WYOMISSING, Pa. — Students, faculty and staff at Penn State Berks will welcome family and alumni to campus when the college hosts its annual Family and Homecoming Weekend, from Thursday, Sept. 26, to Sunday, Sept. 29. This year’s theme is "Once upon a time at Berks."
The weekend will include activities for the entire family, including social and athletic events that showcase the campus. Most events are free and open to all attendees unless otherwise noted, but many require advanced registration.
Friday’s events will include a float-building party from 1 to 7 p.m. in the Beaver Community Center parking lot, in preparation for the next day’s Homecoming Parade. Then at 7 p.m., the Theatre Program will hold an improv performance in the Perkins Student Center Auditorium. At 9 p.m., the annual bonfire will begin on the Luerssen lawn. This event includes refreshments and music.
In addition, there will be a Penn State football viewing party at P.J. Whelihan’s Pub and Restaurant, located at 1101 Rocky Road, West Lawn, as the Nittany Lions take on the Maryland Terrapins. Doors open an hour before kickoff. The event will include raffles, and Penn State Berkey Creamery ice cream and grilled stickies will also be available. The viewing party is sponsored by the Berks County Chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association. Advanced registration is required.
On Saturday, the day will begin with a Legacy Breakfast at 9 a.m. in the Lion’s Den, Perkins Student Center. This event is for Penn State alumni parents, grandparents, and/or siblings with a current student attending Penn State Berks. Attendees are invited to share memories and traditions with your Penn State family while enjoying a buffet breakfast. Advanced registration is required.
Parents and families are invited to check-in beginning at 10 a.m. in room 3, Perkins Student Center. There will be an open forum for parents and families to meet with professional staff and discuss any questions or concerns, as well as discuss the current news at Penn State Berks.
The college’s women’s volleyball team will play two games on Saturday. They will take on Immaculata University at 10 a.m. and Lancaster Bible College at 2 p.m. Both games will be held in the Beaver Community Center.
From 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., attendees are invited to join the LionPulse Walk, beginning at the Nittany Lion shrine. This scenic, one-hour round trip walk will take participants to Penn State Health St. Joseph Hospital, via the historic Union Canal Trail through Gring's Mill Recreation Area. This event is sponsored by LionPulse, an initiative to enhance health and wellness within the Penn State community.
Students, faculty, staff and their families are invited to attend a free picnic from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday under the tent on the Perkins Plaza lawn. The picnic is free for Penn State Berks students, alumni, employees and their families. Due to space limitations, the maximum number of guests per party is five. If you are a family member of a current Berks student, please include your student in your count. Advanced registration is required by Sept. 13.
Meanwhile, alumni and their families are invited to a special Alumni Welcome under the mini tent located by the Beaver Community Center from 12 to 2 p.m. Alumni can pick up a free gift, enjoy light refreshments, and mingle with faculty, staff and fellow alumni.
The Homecoming Parade will begin at noon. Floats built by students, faculty and staff will be on display. Presentation of the Homecoming Court, where 2019 homecoming royalty will be crowned, will take place at 1:45 p.m. at the Nittany Lion Shrine.
Rounding out the afternoon’s events are free attractions including live music, inflatables, performers, freebies and more from noon to 4 p.m.; a club fair from 1 to 3 p.m.; THON Bingo from 3 to 5 p.m.; and tie-dyeing with the Blue and White Society from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Most events will be held under the Perkins lawn tent and on the Perkins Plaza.
Attendees are invited to have dinner on their own at Tully’s cafeteria starting at 4:30 p.m., followed by a game of "Family Feud" from 6 to 8 p.m.
Alumni who graduated in the last decade are invited to a special GOLD (Graduates of the Last Decade) Reunion, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Schaylor Brewing Company, 2390 Lancaster Pike, Reading. The cost is $12 per person before Sept. 13, $15 per person at the door. Advanced registration is required.
The evening concludes with another improv performance in the Perkins Student Center Auditorium at 7 p.m.
The Berks Benefitting THON student organization will host their annual 5K or 1-mile walk, led by the Nittany Lion mascot. Check-in and registration begin at 8:45 a.m. at the Perkins Student Center, and the run/walk begins at 10 a.m. Cost is $20 before Sept. 16, and $25 after that date. For more information, visit the Berks Benefitting THON website.
Berks Benefitting THON will hold a pre-race stretching/yoga session. This event is free and open to the entire campus community; participation in the 5K is not required to attend.
To conclude the festivities, the campus community is invited to participate in a community service project, cleaning up the entrance ramp to the campus, from 2 to 6 p.m. Participants will meet at the Perkins Plaza and advanced registration is required. In addition, there will be a final matinee improv performance at 2 p.m. in the Perkins Auditorium.
For more information about Family and Homecoming Weekend, contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 610-396-6052 or the Office of Campus Life at 610-396-6076.