Homecoming, like many annual events, looked a little different this year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the Student Activities Council was determined to make this year’s Homecoming just as fun as always.
“Our goal was to provide opportunities to engage with Samford and to celebrate our students in a covid-safe way,” Meredith Stone, Student Activities Council Director of Special Events, said.
“Because of covid, there is no football,” Stone said. “Therefore homecoming, while traditionally a way to celebrate our football team, became more of a celebration of our students. We were able to transition some of our traditional events to a COVID-safe platform. For example, our homecoming boards were banners this year and hung in the Caf for all of our students to enjoy.”
Events for the weekend included a Virtual 5k, Diversity and Intercultural Initiatives Virtual Day Party, Pancakes With the Pres, Family Movie Night, and Class Reunions.
Even some notable alumni, like 1992 graduate Tony Hale, joined in on the festivities. Hale voiced the character of Forky in the recent Pixar film, “Toy Story 4”, which was part of the Family Movie Night event.
“Hope everybody’s comfortable in their sweatpants. I know I am,” Hale said. “Nice shirt on top and sweatpants on the bottom — nobody knows the difference. I mean, let’s be honest, this is probably the most comfortable Homecoming that Samford has ever had, right?”
Stone was confident that the Homecoming events would not cause an influx in coronavirus cases on campus.
“We did every event and giveaway following covid guidelines,” Stone said. “Through events, tabling, and various giveaways we were able to put on events in a COVID-safe manner.”
In a promotional video for this year’s Homecoming, Samford President Andrew Westmoreland said, “We’re going to make the best of a not so great situation, so join us! It’ll be fun.”
Despite the looming shadow of a global pandemic, students and alumni have enjoyed the opportunity to have some safe fun and social interaction at the end of an unusual semester.
“Our students have been so responsive to our events and giveaways. It was definitely a successful homecoming week,” Stone said.