It will differ greatly from the traditional celebration, but Arkansas Tech University will conduct a pandemic-altered version of Homecoming 2020.
Events scheduled for Oct. 2-3 will include the ATU Homecoming Golf Classic, a virtual Fight On 5-Kilometer Run/Fun Mile, an online Kendra Scott shopping event for the benefit of the ATU Alumni Association, an exhibit of artworks of ATU faculty members, recognition of the 2020 ATU Homecoming court and a video replay of the Wonder Boys' 2019 football victory over Northwestern Oklahoma State University.
There will be no live football game per the Great American Conference measure to suspend intercollegiate competition through Dec. 31, 2020, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Other popular ATU Homecoming events such as the Friday afternoon bingo luncheon, the Friday evening gathering of ATU Hall of Distinction members and 19 of the Last 9 honorees and additional in-person reunions are canceled due to pandemic-related room occupancy limits and requirements for social distancing.
More information about ATU Homecoming 2020 events and registration is available at www.atualumni.com/homecoming.
"We will very much miss the opportunity to gather at Thone Stadium at Buerkle Field and other venues on campus per our ATU Homecoming traditions," said Kelly Davis, ATU director of alumni relations. "However, we believe we have identified a series of activities that will allow alumni and friends to support our university in a manner consistent with our civic responsibility to limit the spread of COVID-19.”
ATU Homecoming 2020 is a celebration of "A Century of Wonder Boys." This year is the 100th anniversary of the Wonder Boys nickname, which first appeared as a proper noun in the headline of an Arkansas Gazette article on Nov. 17, 1920, following a 13-0 victory over Henderson-Brown College (now Henderson State University) the previous day in Arkadelphia.
"This is a great milestone for one of the most distinctive nicknames in all of intercollegiate athletics," said Davis. "We are pleased to be able to observe this 100-year anniversary as part of our Homecoming festivities and reflect on the individuals and events that have given the name Wonder Boys the significance that it carries today.”
The ATU Homecoming Golf Classic, which raises funds for the ATU Alumni Association Scholarship, will be a two-person scramble at Chamberlyne Country Club in Danville on Friday, Oct. 2.
Tee times will be assigned rather than the traditional shotgun start in order to minimize the number of individuals at any given place at one time. Winners will be notified following the completion of play and prizes will be mailed or available for pick up at the ATU Alumni House, 1313 N. Arkansas Ave. in Russellville.
Cost for playing in the golf tournament will be $80 per person. Sponsorship packages are also available.
To register for the ATU Homecoming Golf Classic, call (479) 968-0242, send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.atualumni.com/homecoming.
The virtual Fight On 5-Kilometer Run/Fun Mile will allow ATU alumni and friends to share their times and photos on social media and receive recognition for their participation.
Registration is $25 and must be completed at www.atualumni.com/homecoming by 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25, in order to receive a T-shirt and be entered in a drawing for a door prize. Late registrations will be accepted through 11:59 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1.
More information about the Fight On 5-Kilometer Run/Fun Mile is available by sending e-mail to Brock Hime, ATU head women's cross country and track and field coach, at email@example.com.
The ATU Alumni Association has partnered with lifestyle brand Kendra Scott for a two-day, online shopping opportunity Oct. 2-3. Twenty percent of proceeds during the special event will go to the ATU Alumni Association. A link to shop and the code individuals will need to participate will be available at www.atualumni.com/homecoming.
ATU alumni and friends are invited to experience the ATU Department of Art Faculty Biennial 2020 exhibition in person or online.
The show is open at Norman Hall Art Gallery, 203 West Q Street in Russellville, through Friday, Oct. 23. The gallery is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays (excluding holidays).
The exhibition features works by Summer Bruch, Lyn Brands, Dr. Lynnette Gilbert, Jasmine Greer, Neal Harrington, Andy Huss, Manami Ishimura, John McGrew, Jessica Mongeon, David Mudrinich, Dustin Simpson and Jonathan Welch.
Photos of the displayed artworks are available at www.facebook.com/ATUNormanHallGallery.
The video replay of the Wonder Boys' 2019 victory over Northwestern Oklahoma State is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3.
It will be available in the Russellville area over Suddenlink Cable channel 2 as well as over the internet at www.arkansastechsports.com, www.youtube.com/ATUathletics and www.facebook.com/ATUathletics.
A shortened version of the 21-14 ATU victory will be broadcast. Special ATU-related features will be interspersed between game segments.