EDITORIAL: Creating community through Marquette Homecoming


Photo from a Nov. 5, 1931 issue of The Marquette Tribune.

During the second presidential address Jan. 20, University President Michael Lovell brought up significant initiatives happening at the university. News of a Marquette homecoming possibly during the week of Marquette Madness has created a contagious buzz of excitement and admiration on campus.

Regardless of one’s current level of involvement with the university, Marquette homecoming could redefine the traditional Marquette experience for alumni, students and faculty. The following recommendations are made for the Homecoming Committee with all members of Marquette in mind.

The homecoming committee should add networking events for students and alumni to attend. Beyond the Marquette Magazine, emails and donation requests alumni receive year after year, the event will invite alumni to be involved in the most personable way, joining reminiscence with presence and hopefully increasing their participation in other events outside of reunions and alumni-focused basketball games. Said events cement alumni together and create a place of nostalgia, but they do not necessarily foster interaction between postgraduates and students. Networking events will help foster lasting connections that are deeply rooted in Marquette as commonality.

Homecoming is also a way to gather students in celebrating the reasons that make them proud members of Marquette, which will give Marquette a bigger school feel. Even now, Marquette’s student body has a high level of university pride, whether for the Jesuit traditions which Marquette follows, religious purposes, academics or athletics. Per homecoming tradition, Marquette needs to have a homecoming parade. This would be an opportunity for organizations, deans and administration, Jesuits, athletic teams and assorted service programs to be visible in a common place.

It is difficult to get so many different university niches together in any circumstance these days. Organizations take place across campus, and faculty and administration are sprawled out just the same. The homecoming parade provides a purpose for getting together and will serve as a reminder to all who attend and participate of the reasons we originally chose to “be the difference” and continue to do so.

Leading up to the main events of the homecoming, it would be exciting to have on-campus activities for students during the academic week. Such activities could include fundraising competitions between upper and underclassmen or a “gold out” where students and faculty wear gold to show their school pride.

Why stop at inviting students, alumni and faculty when we can invite the greater Milwaukee community to participate as well? Marquette students and alums love Milwaukee for different reasons but no one can deny their nostalgia for certain local eats, concerts and we can’t forget breweries. The homecoming committee should consider reaching out to local businesses for food and drinks. In addition, Milwaukee is home of 88.9 Radio Milwaukee, a tremendous station for music of all genres. It would be incredible for the committee to partner with 88.9 for an on-campus concert. Who knows, maybe reaching out locally will create long-lasting partnerships in the years to come and an even larger sense of community.

When planning Marquette’s homecoming, it is essential that everyone feels welcome, whether they’ve just started their academic career, or are returning for the first time in years. The events should include all university affiliates to emphasize Marquette’s community of individuals who are making a difference in their own special way.