BRANDON, Man. – A significant milestone will be recognized at Brandon University’s (BU’s) expanded 2017 Homecoming celebration, which takes place from Oct. 12–15.
Among those who will be recognized at the Homecoming Dinner and Awards on Saturday, Oct. 14 will be the Class of 1967, the final class to graduate from Brandon College before the institution was chartered as a degree-granting university for the 1967–68 academic year. Graduates from Brandon College were awarded degrees through other universities, including McMaster University and the University of Manitoba.
“We have a proud history of providing quality education, research and scholarship that dates back to 1899 and the founding of Brandon College. When we were officially chartered to start the 1967–68 academic year, we embarked on a new generation of ambitious growth,” said Interim BU President Dr. Steve Robinson. “Now, 50 years later, this is a wonderful opportunity to spend the year celebrating both our roots as Brandon College and our continued growth and autonomy as Brandon University. There is no one better to celebrate this history with than our proud alumni as we recognize Brandon College’s final graduating class at this year’s Homecoming and look forward to next year’s Homecoming, when we will commemorate the 50-year anniversary of BU’s first graduating class.”
Gary and Angela Brawn were both members of Brandon College’s Class of 1967. Reuniting with old friends at Homecoming is a highlight for them each year, and this year’s event will hold extra significance.
“There are not too many days from over fifty years ago that remain clear in memory, but my first day in Brandon College was certainly one,” said Gary Brawn. “As our class assembled for registration in mid- September, 1964, it was obvious we all shared a nervous sense of anticipation of what the next three years (or more) would bring. My choice of this institution was in part practical as I was a Brandon boy, but I knew from my inquiries I could reasonably expect a liberal arts experience with opportunity for making connection with students of like interest from far and wide, and a close association with professors who placed a strong emphasis on teaching. When I graduated three years later, I felt I had received more than I could have hoped for.”
“There is special bond that you form with schoolmates, who are on a journey of discovery and learning with you, and I never tire of seeing how many incredible and amazing accomplishments our friends have achieved,” said Angela Brawn. “We all started from the same place, and what a testament to this place, to Brandon College and Brandon University, that we have ended up with such a broad variety of success under our belts. Homecoming is a treasured weekend to rediscover and renew these old friendships, and to share stories and memories.”
Several other class reunions will also be held at Homecoming Weekend, ranging from the 30th anniversary of the Class of 1987, back to the 65th reunion of the Class of 1952. One alumna is returning for her 75th anniversary, having graduated in 1942.
All alumni, BU and community members, and friends are welcome at Homecoming, from every year.
“Don’t wait for a milestone year to come to Homecoming!” said Carla Eisler, Director of Advancement and Alumni Affairs at BU. “There’s something new and different every year, and many of our alumni come back annually because it’s so much fun.”
This year’s Homecoming festivities have been extended by a day, and will begin on the evening of Thursday, Oct. 12, with a special jazz concert and reception featuring performances by Dean of Music Greg Gatien on saxophone, and Music faculty member Michael Cain on piano. Thursday’s events will also include a celebration of authors in the BU Journal of Graduate Studies in Education.
There will be plenty to cheer about at Homecoming, including a Brandon University Bobcats/Brandon College Caps football reunion and the Homecoming Kickoff at the Bobcat basketball and volleyball games on Friday, Oct. 13. Alumni and friends will also witness the unveiling of the renewed Brandon College Portrait Gallery and see familiar faces from the history of the Bobcats and Cats athletic programs inducted into the Dick and Verda McDonald Sports Wall of Fame.
At the Dinner and Awards evening, a capstone highlight of the weekend, Dr. Anthony Chow, Ben Dietschi, Dr. Lynn Whidden and Gordon Williams will receive awards for their contributions to teaching, service, community and career accomplishment.
“There is something for everyone at Homecoming,” Eisler said. “Many of our alumni stay busy throughout the weekend by taking part in our scheduled events, including tours to see how the campus has changed, and spend time catching up with their classmates or other friends and relatives in Brandon.”
There is still time to register. For a full list of events or to register, visit Brandonu.ca/Homecoming.