Butler University Homecoming is not only a big deal for current students—it’s the university’s biggest alumni-focused event.
Homecoming weekend included many events geared toward specific alumni groups, said Jennie Jones, associate director of alumni and parent programs.
Some of those events included five-,10-, 25- and 50-year class reunions, the tailgate in the Hinkle Fieldhouse parking lot, Bulldog Beauty Contest and family fun activities on Norris Plaza.
Monique Wise, associate director of alumni and parent programs, said Homecoming is beneficial for alumni because they can come back to campus and enjoy the same activities they used to enjoy while they were here, as well as see what is new.
“It gives them an opportunity to see all of the changes that are taking place at the university, the growth,” she said. “It also enables them to relive their days. They have that spirit of coming home and that spirit of reconnecting as a Butler family member.”
Wise said Homecoming is not only beneficial for the alumni but also an asset to the university.
“It is a great two-way street for both the university and alumni,” Wise said. “We get to reconnect together and share ideas and provide a happy, festive environment for everyone to have a good time.”
Alumni are centralized on Butler’s campus through the Alumni Office.
“The purpose of the Alumni Office is to help build alumni chapters and make them strong so that they can remain a part of the Butler family,” Wise said.
Wise said the Alumni Office specifically works to link alumni chapters with current students and create programs that allow members of the alumni community to come together, network, share ideas and stay abreast of the university.
There are nine active alumni chapters in the United States. In order of most members, the chapters are: Central Indiana, Chicago, Cincinnati, Washington, D.C., Fort Wayne, Greater New York, Atlanta and the San Francisco Bay Area.
Lauren Cialone, a member of the Washington, D.C., Alumni Chapter steering committee, said the chapter tries to plan events several times a year.
“We try to diversify events so that people of all ages can find something they like,” Cialone said.
She said one way Butler’s alumni network differs from those of other schools is that its members are more close-knit.
“I definitely think the network is a little more intimate with a small school like Butler,” Cialone said. “It gives people more of an opportunity to get involved.”
Cialone said current and former students can utilize the network by reaching out to the chapter.
She said she’s received emails from students looking for jobs or wanting to move out to D.C., and she was able to get those students in touch with other alumni who could help.
“There’s a real willingness and desire to be helpful,” Cialone said. “Your relationship with Butler doesn’t end when you graduate.”
She said the chapter is looking to plan an event for December and already has an event for January: getting alumni out to watch the Bulldogs take on George Washington University in D.C.