them for their dedication to WVU. The 2022 class was honored at halftime of the WVU vs. TCU game, so their accomplishments and WVU pride were shared with the rest of Mountaineer nation. Congratulations, everyone!
We were also honored to be joined by over twenty Mountaineer mascots for several special activities including the parade and a fireside chat. For those who don't know, the Mountaineer Mascot Reunions started in 1992 and takes place every five years, with this year being their 7th reunion back in Morgantown. Four former mascots joined current Mountaineer Mary Roush for a panel to talk about their time in the buckskins and share stories of their experiences as the beloved Mountaineer. To top it all off, this year's reunion was the largest yet!
Like every Homecoming, the week came and went in the blink of an eye. I'm grateful for all of the familiar and new faces that I got to see on campus, as well as all of the fond memories that were shared. Homecoming is a wonderful time of the year when we can all gather together to share in traditions that remind us why we love WVU and how it made us into who we are today. Speaking of traditions, this year's Homecoming video ( Traditions That Make Us Mountaineers | WVU Homecoming 2022 ) highlights many of the WVU traditions we all know and love.
Every alum's story is unique, and I'll never get tired of hearing them. Thank you to all of you who came in to celebrate, and if you couldn't be here in person, I hope to see you next year as we continue to expand and enhance our Homecoming celebration!
As always - Let's Go!
Kevin Berry ('94, '95)
WVU Vice President of Alumni Relations
CEO of the WVU Alumni Association, Inc.