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Family and Homecoming Weekend unites generations

Family and Homecoming activities
Family and Homecoming Weekend

Families of Penn State Berks students will experience life on campus, while alumni will reconnect when the college hosts its annual Family and Homecoming Weekend on Friday, Oct. 19–Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012. The theme of this year’s event is “There’s a Hero Within.” The program will include activities for the entire family, with educational, social, and athletic events that showcase the campus. Events are open to all attendees with the exception of alumni brunch, which requires preregistration.

The festivities will begin with the Perkins Plaza dedication ceremony on Friday at 1 p.m. This plaza was built in honor of Dr. Harold W. Perkins, the first campus CEO. It includes a seating area, a fountain sculpture, and a clock carillon.

Check-in for families begins on Friday from 5–7 p.m. outside the Beaver Community Center and continues on Saturday from 10 a.m.–1 p.m.; the first fifty families will receive a free gift.

Friday night attendees can participate in a float-building party, with music and entertainment, from 5–9 p.m. in Beaver Community Center parking lot in preparation for the next day’s Homecoming Parade. The night’s activities conclude with a bonfire, sponsored by the Student Government Association, from 10–11 p.m. in front of the Luerssen Building.

As part of the Alumni Reunion, alumni are invited to a buffet brunch in the Perkins Plaza. Attendees are asked to reserve their seat by calling the Alumni Office at 610-396-6057 or by registering online.

Other events include mini golf and a carnival, which will include rock climbing, mazes, boot camp courses, and other games, from 11 a.m.–4 p.m. at the Perkins Plaza.

Kim Berry, Chief Operating Officer, will provide guided tours of the Gaige Technology and Business Innovation Building, beginning at 11:15 a.m., highlighting some of the notable features that earned the facility the prestigious LEED gold-level certification. LEED is the nation’s preeminent program for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. The building includes a range of sustainability strategies, including rainwater collection and a heat-recovery system, just to name a few.

Parents and families can attend a program geared toward their specific questions and concerns at 11:30 a.m. in the Penn State Room, Perkins Student Center. Dave Delozier, Director of Development and Alumni Relations, will give a presentation on the Perkins Plaza at 12 p.m. at the Perkins Plaza; and Dr. David Sanford, Associate Professor of Horticulture, will give a guided tour of the plants of the campus at 12:15 p.m., starting in front of the Beaver Community Center.

The Homecoming Parade will begin at 12:30 p.m., and floats built by student and alumni organizations will be on display. The parade will be followed by Homecoming Court, where the student queen and king will be crowned during halftime of the women’s soccer game, which begins at 1 p.m. at Hintz Field.

The Berks Chemical Society will present a “liquid nitrogen ice cream demonstration,” and the Von Shakes, an indie rock & roll band from Ireland, will perform at 2:30 at the Perkins Plaza. In addition, the men’s soccer game will be held 3 p.m. at Hintz Field, and tuition bingo, sponsored by THON, will be held from 3–6 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room of the Perkins Student Center Auditorium.

There will be a “Best of Berks” talent competition at 4 p.m. in the Perkins Plaza. Then the Penn State Berks Blue & White Society will bring back a campus tradition when they sponsor bathtub derby races at 5 p.m. at the Beaver Community Center.

“Crazy Bob’s Superhero Dinner Party” will be held from 5–7 p.m. in Tully’s, followed by a performance by Lindsay Benner, comedian/mime/juggler, at 7 p.m. in the Perkins Student Center Auditorium. The day's activities will culminate with a Football Tailgate for the Penn State vs. Iowa game, hosted by the Penn State Alumni Society, at 8 p.m. at the Perkins Plaza; and Late Night Laser Tag, sponsored by the Campus Activities Board, from 8 p.m.–2 a.m. in front of the Luerssen Building.

On Sunday, students will host a fundraiser at Texas Roadhouse, located at 2803 Paper Mill Road in Wyomissing. Proceeds will benefit THON, the IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon held at Penn State University Park each year, which is the largest student-run philanthropy in the world, THON benefits children with cancer and their families.

For more information about Parents and Family Weekend, contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 610-396-6052 or the Office of Campus Life at 610-396-6076.

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