Last weekend was Homecoming Weekend at Goshen College, a weekend where alumni return to their alma mater to discover how their financial contributions from the last 40 years have been used.This was, after all, only the third Homecoming to feature the fully-completed underpass. In fact, many alumni reported that experiencing the wonder of the underpass firsthand was the primary motivation for attending Homecoming weekend. Some alumni even reported seeing a student use the underpass.
Returning to campus also gives alumni the chance to see their classmates again. In some cases, it will be the first time classmates have seen each other since that rushed Polaroid photo taken right after the Commencement ceremony in 1980. In other cases, such as with the class of 1780, it was the first reunion since posing as a class for that rushed Neoclassical painting.
Although they have not seen each other in years, some alumni have managed to stay in contact through the miracle of Facebook. Here, the phrase “stay in contact” is used to mean “see many unnecessary pictures of grandchildren.”
Fortunately, alumni found Goshen College to be fully-functioning on almost all cylinders. The most obvious hole in GC’s operations, of course, continues to be the failure to use any dorms named “Miller.” After the current class of seniors graduates this May, there will no longer be any students who have lived in the Miller dorm. And as the age-old question goes, “If you haven’t lived in Miller, have you really lived?”
With this in mind, a GoFundMe page has been started to revive the dorm’s namesake, Orie O. Miller, so he can serve as this year’s Commencement speaker.
Reflecting on this weekend, I can’t help but wonder what my own homecoming weekends will be like. When I return for my 30-year class reunion in 2046, will Homecoming weekends still be rainy and cold every single year? Will I still have the chance to watch a soccer game with the not-so-gentle whirring of helicopters in the background? Will the Rott still be serving those holiday sprinkle cookies months after the related holiday has passed? (Do you still think those pumpkin-shaped cookies are from this year?)
While details of future Homecomings may be difficult to determine, we must find comfort in those things that remain constant. In particular, I’m thinking about the fact that my Funnies articles always seem to contain Rott and underpass jokes, complaints about the closing of Miller and rhetorical questions. Some things never get old.