Reflections on Homecoming
by Jon Reimer, class of 2015
This last weekend was my fourth homecoming as a student and perhaps my tenth overall. My parents met at NNU and my two older brothers are also alums. Thus, as a young child I was included in my family’s annual fall pilgrimage to NNU in order to visit family and partake in Homecoming. As a young boy my experience was marked by meeting countless strangers who had known my parents and seemed all too eager to meet me. I remember playing under the bleachers during the men’s basketball game, discussing what I thought about the fall play with my grandparents and trying not to fall asleep in the darkness of the homecoming concert. As I muse over these memories it is interesting to compare them to this year’s as a college senior. I again attended the men’s basketball game, cheering as they rolled to a blowout victory, and I simultaneously noticed children playing underneath the bleachers. I attended the communication department’s fall play and discussed the challenges it presented afterwards. Later, I sat in Swayne Auditorium and marveled at the beauty of Handel’s “Messiah” and saw a young child who had drifted to sleep.
Really, my homecoming experience this year is fairly similar to the one I had as a 2nd grader; I just view it through a more mature perspective now, which was impacted by Friday’s Alumni Awards Chapel.
This is what I was thankful for during this year’s Homecoming: at every event, I was privileged to survey those in attendance and notice hundreds who have gone before and led lives of service and commitment. Our university has a rich heritage and Homecoming is an opportunity to cherish that. So, to those that traveled to take part in homecoming, to those that engaged myself and my peers in conversation and to those that I did not meet but who helped physically represent our university’s strong legacy, I thank you. We must never forget where we come from so that we can always know the direction we are to go.