There are few college traditions more beloved than Homecoming, and Clarke’s celebration is no exception. From a day filled with athletic events and art shows to evenings spent catching up with friends and classmates at reunion dinners and local breweries, to the quiet reflection of Sunday morning Mass, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
This included the long-standing tradition of the Welcome Back Concert, where current students, faculty, and alumni take the stage to showcase their musical talents. Featured alumni performers included Jill (Sieverding) Roe ’13, Adam O’Dell ’15, Megan Gloss ’03, and Benjamin Drury ’10. A recording of the performances can be viewed on the Clarke A/V YouTube page.
One of the new events for Clarke’s Homecoming 2022 was, “The Past and Present: Experiences of Students of Color.” Through an hour and half discussion, alumni Charlotte Ashton ’71, Deborah Ashton ’72, Dede Hall ’97, and Ardell Sanders ’99 shared their experiences alongside current students, including members of Clarke’s Black Student Union. The panel also included special guest Cammie Dean, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs for Equity and Inclusion at Midwestern State University and former Director of Student Life and Multicultural Student Services at Clarke. The program was facilitated by Kate Zanger, Vice President for Student Life and attended by alumni, faculty, staff and students.
At Homecoming, we focus on the pride we have in our institution, and with so many alumni on campus, it is also an opportunity for our current students to understand how things have changed and how we continue to grow and improve. Events like this bring our Clarke community together to continue that lifelong and life-changing learning.
Homecoming is also an important time to support student clubs and organizations. To name just a few, the Clarke Association of Student Nurses offered games and prizes during this year’s tailgate, while the Clarke University Organization of Student Physical Therapist hosted their annual fun run, each of which raises money to support students.
The Cheer and Dance teams also used Homecoming to kick off their Pink Out T-shirt sale, which raises money for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The pink T-shirts can be worn to special “Pink Out” athletic events throughout the year, with the first happening at the October 15 football game.
“Our students really view Homecoming as a time to connect with community not just at Clarke, but throughout Dubuque.,” said Callie Clark, Director of Engagement and Intercultural Programs. “The excitement generated by these activities as well as the theatre productions, musical performances, and athletic events at Homecoming can be a real motivator for students as they gear up for midterms and the rest of their fall semester.”
As the student life team looks ahead to new events that promote engagement and support learning, they are also partnering with colleagues across campus and beyond to ensure all students have safe and welcoming places to enjoy the social side of their college experience. As a celebration of their 50th class reunion during this year’s Homecoming, the Class of 1972 made a significant contribution to these efforts, raising nearly $100,000 to renovate and refurbish the Lion’s Den lounge on the lower level of Mary Benedict Hall.
There are generations of Clarke students, including members of the Class of 1972, who formed life-changing friendships in spaces like the Lion’s Den, and it’s important to recognize and invest in making those communal areas fun and inviting. These spaces can also be a deciding factor for a student considering Clarke, and I know I speak on behalf of the entire University when I thank the Class of 1972 for their gift and the impact it will make on future students.
Would you like to contribute to the future of Clarke University? One of our development officers will be happy to assist you! Please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (888) 225-2753 with any questions.