DU Community Comes Together for Homecoming
Hundreds of alumni and parents return to campus for two days of activities
With a national hockey championship to celebrate, more than 1,200 alumni and parents were on campus last weekend to participate in Homecoming and Family Weekend at the University of Denver. The weekend started with Hocktoberfest, a festive opportunity for the entire DU community to enjoy German-American food, beer and music.
“Homecoming is an opportunity for the Pioneer family to come together, whether you are an alum, a parent, or just a fan of DU sports,” says Brandon Buzbee, associate vice chancellor for global networks. “There are so many great things happening here at DU, and homecoming is a time to celebrate the success of the University and do it with a community that we are all a part of.”
The celebration outside the Ritchie Center then moved indoors as the University raised the national championship banner honoring the 2016–17 hockey team. Last year’s championship helped the DU athletics program place 35th in overall Division I standings, the best finish in school history.
“I think it epitomizes what it means to be a Denver Pioneer,” says Peg Bradley-Doppes, vice chancellor for DU athletics. “The University strives for excellence, and our athletics programs strive the same way. When you are the best of the best, it makes everyone feel great.”
On Friday night, the Pioneers skated to a 3-3 tie with Lake Superior State. On Saturday night, DU came away with a 5-1 victory after scoring three goals in the final period.
Before Saturday night’s game, the University hosted the annual Pio-Palooza. Hundreds of fans came out with their families to celebrate with games, food trucks and the national championship trophy.
“If you are a local alum, you should almost have a duty to come back and participate in what’s going on here,” Antoine Perretta, a DU alumnus and former president of undergraduate student government, said on Friday night. “Whether it’s a hockey game, or mentoring a student, or even just helping with different volunteer efforts, it’s part of your duties as an alum.”
A big part of the weekend included events geared toward current students. On Friday night, Campus Life and Inclusive Excellence hosted the Crimson & Gold Bash, a dance for students. The festivities on Saturday got under way with the Pio Parade, featuring Chancellor Rebecca Chopp as the grand marshal.
“Homecoming is a celebration of our community, and that includes students, alumni, faculty and staff,” said Morgan Smith, president of undergraduate student government. “This is homecoming for all of DU, not just those who live out of state or who are now working. It’s for all of our students and all of our community coming together.”