Besides the football game and parade during Homecoming weekend at the University of West Georgia (UWG), some of the attention will focus on the returning alumni. This year’s theme, “West Georgia through the Decades,” sponsored by the alumni department, invites all graduated wolves to return to campus to celebrate UWG’s beginning and its future.
Alumni, current students, faculty, staff and all families are invited to help kick-off homecoming weekend on Friday, Sep. 25, at the annual “Wolves Capture the Square” in downtown Carrollton.
“We usually get over 2,000 attendees for ‘Capture the Square,’” said Meredith NeSmith Ledbetter, assistant director of Alumni Relations and 2009 UWG graduate. “We always aim for more [attendees] each year.”
Wolves Capture the Square starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Amp downtown. There will be a pep rally and the UWG President, Dr. Kyle Marrero will announce the homecoming court. Head football coach Will Hall will also be in attendance with the football team seniors, the UWG cheerleaders and the marching band. At 7 p.m., a favorite local band, the Velcro Pygmies, will perform and close out the event with 80s covers all night.
Homecoming day is packed from morning until night with alumni events. Saturday morning is the 2nd Annual Presidential 5K, which Dr. Marrero installed during last year’s homecoming. The 5K helps raise money for the continued construction of the Carrollton GreenBelt and will start at the rear of the Athletics Office Building on campus, continue throughout the completed portions of the GreenBelt and end at the Wolf Plaza.
After the race is the annual alumni pancake breakfast at 9:30 a.m. at the Coliseum. The breakfast usually garners around 150 alumni attendees, who will hear an update on the Alumni Association from one of the directors, Cindy Saxon. Immediately following breakfast, alumni will gather to watch the homecoming parade outside of the Coliseum.
The alumni tailgating zone opens at 11:30 a.m. at the UWG Athletic Complex. This event is sponsored by the Southern Credit Union to help go toward student scholarships at UWG.
“There will be a ‘tricked-out trailer’ event, food, music and lots of fun,” said Ledbetter.
The homecoming game begins at 2 p.m., with the Wolves pitted against the Clark Atlanta University Panthers.
After the game, and the hopeful Wolves’ victory, there will be a United Voice Gospel Choir reunion at 6p.m. in the lower level of the Z-6. Simultaneously, the 2nd Annual Presidential Scholarship Gala will take place in the Campus Center Ballroom. The 1920s-themed event will feature music and dancing, and all the proceeds from the event will go towards student scholarships; this event will officially end the homecoming festivities.
UWG has 60,000 alumni represented worldwide, with 7,000 located in Carroll County.
“A lot of our attendance at these events is from Carrollton-based alumni,” said Frank Pritchett, director of Alumni Relations and 1988 and 1992 UWG grad. “We also get a lot of alumni traveling from all over Georgia, Florida, North Carolina and other parts of the country.”
With what Pritchett describes as a “strong alumni foundation,” the UWG Alumni Relations approaches homecoming each year with the mission of increasing interactions between alumni and current students.
“Homecoming is always a time for graduates to return to campus,” he said. “Our goal [at alumni relations] is to engage alumni and create opportunities for them to invest in student success.”