Up and down Hawkey Way, alumni of every generation used the same word to describe the feeling of being back on campus for River Hawk Homecoming 2018.
“It’s awesome to see how far the university has come,” said business alum John Turner ’08, ’15, who enjoyed the family-friendly festivities with his wife, MBA grad Tara Turner ’11, and their young daughters, Margo and Claire. “It makes you proud.”
“It’s quite an accomplishment what this administration has done,” industrial management alum Edward “Skip” Kittredge ’67 said as he surveyed the scene from the alumni tent. “It’s been a wonderful transition here over the last 10 years. I’m very proud of the university.”
Homecoming weekend kicked off with a Celebration of Philanthropy, where a $5 million commitment
from business alum Brian Rist ’77 helped push the university past its $125 million fundraising campaign goal — 18 months ahead of schedule.
That news, coupled with Oprah Winfrey’s upcoming visit
to campus for the Chancellor’s Speaker Series to raise money for student scholarships, added to the good vibes during Saturday afternoon’s celebration outside the Tsongas Center. Even the weather got into the spirit; rain clouds parted for sunshine right on cue as guests enjoyed student musical performances, food (including a chili cook-off), carnival games, pony rides and, for the daring, a bungee trampoline.
“It’s a great time to be a River Hawk,” said Executive Director of Alumni and Donor Relations Heather Makrez ’06, ’08, who was thrilled to see “thousands of alumni, faculty, staff and families” taking part in reunions, athletic events and the annual Jennifer’s 5K Fun Run/Walk. “As we celebrate reaching our campaign goal two years early, Oprah coming to campus, and the largest and most diverse incoming class we have ever seen, it’s only fitting to have the best homecoming weekend at UMass Lowell.”
Here are a few snapshots from Hawkey Way: