University of Maine at Presque Isle is hosting another jam-packed Homecoming celebration from Friday, Sept. 14 to Sunday, Sept. 16, offering everything from the dedication of the newly restored Owls sculpture to socials, open houses, athletic events, alumni games and the annual Hall of Fame dinner. Alums are slated to return to campus from across the country and as far away as Sydney, Australia, for this year’s Homecoming weekend.
Festivities begin on Friday, Sept. 14, at 11 a.m. with a brand new Homecoming Kickoff and BBQ lunch at the Campus Center, which will include food, games, prizes, and a chance to play soccer against faculty and staff. The afternoon includes a new Business Program Reception and Welcome at 3 p.m. in the Alumni Room, where two new UMPI alumni hires – Bryan Thompson ’03 and Stacey Emery ’06 – will be honored. There will also be an open house at the University Credit Union at 4 p.m. and the annual Women’s Soccer Spaghetti Supper at 5:30 p.m. The spaghetti fundraiser, sponsored in part by ARAMARK Dining Services, will cost $5 for adults and $3 for children.
Evening activities include an Alumni Basketball Game in Wieden Gym at 7 p.m. and a Homecoming Bonfire behind Gentile Hall from 8-11 p.m. featuring s’mores, hot dogs, music, and giveaways. The night will cap off with the annual Alumni and Friends Social at Frankie’s Lounge at the Presque Isle Inn and Convention Center starting at 8:30 p.m.,
The fun continues on Saturday, Sept. 15, with the second annual Triathlon Race that begins at Riverside Park at 9 a.m. Each participant must complete at least one leg of the race, which includes running, biking and kayaking. From 9-11 a.m., officials with the Physical Therapist Assistant Program will hold an open house in their new facility in Wieden Hall. Visitors are encouraged to stop by and learn about the University’s newest developing program. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., art enthusiasts can view the art exhibit Bardo by Adriano Farinella, which will be on display in the Campus Center’s Reed Fine Art Gallery.
At 9 a.m., the Presque Isle Historical Society will offer a narrated tour of Presque Isle on its “Molly the Trolley.” The 2.5 hour citywide trolley tour leaves from the historic fire station. Seating is limited and is $5 per person. Reservations are required; call 762-6300. At 10 a.m., the newly restored and reinstalled Owls sculpture, created by noted Maine artist Bernard Langlais, will be dedicated on the lawn between Wieden and Pullen halls. Also at 10 a.m., there will be an Alumni Baseball Game at the Presque Isle High School field.
The Homecoming Alumni and Friends Brunch begins at 10:30 a.m. in the President’s House. During the brunch, the classes of 2002 (10 years), 1987 (25 years), and 1962 (50 years) will be honored. In addition, Theodore Van Alst, Class of 2004, will receive the Educator of the Year Award and Donna Lisnik, Class of 1986, will be presented with the Distinguished Alumni Award.
A special tribute to Coach Frank McGrath will be held at the Park Family Field at 11:30 a.m. Coach McGrath was involved in soccer, basketball and several other sports at UMPI for more than 30 years. Members of the Men’s Soccer team will be wearing symbolic armbands in his memory at the Homecoming games.
The day includes many more events, such as: the Men and Women’s Cross Country UMPI Invitational at 11 a.m.; Greek Games at 11 a.m.; the Men’s (Noon) and Women’s (2 p.m.) soccer games vs. Fisher College at the Park Family Field; and the Alumni and Families “Swim and Gym” from 2-5 p.m. in Gentile Hall.
That evening, the annual Athletics Hall of Fame Dinner will be held in the Campus Center at 5:30 p.m. Three alumni will be inducted in the UMPI Athletics Hall of Fame during the event: Larry Worcester ’88, Shawn Windle ’96, and Erica (McGary) Tweedie ’04. Cost for the dinner is $15 per person.
The weekend’s two main events take place Saturday night. At 7 p.m. in Wieden Auditorium, Hypnotist Paul Ramsay will provide an evening of entertainment, complete with interactive polling software and remote controls that allow audience members to steer the course of the show by voting on what they want to see happen onstage. This event is free and open to the public. At 9 p.m. in The Connection, located at the Presque Isle Inn and Convention Center, the classic rock and roll band Too Far North takes the stage for a second annual reunion concert. Several members of the band, which performed between 1994 and 2008 throughout Maine, are UMPI alums. There will be a $5 cover at the door and proper ID is required. This event is sponsored in part by the Presque Isle Inn and Convention Center and proceeds will benefit Alumni Scholarship and Outreach.
The last day of Homecoming on Sunday, Sept. 16, serves as an Alumni Sport Day. Alumni will have the opportunity to compete against students in soccer and cross country events during the morning and early afternoon. The Alumni Athlete Hot Dog Roast will be held at 11:30 a.m. at the Park Family Field.
One final new addition to the Homecoming schedule is the Week of Wellness activities that will be held at Gentile Hall from Monday, Sept. 10, to Saturday, Sept. 15. Activities throughout the week include a free orientation to all the equipment in the weight room; a free introduction to the new fitness equipment – including the TRX Trainers, Bosu Balls, Stability Balls, Med Balls, and Mini Bands; a nutrition session with Colette Thompson, a new University of Maine System-dedicated RiseUP Health Coach; a free fitness class combining a step class and a fit camp all in one; a free rock climbing party; a sneak peek at a new class called Leisure Stretch and Flex; a kayak roll clinic; and, to cap off the week, a free afternoon at Gentile Hall. The Week of Wellness is sponsored in part by Cary Medical Center.
For more information about Homecoming 2012, contact Keith Madore at 768-9568.