Homecoming: Bringing Back the Tradition

January 31, 2006
Students and alumni at a pregame luncheon

 Students and alumni at a pregame luncheon Photos by Barbara Hanauer

Homecoming brought nearly 1,000 alumni of all ages to campus for a weekend so packed with special events that it began on Thursday. On September 29, the university honored its students, faculty members, employees, and alumni at a Founders' Day convocation in Duke Chapel, which culminated in the unveiling of the freshly scrubbed statue of James B. Duke.

Homecoming Weekend coincided with Oktoberfest on the quad, as well as the annual reunion of the Half-Century Club (HCC), which is made up of alumni who have previously celebrated their 50th reunions. This year, the HCC came back 120 strong, joining alumni who returned for the Duke Marching Band and Pep Band reunions and a reunion for past members of the University Union, which was celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Dancing and dining: students and alumni take to the floor,top and middle, student group performs during band break, bottom.Dancing and dining: students and alumni take to the floor,top and middle, student group performs during band break, bottom.
Dancing and dining: students and alumni take to the floor,top and middle, student group performs during band break, bottom.

Dancing and dining: students and alumni take to the floor,top and middle, student group performs during band break, bottom. Photos by Barbara Hanauer

The HCC gathered for an opening luncheon on Friday and a weekend of myriad activities, including lecture tours of Duke Chapel and Perkins and Bostock libraries, a carillon recital, presentations on the 75th anniversary of West Campus, medical advances for healthy aging, and the future of NASA. That evening, a gala dinner-dance, "My Best to You," was held in the ballroom of the Millennium Hotel.

On Saturday morning, HCC members heard from Samuel Wells, who had been installed the weekend before as Duke's new Dean of the Chapel. They then joined other Homecoming revelers for a pregame lunch in Cameron Indoor Stadium. During the Duke-Navy football game, marching and pep band alumni joined current members to play during the game and at halftime ceremonies. The evening's headline event was President Richard H. Brodhead's Homecoming Dance in the Wilson Recreation Center, attended by 974 alumni and 1,582 students.

On Sunday afternoon, Raymond Nasher '41, President Brodhead, and Durham mayor William Bell officially opened the Nasher Museum of Art, welcoming visiting alumni and the local community.