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Homecoming to Bring Back Tug-of-War, Sporting Events, Friends

SUNY Plattsburgh’s Homecoming 2012, Oct. 19-21, is designed to provide alumni with plenty of reasons to come back to campus including a tug-of-war, friends, a tailgate party, faculty, a Monopole mixer and sporting events.

But, while there may be hundreds of reasons to come back, one tends to stand above the rest, and that is the chance to reconnect, according to Director of Alumni Relations Joanne Nelson.

“Magic happens when alumni return. They reminisce. They visit old haunts. They catch up on each other’s lives. And the years melt away. It’s like they were together only yesterday,” Nelson said.

This year those reconnections will be made amidst the backdrop of a new slate of events — many of which are based on tradition such as a tug-of-war over Hawkins Pond.

“We always hear stories about the tug-of-war that was once an annual event,” Nelson said. “This was a true Plattsburgh tradition.”

The alumni team is recreating that tradition this year with the help of students who look forward to challenging alumni. The victors will earn bragging rights.

“Another alumni favorite appears to be the Monopole, an establishment that was founded in 1897 — just eight years after SUNY Plattsburgh came into being as Plattsburgh Normal School,” Nelson said. “Alumni have been visiting the Monopole for ages, so we thought it an apt place to host a welcome back social.”

Alumni who come to the Monopole between 8:30 and 10 p.m. that Friday just have to mention that they are in town for Homecoming to receive free wings.

The weekend also features a number of events designed to keep athletic fans busy. Soccer games, basketball practice, a hockey exhibition and a trail run are all on tap, as is the premier event: the Cardinal Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.

Brian Dodge, a 1976 alumnus, will be inducted posthumously for his college career in track and field. Meanwhile, Bryan Murray from the Class of 2001 and Niklas Sundberg from 2002 will be inducted for hockey, as will the entire 1975-1976 men’s basketball team for its stellar season. This is the first time in Hall of Fame history that an entire team will have been inducted.

Added into this mix will be a tailgate party for everyone — not just sports fans — at the Field House from 5 to 6:30 p.m. that Saturday, right before the hockey game.

“We’re hoping the tailgate party will help us establish a new Homecoming ritual as alumni and students connect with friends over food and music,” Nelson said.

All alumni and friends are welcome to attend.

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