Homecoming Highlights 2013

Mascots Thurber and Opal

Mascots Thurber and Opal 'cheer' on the Bulldogs to a Homecoming win.

The Magic of Redlands was evident during the 2013 Homecoming festivities.

Alums, students, parents, and friends of the University spent the weekend reconnecting, remembering the past, and creating new memories. The celebrating began on Oct. 18 with a president’s reception in Irvine Commons, the Bulldog Bench Hall of Fame Induction, and The Magic of Redlands! magic show.

Early on Oct. 19, participants started the day by heading back to the classroom for two mini-courses taught by faculty: “Behind the Scenes at the Feast of Lights” with Dr. Nicholle Andrews and “Marriage Equality, the Supreme Court, and the Constitution: Answers, Questions, Prospects in the Wake of June 26” with Dr. Art Svenson and Brian Silva ’00, executive director of Marriage Equality USA.

“It’s always nice to come back and talk about successes,” Silva said. “We wanted the audience to be engaged and really think about the topic, walking away with something new.”

For the Feast of Lights course, a Watchorn Hall room was filled with costumes, luminaries, and Chapel Singers, who sang a selection from the program’s repertoire. Andrews shared insight into what it takes to get ready for the Feast of Lights, which takes an entire year to prepare for, as well as what it was like to take on the tradition when she and several other new people started in 2008.

“We wanted to make sure to respect the past while moving into the future,” she said.

Throughout the day, various reunions were held, and hundreds gathered on the Quad for lunch, the Biergarten, and a picnic dinner. The parade wound its way around the Quad, featuring the Homecoming court, Greek and service organizations, and dancers. Taylor Rangeo ’12 and Randy Lai ’12 both returned to campus for their second Homecoming since graduation, and agreed that the time they’ve spent away from Redlands has made them grow fonder of their alma mater.

“Coming back, you realize just how beautiful the campus is,” Rangeo said. “You don’t see how pretty everything is until you’re gone from it.”

“Until you leave, you don’t appreciate it,” Lai said.

McKenzie Wolf ’15 spent the afternoon and evening with mascot Thurber after winning a contest to accompany him to Homecoming. The pair walked in the parade, ate dinner together on the Quad, and walked in the halftime show during the football game against La Verne.

“My dad passed away in July of this year, and he was a huge Thurber fan,” she said. “I thought it would be perfect to enter the contest, and when I got the email saying I won, I was so excited. I haven’t smiled that hard in a long time.”

Wolf was also joined by Thurber’s six-month-old half-niece, Opal, and his handler, math professor Beth Doolittle. Throughout the date, the group was stopped by people wanting to meet and have their photos taken with Thurber and Opal.

“It’s overwhelming,” Wolf said. “I don’t know how he does it every day. Thurber is definitely a hot commodity.”

The day culminated in the football game in Ted Runner Stadium, where the Bulldogs earned their first touchdown of the night in the first quarter. During halftime, Steven Cully ’14 and Megan Mikulich ’14 were crowned Homecoming King and Queen, and fireworks exploded over the field. The game ended with a Redlands victory, the Bulldogs defeating La Verne 21-6.

“This was a great game,” Elizabeth Schroeder of Redlands said. “I grew up in Redlands, and although I didn’t come here for college, I feel a connection, and I was glad to come out with friends today. I had a lot of fun.”

By: Catherine Garcia
Posted: Oct. 20, 2013


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