A crowd of Acadia fans cheer during the Oct. 18 football game, held as part of Homecoming weekend. – John DeCoste, www.kingscountynews.ca
By John DeCoste
“For me, Homecoming is an emotional touchstone,” says Ian Murray, class of 1988.
“It’s a chance to reconnect with that part of you that made you what you are today,” added Murray, Acadia’s executive director of Alumni Affairs and Advancement Strategy.
This past weekend, Acadia held its annual Homecoming weekend, first held 50 years ago, in 1963.
Asked his favourite Homecoming event, Murray said he loves the outdoor barbecue, held adjacent to Alumni Hall over lunch on Homecoming Saturday.
“It’s social, it’s informal, there’s no pressure and it’s within sight of the (football) field, just before game time.”
Bill Parker, class of 1956, was Acadia’s Director of Alumni Affairs in 1963, when Homecoming was first held.
“I guess you could say I started it,” he said.
Prior to 1963, there were always spring and summer reunions, usually for classes celebrating special anniversaries.
“I thought it would be nice to have some sort of get-together in the fall. It caught on quickly, and it’s still going, 50 years later.”
Homecoming weekend means a lot of things to Parker.
“It brings together most of the recent graduates and it’s an opportunity to get the ‘family’ together. For me, it’s always been a pretty special time. It’s always a lot of work, but it’s always been well worth it.”
Dennis Langille, class of 1979, is one of a number of Acadia alumni who have chosen to live here in Kings County. He attended the Homecoming football game and noted his wife’s uncle, Merv Parker, played football for Acadia 50 years ago.
“(Homecoming is) a chance to see a lot of people I don’t always get to see, reconnect with old friends and see people I haven’t seen in a while,” he said.
“My daughter is a student at Acadia this year. It feels good to see her sitting in the stands watching the game, like we used to do. There are all kinds of connections.”
Ralph Taylor, class of 1961 and a long-time member of the Acadia Board of Governors, seldom misses the Homecoming football game.
“I played on the first team to play Canadian football at Acadia in 1957,” Taylor said. “Homecoming for me is a chance to get back to this beautiful area, and a chance to see old friends and even some former teammates.”
Taylor, who makes his home in Moncton, said he “loves recruiting student-athletes to Acadia.” He's actively recruited players over the years, primarily in hockey and football, including Cameron Wade and Scott Kelly on this year’s football Axemen.