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New additions to Homecoming debut this year

Dylan Pausch, Randy Pausch’s son, admires the bridge constructed in his father’s memory at Friday night’s dedication. The pedestrian bridge is now open, connecting the Purnell and Gates centers. (credit: Courtney Wittekind/Photo Staff) Dylan Pausch, Randy Pausch’s son, admires the bridge constructed in his father’s memory at Friday night’s dedication. The pedestrian bridge is now open, connecting the Purnell and Gates centers. (credit: Courtney Wittekind/Photo Staff) MayurSASA board dances at the Diwali Eid. The event was a celebration for the “Festival of Lights.” (credit: Kristen Severson/Photo Editor) MayurSASA board dances at the Diwali Eid. The event was a celebration for the “Festival of Lights.” (credit: Kristen Severson/Photo Editor) Scotty entertains students at Friday evening’s Highland Games, where students joined their classes to compete in various activities. The Highland Games were one of the new events created to encourage student participation throughout Homecoming Weekend. (credit: Courtney Wittekind/Photo Staff) Scotty entertains students at Friday evening’s Highland Games, where students joined their classes to compete in various activities. The Highland Games were one of the new events created to encourage student participation throughout Homecoming Weekend. (credit: Courtney Wittekind/Photo Staff)

To students, Homecoming Weekend means getting a free T-shirt or Tartan towel, socializing, getting a hot cup of chili, and watching the football game. To alumni, Homecoming Weekend signifies Alumni Weekend, reconnecting with old classmates over dinner, and seeing how much the school has progressed. But this year, Homecoming is much, much more.
Homecoming was given a complete makeover this year with the revamping of old events and the addition of new ones. Dana Weinstein, a junior business administration major and the leader of the Student Homecoming Committee, said, “The main purpose of all of these events is to get Carnegie Mellon students more excited about being here and give them a quick break. It also allows them to have a chance to interact with alumni in a non-networking environment, which is something that they might not get as often as they like.”
Some of the past events that were re-worked this year were the Student Homecoming Kick-Off BBQ on Wednesday and LMAO, An Evening of Comedy and Music, on Thursday. “The events this year were actually an initiative started by the committee last year. We began these events last year because we felt that Homecoming wasn’t really for students, and we wanted to make more events that were student-centric and would make students feel as though they were welcomed at Homecoming events, even though we do invite alumni to all of the student-oriented events,” said Weinstein.
Spirit Week and the Highland Games were two of the new additions to the Homecoming schedule. “We added a few events this year, such as Spirit Week and the Highland Games, to replace the ‘B There’ campaign that occurred last year during the Friday night of Homecoming, so that we could still have a larger Friday night event,” said Weinstein.
Spirit Week gave students the opportunity to show off their Carnegie Mellon spirit, pride, and creativity by dressing to the respective day’s theme. The themes were: Rep your Hometown, Nerd Day, College Spirit Day, Class Colors Day, and Tartan Pride. Students could receive a raffle ticket each day they participated for the chance to win an Acer Aspire One netbook and to accumulate points for the Highland Games.
On Thursday, students celebrated Diwali and Eid ul-Fitr in Wiegand Gym. The celebration of Diwali, also known as the “Festival of Lights,” is a major Indian festival signifying the victory of good over evil. Eid ul-Fitr is a joyous occasion celebrating the achievement of enhanced piety. The event included crafts, performances, and a buffet of traditional Indian cuisine.
The week concluded with the Highland Games, a class competition involving fair-style games. First-years, sophomores, juniors, seniors, and alumni had the opportunity to compete while enjoying performances, food, and other Scottish traditions.
With all the new additions, some old traditions still stand. The Alumni Awards Ceremony and the Tartans football game were two staples of the traditional Homecoming week.
Since 1950, the Alumni Awards have recognized alumni, faculty, and students for their service to the university and for their achievements in the arts, humanities, sciences, technology, and business. More than 750 individuals have been awarded through the program. The Alumni Association awarded its honorees at the Alumni Awards Ceremony Friday at 5:30 p.m. All alumni, students, faculty, staff, and friends were invited.
The Alumni Association is also extending the invitation to submit nominations for the 2010 Alumni Awards. The Service Award Nomination deadline is Monday, Nov. 30. Anyone may nominate as many candidates as one likes, but they should be people who have exemplified outstanding service to the university. For more information, contact Adrian Massey.
Following the Chili Cook-Off, hosted by the Carnegie Clan, the Tartan football team played the Washington University Bears on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Gesling Stadium. During the game, the Carnegie Clan also operated a canned food drive.
Anyone interested in being a part of the planning for next year’s Homecoming should contact Dana Weinstein at danaerinw@gmail.com.