Back on Campus: UAlbany’s Homecoming Returns

The Great Dane mascot looks up and applauds a sea of fans in the stands above him

ALBANY, N.Y. (Oct. 7, 2021) — UAlbany’s Homecoming is back and in person this year, and the University is gearing up to welcome alumni home to the Uptown Campus for an in-person game day celebration. Events kick off at 1 p.m. with pregame festivities for all ages, followed at 3:30 p.m. by the Homecoming football game, with UAlbany’s Great Danes hosting the Villanova Wildcats.

The UAlbany Alumni Association set the date for Homecoming back in June based upon the football schedule and alumni interest in an in-person gathering. Through a collaborative planning process, representatives from multiple campus departments worked to design an outdoor game day experience at Casey Stadium that promises to be fun, safe and welcoming for all. Changes from Homecomings before last year’s pandemic will include a boxed lunch instead of a buffet and adherence to the campus’s visitors and events protocol, which is based on current New York State guidance.

A Focus on Affinity Groups

Alumni tend to have a deep connection to the University through the groups they were involved in as students; these have become their "affinity groups." In the summer, the UAlbany Alumni Association reached out to established alumni affinity group leaders to gauge interest in attending Homecoming and, specifically, in gathering fellow affinity group members to participate in the annual pregame celebration.

This targeted approach has led to nearly 25 groups not only expressing interest in attending game day festivities but recruiting at least 20 fellow members to register for a special group-rate discounted pregame package. This includes a Homecoming football game ticket, a T-shirt featuring the new Damien logo and food — a $40 value for just $10 per alum.

Groups celebrating at Homecoming include the National Pan-Hellenic Council “Divine Nine” fraternities and sororities; former student-athletes, including track and field, women’s basketball and football; Student Life alumni, including Orientation leaders and Res Life staff; L-LC alumni; the newly established Women of Color Network; First-Gen alumni and students; EOP; Grads of the Last Decade (GOLD); alumni volunteers and more.

In addition, several schools and colleges will celebrate at the pregame. “Our goal is to see this affinity group model become a tradition, and to expand to even more groups at the Homecoming pregame next year,” said Lee Serravillo, Alumni Association executive director.

Fun for All

The general pre-game package is $20 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. Though Homecoming is not combined with Family Weekend this year, the University anticipates several families will be coming to campus to visit their students. Those students wishing to sit with their family members at the game may purchase the pregame package for just $10. All packages can be picked up at the Alumni Association tent between Casey Stadium and SEFCU Arena on Saturday, Oct. 16, beginning at 1 p.m.

All fraternity and sorority members are invited to a coffee hour in Campus Center West (Great Dane Union) 10:30 a.m. to noon. The Class of 1971 postponed its 50-year reunion but will gather at the pregame. The Potter Club will observe its 90-Year Anniversary throughout the weekend.

To register for the Homecoming Pregame package, which includes a game ticket, t-shirt and lunch, visit the Alumni Association website.