Blog Alumni, Parents, Students

Calling All Eagles!

By Monte Abeler, Director of Alumni & Parent Engagement on Friday, September 1, 2023

Calling All Eagles! If you’re an alum, UNW parent, current student, or faculty/staff member then you are a Northwestern Eagle. We are calling you back to campus for Homecoming & Family Weekend on October 6-7. Come back to connect with fellow Eagles and the Northwestern community.

Northwestern’s first homecoming on record is in 1916 when members of the Northwestern Bible School Alumni Association met for a spring annual meeting at commencement time. The meeting moved to the fall in 1925 and added a second day. The association president, Francis O. Peterson, wrote, “In 1929, the last week in October was designated as Home-Coming Week, in conjunction with a Bible conference in the First Baptist Church and special lectures daily in the classrooms, which were open to visiting alumni.” This event included an official ceremony to welcome seniors into the Alumni Association.

Homecoming grew over time to include athletic games, concerts, 5Ks, parades, award ceremonies, reunions, themed dress-up days, and more! Most recently, it has been rebranded as Homecoming & Family Weekend to include families of current students and staff/faculty members. Through all of the changes, the priority remains centered on bringing the Northwestern family together with a purpose. As Peterson said, “We feel a profound sense of gratitude to our beloved school for all she has meant to us… Our fellow classmates, brothers and sisters in Christ, bound by a tie that is stronger than human kinship, are scattered to the far reaches of the globe, bringing to darkened humanity the glorious light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are happy to be a part of your great family, Northwestern!”

Come back to “The Nest”!
Whether you’re an alum taking a trip down memory lane, a parent stepping into your son or daughter’s world to see how they are growing, or a student making your own memories, join us on campus and hear about how Northwestern continues to be on mission! Here are a few ways to see firsthand that you belong to a wide community of Eagles!

Enjoy Homecoming & Family Weekend!
For a full schedule of the weekend, visit the Homecoming & Family Weekend webpage. Here are four opportunities designed for ALL EAGLES to enjoy together as one!

  1. Music Showcase Concert & Dessert Reception. Join us on Friday night, October 6, as iconic songs from Broadway in New York City come alive in Knight Performance Hall. The UNW Orchestra, Symphonic Band, and Northwestern Choir (and choir alumni) will perform some of your favorites. After you enjoy the music, join us for a dessert reception with a live jazz band in the Billy Graham Community Life Commons.
  2. Purple Donut Run (Homecoming 5K). Don’t glaze over the opportunity to help us create a brand-new Homecoming tradition! Join us for the very first Purple Donut Run early Saturday morning. It’s completely FREE to participate if you register in advance, and everyone will get a purple-frosted donut! Note that part of the 5K will be on walking trails, so please do not bring roller blades, scooters, or bicycles but strollers are welcome.
  3. Homecoming Block Party. Northwestern’s Neighborhood Night Out! Join us following the football game for live music, food trucks, inflatables, prize drawings, games, and more! Some of our partner Summer Camps will have activities for all of our future eagles.
  4. Livestreamed Homecoming Events. We will be livestreaming the chapels on Monday, Thursday, and Friday so Eagles near and far can tune in for a part of the week. Hear from alumni speakers as we dive into the theme “Because all Eagles have a calling.”

Northwestern is a stronger community of Eagles now more than ever! Come home and enjoy a great weekend.

Fly, Eagles, Fly!
Monte Abeler, Director of Alumni & Parent Engagement

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