Second Year of Tent, Homecoming Bring ’Em In
By Norman Geary
Media Club Reporter
On Oct. 22, Central Penn College celebrated Homecoming 2016, along with the Alumni Feast ‘n’ Brews Reunion Tent, during the annual Fall Harvest, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The reunion tent was exactly what it sounds like – an effort to bring alumni back to campus to eat, celebrate, reflect on good times and reconnect with one another, with faculty, and with staff members, and to see how they can get more involved with Central Penn, whether it’s signing up for a New York City bus trip or to be an alumni mentor.
Read, just below, what Sarah Blumenschein, alumni engagement director, had to say on the event.
“We really rolled out the red carpet for our alumni and their families,” Blumenschein said. “We also invite faculty and staff and their families. This is a private event specifically for alumni. Faculty and staff, and also retired faculty, can come back so they can interact with former students.”
An ongoing success
This event was nothing new for Blumenschein. She has worked at Central Penn since 2008 and has been very involved with every Fall Harvest since. If you talk to Blumenschein, she will tell you this event brings the crowd.
“It’s a fantastic event, you get hundreds of community members and vendors lining up the quad,” Blumenschein said. “At the event, you have food and fun, basket raffles, face painting and caramel apples. It’s a great time.”
Feedback from alums
Here is what Sherri Long, travel tourism, ’89, had to say about the event, which brought out a couple hundred people, despite cold weather and winds whipping the Summerdale campus.
“Fall Harvest, to me, is just walking around looking at the tables,” Long, now a corporate communications major at Central Penn. “It was okay (the tables at Fall Harvest), but the fun part was the Alumni Feast ‘n’ Brews Reunion Tent. That was a chance to talk with other people … I went to school with and also to talk with some of the professors and staff of Central Penn that were there. It was a nice and relaxing and fun setting. It was a really good time.”
Shannon Terry, computer information systems, ’95, said, “It’s been great. I’ve enjoyed seeing the changes and the metamorphosis here.”
Matt Karper, business administration, retail management, ’95, added that he had a good time, too.
“We were here last year,” Karper said. “It was a fun time and the same (this year). We enjoyed it and it’s been a good time. It’s been good both years.”
Gold Medalist (50 years) Diane (Jeffries) Piper , ’64, added some historical perspective.
“It’s awesome to come back, because when I went to Central Penn, we did not have a campus,” Piper said “We were on Market Street in Harrisburg. So, to come back and see where the school is today versus where we were back in the early ’60’s is quite an experience — the beautiful campus, the many courses and degrees, and now the master degree programs. It’s just wonderful to be back.”
Something new, something old
Homecoming, previously called Fall Harvest, was one of the first things Blumenschein wanted to implement when she started in the Alumni Office in 2008. She wanted to go through the appropriate channels to work with the Marketing Department and the President’s Office to officially rename the event Homecoming.
Under the Homecoming umbrella, Central Penn would be able to hold the Alumni Feast ‘n’ Brews Reunion Tent and athletic events that Blumenschein hopes will continue to grow as Central Penn builds its fan base.
Basically, she explained, the college can have all these events under one umbrella. The college community is very hopeful that more events will be added each year, she said. This is the second year of the Homecoming and Alumni Feast ‘n’ Brews Reunion Tent, and Blumenschein said she is looking forward to next year.
Editor’s note: For information on Homecoming planning, look for Media Club reporter Sherri Long’s article on Sarah Blumenschein’s efforts – coming soon.
Edited by Media Club Co-advisor Prof. Michael Lear-Olimpi