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Alumni to celebrate homecoming week

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archived homecoming 1
CSU-Pueblo to celebrate the 80th homecoming anniversary. Photo courtesy of CSU-P archives

The Alumni Association will team up with the Office of Student Engagement and Leadership to host a Welcome Back Breakfast, a tailgate and an alumni dinner for students and alumni for homecoming week.

There are approximately 12,000 alumni living in Pueblo County, according to Tracy Samora, director of Alumni Relations. The support these alumni show for the university is strong, Samora said.

“We also have quite a few alumni that are season ticket holders and travel from Colorado Springs,” Samora said.

The association and Friends of Football, the alumni group that brought football back to the university and raised money for the stadium, have hosted a tailgate party on the west side of the ThunderBowl before each home football game since football returned to CSU-Pueblo six years ago.

“The Alumni/Community tailgate usually has anywhere from 200-250 attendees,” Samora said.

Students and community fans are also welcome to attend the tailgate for food and drinks, Samora said. The cost is $8 and begins at noon.

Judy Hildner is a graduate of the class of 1970 and a board member for the Alumni Association. She volunteers for several sporting events, including the alumni tailgate party.

As a mass communications and graphic communications double major, Hildner went on to become a sports writer and editor for the Pueblo Chieftain, and has become more involved in the association since her retirement last September.

“I always had to work Friday and Saturday nights. So I never got to do them (the tailgates),” Hildner said.

Through volunteering with other alumni, Hildner said she has had a lot of fun.

“We’re all committed, just to be involved. I don’t know what difference I will make but I’ve really enjoyed it,” she said.

During Hildner’s time as a student, only part of the campus was on the Belmont campus, part of it was still at its old location on the Orman campus, where Pueblo Community College is currently located. Other sports were a part of homecoming week, but Hildner believes football is best fit for the celebration.

“Football just lends itself to all of the homecoming events,” she said.

To celebrate alumnus, the association will also host an Alumni Association Reception at Angelo’s on the Riverwalk on Friday from 5-8 p.m.

“(It’s) downtown so we can invite folks be part of the community because the community is such a good partner with the university,” Samora said.

For $10, those that attend will receive food and drinks. There will also be free boat rides for alumni.

The Welcome Back Breakfast is planned for 8 a.m. the morning of the game for alumni and parents of students at CSU-Pueblo, which costs $6 to attend.

This is the second year for the breakfast, said Samora. This year, different departments will have tables at the event specifically for their alumni. The nursing program is, so far, the only department to confirm their table, but others are expected to later this week, Samora said.

The association will also offerself-guided tours of the campus to those attending the breakfast.

“We like to encourage alumni to come back and take in the campus at their leisure.  We provide campus maps and information about the art walk,” Samora said.

For many alumni who volunteer, including Hildner, the campus is the biggest noticeable change from when they graduated, but Hildner notes there has also been a change in atmosphere. It has gotten better.

Games used to be held at Dutch Clark Stadium, but since the construction of the stadium, Hildner believes has improved spirit.

“There is much more of a presence on campus for the students,” Hildner said.

The events planned by the Alumni Association and Office of Student Engagement and Leadership are as listed, the list can also be found at www.colostate-pueblo.edu:

On Friday (Oct. 4), a pep rally and bonfire will be held in the dirt lot between the Student Recreation Field and the water towers at 8 p.m. and will feature student athletes, the melodies of the CSU-Pueblo Marching Band, and performances by the cheer and dance teams. At 9 p.m., Powder Puff Football will begin on the Student Recreation Field.

Saturday (Oct. 5) begins with a Welcome Back Breakfast for Alumni and Parents in the foyer of the Occhiato University Center at a cost of $6 per person. Self-guided tours of campus also will be available. An alumni/community tailgate will begin at noon beneath the red tent near the stadium. The fifth-ranked ThunderWolf football team takes the field versus Fort Lewis at 2 p.m. in the Neta and Eddie DeRose ThunderBowl. Homecoming royalty will be recognized at half time of the game.

A complete schedule of upcoming events:

Friday, Oct. 4

Alumni Association Reception, 5-8 p.m., Angelo’s on the Riverwalk, 105 E Riverwalk, $10 per person in advance, 719-549-2858 for more information; registration forms are available at: http://alumni.colostate-pueblo.edu/homecoming/Pages/default.aspx

Men’s Soccer versus School of Mines, 7 p.m., Soccer Field

Pep Rally and Bonfire, 8 p.m., Dirt parking Lot between Student Recreation Field and the Water Towers.  Come meet the student athletes and listen to the CSU-Pueblo Marching Band.

Powder Puff Game, 9 p.m., Student Recreation Field. To register a team of seven, email aj.tuck.se@colostate-pueblo.edu

Saturday, Oct. 5

Welcome Back Alumni/Parent Breakfast, 10 a.m., Alumni Office, Occhiato University Center Foyer, self-guided tours of campus also available, $6 per person. Parents also are welcome to have breakfast in the Columbine Cafeteria with their ThunderWolf!

Alumni/Community/Student and Family Tailgate Party, Noon, pre-game tailgate hosted by Friends of Football and the CSU-Pueblo Alumni Association, $8 per person, Red Tent West of Stadium

Football Game vs. Fort Lewis, 2 p.m., Neta and Eddie DeRose ThunderBowl, Royalty presentation at half time, alumni group football tickets available on registration form.

Volleyball vs. Western New Mexico, 7 p.m., Massari Arena

Homecoming Masquerade Ball and Casino Night (students only), 8 p.m., Student Recreation Center.