Brisk weather and autumn colors signal Franklin & Marshall's most festive event of the year, bringing thousands of College community members to campus for Homecoming & Family Weekend.
The Oct. 4-6 weekend has dozens of events for students, parents, alumni and faculty to share, learn and cheer -- from the tailgate party that this year is under a huge tent on Hartman Green, to the research fair and lectures, to the football game against F&M's rival of 124 years, Dickinson College.
"This is just all about celebration and connection to the College," said Donna Pflum, associate director of alumni relations and organizer of the event.
This is the third year that F&M has combined Homecoming and Family Weekend, allowing parents and families to share in the exciting events of Homecoming and offering them a broader view of the College experience. The complete schedule of events is available online.
One of the weekend's major events is the Tailgate, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and, for the first time, located on Hartman Green instead of the Williamson Parking Lot outside the football field. Alumni and families can visit members of F&M academic departments, student organizations, athletic teams and alumni groups at various tables under a large tent.
"It will create a great sense of community right there in the center of campus, which is the traditional meeting place of the College community," Pflum said.
The Diplomats take the field against the Dickinson Red Devils at 1:30 p.m. in the annual "Battle for the Conestoga Wagon." Since 1963, the teams have battled for the Conestoga Wagon Trophy. Encased in glass, the Wagon was hand-carved by two Amish woodcarvers from Lancaster County and is a miniature replica of the wagon used to transport the players between the two schools when they first met on the field of play in 1889.
For parents, the weekend kicks off Friday with open classes from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Students may arrange with professors for parents to visit their classes, or parents and alumni can check the schedule of available open classes at registration in Steinman College Center.
The rest of the weekend's events:
* Friday, October 4, at noon in Steinman, the Nevonian Society Luncheon will honor alumni who celebrated their 50th Reunion this year. It features a talk on writers by sophomore Kelsey Leigh Reber ‘16, a novelist, and Kerry Sherrin Wright, director of the Philadelphia Alumni Writers House.
* Friday, October 4, includes F&M's Autumn Research Fair, from 12:30 to 4 p.m. in the Frey Atrium of the Ann and Richard Barshinger Life Sciences & Philosophy Building. Students will present the results of research they conducted over the past summer and academic year.
* Also on Friday, October 4, from 4:45 to 5:45 p.m. Associate Professor of Art History Nancy Siegel of Towson University, a 1988 F&M graduate, will deliver a lecture at the Phillips Museum of Art's Gibson Curriculum Gallery. Siegel will discuss 19th-century women painters, two of whose works are in the museum's current exhibition, "The Hudson River to Niagara Falls: 19th-Century American Landscape Paintings from the New York Historical Society." On Saturday, from 2 to 4 p.m., tours of the exhibition will be given on the quarter hour.
* Friday, October 4 at 5:30 p.m., F&M celebrates this year's Athletic Hall of Fame inductees with a ceremony and dinner at the Alumni Sports & Fitness Center, where seven athletes and one team will be inducted: Mary Kate Boland '01 (volleyball); Scott Runyon '01 (men's soccer); Carol Gould '89 (women's squash); Frank McCartney '00 (cross country and track); Vineet Asthana '99 (men's squash); George Darrah, '59 (football); and the 1990-91 men's basketball team. There also will be a presentation in honor of former F&M football coach Robert Curtis, who died in August.
* Early morning, Saturday, October 5 offers a number of breakfasts, including the African-American Alumni Council Award Breakfast, from 8:30 to 9:45 a.m. at the Benjamin Franklin Dining Hall. President Daniel R. Porterfield will attend to honor five alumni with the Sydney N. Bridgett '51 Award, which recognizes the contributions of students while honoring Bridgett, who was a charter member of African-American Alumni Council. Bridgett was the second African American to graduate from F&M. The honorees are The Rev. Louis Butcher '65, Donald Marsh '79, Helen Cannady Saulny '82, Modia Butler '95, and Cherise Hamblin '03.
* Saturday, October 5, sports matches in the morning include the Men's and Women's Alumni Squash Match at 8:30 a.m. at Mayser Squash Courts in Mayser Gymnasium, the Fummer 5kRun/Walk that departs from Baker Campus at 9 a.m., Women's Alumnae Lacrosse Game at 9:45 a.m. at Tylus Field, and Men's Alumni Flag Football Game at 9:30 a.m. at Sponaugle-Williamson Field.
* Saturday, October 5 at 10 a.m. at Hensel Hall in the Ann & Richard Barshinger Center for Musical Arts, Porterfield will offer brief remarks on the College's initiatives around campus and respond to audience questions.
* Parents can meet and chat with faculty at 11:15 a.m. at the various locations listed at the Information Table in Steinman College Center.
* Throughout the weekend, Greek houses will have events such as the Kappa Sigma Golf Outing at noon Friday at Host Farm Golf Resort to celebrate the fraternity's 85th anniversary at F&M, and the Gathering of Greeks at 4:30 p.m. Saturday in Frey Atrium of the Barshinger Life Sciences & Philosophy Building. Guest speaker David Stameshkin will present a humorous history, "A Stormy Love Affair: The History of College-Greek Relations at Franklin & Marshall College, 1854-2013." Stameshkin is a former House dean and College administrator who retired from F&M after 34 years in 2012.