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Homecoming 2015 Combines Old, New Traditions for Alumni, Campus Community | SUNY Plattsburgh

SUNY Plattsburgh’s Homecoming 2015 ignited some new traditions this year, including a bonfire and banner contest for students.

Friday night’s bonfire behind Memorial Hall, an event that Kerry Chapin-Lavigne, associate director of alumni relations hopes to make a Homecoming tradition, saw more than 1,000 students sipping warm cider and eating chocolate-dipped pretzels while basking in the warmth and glow of dozens of burning wooden pallets. A showcase of banners — also new this year — decorated by students from campus clubs and organizations, residence halls, and athletic teams lined the Saranac River Trail near the bonfire site.

Friday night also saw the induction into the Cardinal Athletic Hall of Fame of Pierre Brunet and Rick Young, both Class of 1982 and both from men’s hockey, Elizabeth Gibson and Erin O’Brien, both Class of 2005 and both from women’s hockey, and Brian McGrane ’05 from men’s soccer.

Friday morning saw the return of Andrew DeGrandpre, Class of 1999, a senior editor with the Military Times group in Washington, D.C., Nick St. Denis ’10, assistant editor of Key Communications in Fredericksburg, Va., and Matt Hamilton ’13, capitol bureau reporter for the Times Union in Albany, who discussed their journalism careers during the annual panel talk hosted by the Department of Journalism and Public relations.

Homecoming 2015 continued into Saturday with events such as a National Broadcast Society and Lambda Pi Eta National Communication Honor Society alumni meet-and-greet and the opening ceremony of the newly renovated communication facilities in Yokum Hall. Alumni and members of the Department of Communication Studies advisory committee Chris Rooney ’94, Joe Walsh ’96 and Brian Zeitchick ’96 discussed their careers and what the department means to them. The afternoon also included a tour of the editing rooms, recording studios and the Albert R. Montanaro Jr. Television Studio.

Campus and community members got to skate with Burghy at the Stafford Ice Arena and watch alumni games of softball, baseball, lacrosse, basketball and women’s hockey. A craft beer tasting for alumni was hosted at Plattsburgh Brewing Company, students performed in the Alpha Phi Alpha Stroll Show in E. Glenn Giltz Auditorium, and alumni then moved on to the Monopole for free wings and socializing at a favorite downtown haunt.

According to Chapin-Lavigne, plans are already in the works for next year’s celebration, and alumni can expect to see more of the same as well as some new offerings.

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