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The JU Marching Band performs at Homecoming in 2018.

Re-imagining tradition: Homecoming becomes virtual spirit week

Since the first homecoming celebration in 1951, the tradition of Homecoming & Family Weekend at Jacksonville University has evolved and expanded – but it has always been about coming together as a Dolphin family.

This academic year looks very different for the Jacksonville University campus community, and for its beloved alumni, friends, and fans. And just like all aspects of campus life this fall, the Homecoming tradition will be adapted for the sake of everyone’s health and safety.

To celebrate this annual tradition with alumni and families across the world, Jacksonville University has decided to reimagine this year’s Homecoming & Family Weekend as a virtual spirit week on Oct. 5-9 — calling it Stay at Homecoming & Family Week.

“Our main goal is for everyone to be safe, and the Stay at Homecoming theme serves as a reminder that we can all stay at home and still enjoy the spirit of Homecoming,” said Mary Anne Jolly, Director of Engagement for Alumni and Families. “The planning committee has taken a thoughtful and creative approach to this year’s event, curating a schedule with opportunities that will leave our Dolphin family feeling connected to campus, our students, and each other in this digital era.”

The University looks forward to celebrating #JUStayAtHomecoming, offering opportunities for alumni, families, friends and fans to celebrate their Dolphin pride and take part in campus life from afar. Many perennial homecoming events are on the schedule, including Student for a Day activities, the Parade of Colleges open house series, and the announcement of our annual Distinguished Alumni awards. The full schedule can be viewed online.

“The Office of Alumni & Family Engagement is grateful for the positive feedback we have received so far from members of the JU community who attend Homecoming each year, as well as those who are not usually able to attend in person,” said Jolly. “In the spirit of #JUStrong, we hope that Stay at Homecoming & Family Week brings Dolphins near and far a sense of community and school pride.”

By Rebecca Vecera