EDINBORO, Pa. – When thinking about Edinboro University Homecoming celebrations, one usually thinks of the Homecoming parade, the football game, and all the events happening all over time.
However, because of the pandemic, the annual festivities will look a little different this year.
Homecoming 2020 – which will take place on Oct. 2 and 3 – will be held entirely online. With a theme of “Roarin’ Twenties,” the Homecoming website noted that, instead of in-person events, they will host a variety of virtual learning opportunities, reunions, tributes and fun.
Amanda Brown Sissem, interim assistant VP for Advancement & director of Alumni Engagement, acknowledged that cornerstone events such as the traditional Homecoming parade and football game – along with other events like the annual Alumni Golf Outing and community luncheon – have transitioned to virtual events due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Pennsylvania Department of Health guidelines.
“The Homecoming Committee has been working hard to adapt our plans, and it has challenged us to become more creative than ever,” she continued. “We know that it's not the same as coming to campus, but our goal is to honor the Edinboro Homecoming traditions that you love while offering new ways for you to connect with the University and with one another.”
Brookelynn Williams, graduate assistant in the Office of Alumni Engagement, is one member of the campus community who is assisting with the festivities of this year’s Homecoming. Before this, she graduated from Edinboro with a dual bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies and Public Relations with a minor in Leadership Studies in 2019.
“I focus more on social media,” she said. “I would have been way more involved with the planning process if we were having a traditional homecoming. Since we are not, I am focusing more on increasing engagement over the different social media platforms since we can’t have events in-person.”
Homecoming has been a family tradition for most of her life.
Her parents are James Williams (’88) and Robin (Murray) Williams (’91), and Brookelynn is carrying on the tradition of an Edinboro education, as well as the excitement of Homecoming.
“I’ve been to most homecomings since I was a baby. Watching the homecoming parade and game as a student made me appreciate then more,” she said. “It really gives me a sense of pride in the school.”
Now a part of the team making it happen, it has given Williams perspective.
“I realize the amount of work it takes to pull it off,” she said. “We have great faculty and staff who dedicate months of hard work for Friday and Saturday events. We are very lucky to have those individuals at Edinboro.”
Main photo (left to right): The Williams family – Morgan, Grant, Robin, Jim and Brookelynn