Alumni association hosts virtual events for homecoming

Rachel Yim, Science & Technology Reporter

Homecoming welcomed back former students and staff and celebrated their contributions to Oakland. 

To celebrate homecoming safely this year, the Oakland University Alumni Association (OUAA) hosted its annual homecoming events virtually.

Established in the early 1970s, the OUAA connects alumni and friends with the university community, which is available to all OU graduates and those with academic certification from OU. It has hosted a fall homecoming since 2014 to bring all OU community members together on campus.

Erin Sudrovech is the director of OUAA. She works to make sure alumni continue to stay involved with OU after graduation through a variety of events, volunteer opportunities or other programs and initiatives. According to Sudrovech, there are changes to the usual way they hosted homecoming events due to COVID-19.

This year, since bringing people together face to face on campus was not possible, we expanded the normal two-day schedule to a weeklong schedule of initiatives and had a few things going on everyday,” Sudrovech said. “We also ramped up our social media efforts and produced a lot of content for contests and games on Facebook, for example.”

The homecoming week consisted of a variety of events, including a pumpkin decorating contest, virtual campus tour, drive-in movie, adventures with Grizz and the “Faculty After 5” virtual series. Though most activities were available for anyone to participate, some events were created with special meanings, according to Sudrovech.

The “Faculty After 5” sessions were created as a way to highlight OU faculty, while adventures with Grizz was for alumni and their kids to participate in. In addition to the faculty sessions and adventure events, the drive-in movie – collaboration between the OUAA and Student Program Board – was also planned for all alumni and current students to enjoy.

Wrapping up another successful – but different – homecoming week, OUAA will continue to host various events for the OU community members. Upcoming events include a civic engagement virtual series, golden celebration, featuring the class of 1970 and pioneer club winter wonder lights.

Enjoying these homecoming events and friendships with associates who share a common bond, OUAA members continue to be a part of the OU community as contributors to the university, maintain active roles in programs that support OU and build relationships that benefit both students and the university.

Moving forward, Sudrovech hopes to continue to keep alumni engaged with and connected to OU, and looks forward to the stories she hears from alumni. She also said she is grateful to hear about memories about different college experiences.

“Your relationship with Oakland is lifelong,” Sudrovech said. “My team is here to make sure there’s always a place for you to come home to at OU.”