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Reflections About Homecoming

Being a senior, I am a bit embarrassed to admit I attended my first ever Aquinas homecoming this year, but better late than never!  My morning started out with running my first 5k!  It was refreshing running through campus on a crisp Saturday morning.  Plus, Nelson, our menacing mascot, let me give him a big, sweaty hug 26-minutes after the starting shoot off.  But did I go back to Knape House and shower?? No, of course not!  

Next was an off campus destination to attend an alumni baseball game.  Fellow ambassador, Casey Wila, asked me to sing the national anthem, which was pretty terrifying, I must admit, but I survived!  I was on homecoming court among some pretty spiffy people.  They came from all walks of campus: Diversity and Inclusion, student ambassador, writing center consultants, psychology majors, intramural sports champions, sustainability interns, the list goes on. What a fun experience that was!  My jaw is still a little sore from all of the smiles.  The court paraded around the inflatable garden, the social tent, and even Wege Cafe.  Why not?!  After that (this is only 1:00pm), I was able to socialize for a bit of time at the major/minor mixer, where I was able to meet past and present Community Leadership students.  It’s amazing what some of them are doing: executive directors, advocates, student-driven initiatives.  It was very uplifting.

Next, the great chapel grounds blessing took place!  Several students, alums, and dignitaries were there.  The media was there, too.  We may have gotten as much attention as the pope!  What a big deal!  It was great seeing so many people in one place.  We then processed to the present chapel, where I was graced to read during a special Homecoming mass.

Well, then it was 6pm, so why not go into the social tent.  Live bands and many friends and alums were there to greet me with congratulations.  The atmosphere was infectious.  I almost had a feeling that I was on vacation right on campus.  The pinnacle of the visit was seeing my very own admissions counselor, Ashley, the person who made me fall in love with Aquinas, in the tent!  She had recently moved to Indiana, so seeing her was a great blessing.  Then, what?  How about an early bedtime, Nate?

Overall, AQ Homecoming will resonate with me as one of my favorites memories of Aquinas.  There’s no doubt to it! The campus was even more vibrant, jovial, and fun than in everyday measurements.  I must say I sure miss the smell of food trucks, the presence of inflatables by the Arts & Music Center, and the heavy traffic of trams carrying octogenarian Saints (Would you believe me if I said they were on the inflatables too?), but the fresh autumn air, the mums all over campus, and the Fall drinks at the Moose Cafe are definitely pacifying my feelings.  It’s truly great to be a Saint!

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