Home Sweet Homecoming
Last updated 9/20/2021 at 8:05am
For many of us, one of our fondest memories is going to our high school or college homecoming. If you look up the definition of the term, homecoming means “an instance of returning home” and “a high school, or university game, dance or other social event to which alumni are invited.” We want to extend that invitation to all Montana State University-Northern alumni to join us Sept. 22-25 to celebrate our wonderful 92 years of Northern.
When I started at the MSU-Northern Foundation in the fall of 2019, it was only six weeks prior to Northern’s Homecoming and it was not what I had expected. As it had been for years, the “home” football game was held at Blue Pony Stadium and the while there were some activities on campus, like door and window decorating, it just felt different. The alumni didn’t seem to be as engaged nor were there many reunions and I felt that was a miss. The school spirit, the fun activities and the festive environment gearing up for our teams to play that weekend seemed lackluster and everyone chalked it up to that’s just how it’s always been.
Fast-forward two years to 2021 and things have changed. We are all thrilled to be back in-person on campus and to see our students hustling to class or to the gym. With our new football field on campus our homecoming will officially be at home. If you came to the first season’s game a few weeks ago, you’ll agree that the energy was electric from the fans, students and alumni. In addition, we have a new dean of students, Corey Kopp, who has lit a fire on campus and energized the students, faculty and staff with his ideas and energy. The college experience is multifaceted this year with many events happening on campus to foster friendships and school spirit.
For myself and our team, including our tireless outreach manager Lee Lounder and wonderful volunteers, we are stepping up our game to welcome home alumni. We have over 120 people registered for homecoming and have mapped out a robust agenda of events to celebrate. We kick off our fun Wednesday, Sept. 22 at 6 p.m., inviting any and all to come join us for Northern Trivia Night at Old Station Brewery where there will be Northern trivia questions and fun prizes for winners!
Friday, Sept. 24, we invite our alumni who are celebrating 50-year reunions or longer, Class of 1971 or prior, to enjoy “Lunch with the Chancellor” on campus. It will be a special time to reminisce and catch up with classmates. That night there will be Havre Happy Hour from 6-8 p.m. Visit Vic’s Place, Triple Dog, the Palace, Golden Spike, the Oxford and/or Crawford Distillery and tell them you are celebrating Northern’s homecoming and they will donate $1 from every adult beverage purchased to support Northern. Pop over to the Ox to meet up with the Northern Baseball reunion at 7 p.m., and we also encourage visitors or locals to partake in the on-campus concert or catch the Northern Rodeo team competing at home up at the Great Northern Fairgrounds.
Saturday, Sept. 25, the fun continues! Join us for our alumni tailgate at the east end parking area starting at 11 a.m. and kickoff for the football game is 1 p.m. against Rocky. Those visiting our tent will get to taste the first release of our collaboration with Triple Dog Brewery, “Northern Light Beer” as well has have some special food available courtesy of alum Joe Ashcroft. We also invite all 50-year-plus alumni to walk out on the football field with us at half time. Saturday night we have the Skylights Volleyball team at home as well as the second night at the Northern Rodeo.
We are excited. We are Northern. And we are looking forward to seeing so many of our alumni and friends of Northern bringing to campus their school spirit. Come home to Northern for homecoming. Registration is free at http://www.msunfoundation.org. Those who register will receive a very special gift. Follow us on Facebook at Northern Alumni Foundation to keep up with all of our homecoming events.
Shantel Cronk is the executive director of the Northern Alumni Foundation.