CORVALLIS - Oregon State University alumni returning to campus this Homecoming Weekend for the first time in several years will notice that things have changed just a bit.
There is a new CH2M-Hill Alumni Center just across from the spruced up Parker Stadium, and a new athletic department program call Fan Fair, which welcomes visitors with a variety of games, activities and entertainment. A new series of free courses featuring top university faculty is being offered for a little intellectual stimulation. For the first time at Homecoming, eight OSU colleges are greeting former alums and prospective students in tents set up along 26th Street.
And the OSU football team has a shot at a winning season for the first time in a number of years.
Though the focal point of the 1998 OSU Homecoming is, of course, the Saturday game against the University of Arizona, the entire weekend is packed with events, said Sylvia Moore, who chairs the university's homecoming committee. Many of those are new, or have new twists.
The annual Homecoming bonfire, for example, will again kick off the slate of activities. But for the first time in recent memory, the event has been moved to the south parking lot of Parker Stadium. Featuring the OSU pep band and football team, it will begin at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 15.
On Friday, the OSU Statewide program and Alumni College are sponsoring a series of "Classes Without Quizzes," short one-hour courses to expose alums and others in the general public to the expertise of the OSU faculty - and without homework, tests, grades...or tuition.
The free classes will feature such topics as abstract art, fish viruses, football and American culture, family problem solving, scorpions and corporate creativity.
A free public reception on Friday will honor the 1998 Alumni Fellows, a program by the OSU Alumni Association to bring prominent grads back to campus to share their experiences with students, faculty and staff. This year's fellows are Pamela A. Matson, a professor of geological and environmental sciences at Stanford University; Bernard A. "Bernie" Newcomb, co-founder of the E*Trade Group; and James E. Reinmuth, former dean of business at the University of Oregon. The reception will begin at 4 p.m. in the CH2M-Hill Alumni Center.
A new event this year begins Friday and carries into Saturday. "Midnight at Miller Court" tips off at 10:30 p.m. in Gill Coliseum with previews of the OSU men's and women's basketball teams, games and giveaways. At midnight, as soon as the NCAA allows, official practice for the teams will begin.
The popular Fan Fair activities, which offer games and activities for kids and adults of all ages, opens at 10 a.m. outside of Parker Stadium. The annual Homecoming barbecue begins at 11 a.m. at the CH2M-Hill Alumni Center.
After the game, a series of class reunion social events will welcome back the classes of 1958, 1983 and 1988-89.
For more information on OSU Homecoming Activities, visit the homecoming web site at http://osu.orst.edu/dept/lasells/home98.html
Public events offered at Homecoming include:
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Sylvia Moore, 541-737-2402