By Deb Cummings
Sure, you could spend the weekend organizing closets or purging your garage, but why? Instead, we’ve designed a remarkable weekend that’s power-packed with family fun, gastronomical adventures, intellectual punch (we are a university, after all) and other crowd-pleasing favourites. And you’re invited.
“This year, you’ll find lots of changes at Alumni Weekend, starting with the programming which mixes curiosity with fun,” says Claudia Bustos, UCalgary Alumni’s director of programs and services. “Early on, we discovered there are so many ways to tell a university story and so we began looking for unusual pairings — pairings that will leave you entertained.”
This year, fun does indeed dominate the docket at UCalgary Alumni Weekend. Discover where our dancing mascot, Rex, romped around in paleontological times; find out if you can possibly learn seven languages in seven minutes; and, if you’ve ever wanted to experience an Instagram-worthy Vanity Fair-style photo shoot using wild wigs and outlandish costumes . . . well, here’s your chance.
“Honestly, when we say unusual, we mean it,” adds Associate Vice-President of Alumni Engagement Michael Sclafani. “You will not find these experiences at any other point of the year. They are truly one-time-only experiences.”
If you’re starting to see a freewheeling theme eke out of this fun — the mashup of eclectic faculties, researchers and voices on one specific topic — you’re right. This imaginative mind-flipping process was designed specifically to shake up the way we think about topics, subjects and university. That specific approach happens repeatedly throughout Saturday’s sessions, but Friday’s kickoff event is a straight-up carnival-like party and celebration of sport: Alumni Block Party at the Tailgate fronts the Dinos KICKOFF Football Game at McMahon Stadium. Remember to duck out of work a little early (the party begins at 3:30 p.m.), grab your thundersticks and bust out all your reds and golds for one of UCalgary’s best-attended sporting events of the year. And don’t forget your little ones (admission is free for them and for UCalgary students) who will love the live science experiments, the whack-a-mole and inflatable jousting.
Whatever activity or session piques your interest, what’s guaranteed is that you will reconnect with like-minded individuals, former classmates and faculty as well as rediscover the campus. And, as an extra bonus, you may just learn how, exactly, the prairie chicken flew the coop and whether she’s coming back.
We promise: the only lecture you’ll hear at this year’s Alumni Weekend is, “Have fun!”