READING, 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 Friday, Sept. 22, to Sunday, Sept. 24.
This year’s "Wizard of Oz" themed event bears the slogan “There’s No Place Like Berks” and will include activities for the entire family, including social and athletic events that showcase the campus. Most events are open to all attendees, but preregistration is required for the Picnic Lunch and the Alumni Social.
The festivities begin with a special presentation by retired FBI Supervisory Special Agent James “Fitz” Fitzgerald, a 1975 Penn State graduate and a former student at Penn State Berks. Credited with bringing the Unabomber to justice, he was recently portrayed in the scripted Discovery Channel miniseries titled, "Manhunt: Unabomber," which premiered Aug. 1.
Penn State Berks will host two special presentations by Fitzgerald: the first at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21, and the second at 12:15 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22, both in the Perkins Student Center Auditorium. Both lectures will be ticketed events and first preference will go to members of the campus community and alumni. For more information about tickets, contact the Office of Campus Life at 610-396-6076 after Aug. 28. For more information on James Fitzgerald, please see this article.
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. At 8 p.m. in the Perkins Student Center Auditorium, Theatre at Berks will perform "The Pavilion" by Craig Wright, which is directed by senior theatre major Taylor Clark Housel. This production includes mature content and is not appropriate for children. The night’s activities conclude with a bonfire from 9 to 11 p.m. on the Luerssen lawn.
On Saturday, the events begin at 10 a.m. with an Open House to showcase our Special Living Options followed by a women’s volleyball game in the Beaver Community Center. Families may check-in and pick up information and souvenir gifts beginning at noon at the event check-in table on the Perkins lawn. Event schedules will be available along with tickets to purchase for THON bingo.
Students, employees, and their families are invited to attend a picnic from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday in the tent on the Perkins Plaza lawn. Advanced registration is required. Please register online.
Meanwhile, alumni and their families are invited to the Alumni Social under the mini tent on the Perkins lawn beginning at noon Saturday. Advanced registration is required. Please register online.
Other activities at the Perkins Plaza, Perkins Lawn, and adjacent lawns include live music, inflatables, pluck-a-duck, street performers, freebies and more.
The Homecoming Parade will begin at noon before the men’s soccer game. Floats built by students, faculty and staff will be on display. Presentation of the Homecoming Court, where the 2017 student queen and king will be crowned, will take place at 1:45 p.m., during halftime of the men’s soccer game. Then the women’s soccer team will host a home game at 3 p.m. at the artificial turf athletic field behind the Beaver Community Center.
Rounding out the afternoon’s events are THON Bingo at 3:15 p.m. and tie-dyeing with the Blue and White Society at 4:30 p.m.
Families are encouraged to stay for the Family College Feud in Tully’s Food Court, beginning at 6 p.m., and a second performance of "The Pavilion" at 8 p.m. in the Perkins Auditorium.
On Sunday, the Berks Benefitting THON student organization will host their annual 5K or 1-mile walk, led by the Nittany Lion. Check-in and registration begin at 9 a.m. at the Beaver Community Center. The run/walk begins at 10 a.m. Cost is $20 for early registration, $25 for regular registration. More information and online registration is available on the Berks Benefitting THON website.
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. Register for all events online.