As we near the end of Fall semester, we find ourselves in a sweet-spot of calm that lies peacefully between the warm but busy atmosphere of Homecoming and the often-hectic season of the holidays (and finals). This respite is a great time to reflect on Homecoming 2018 – doing so not only reminds us of where come from, but it also gives us insight as to where we’re going.
The theme for this year’s Homecoming was “Welcome Home.” This was also the theme of this year’s move-in period, when we welcome new students to the Fairmont State University family. We chose this theme because we want our alumni to know they are always welcome here, and that we joyously celebrate their return home.
Our Falcon Family is made up of doctors, farmers, lawyers, architects, artists, business owners, teachers, nurses, entrepreneurs, and so many more. Having our alumni back on campus for a few short days was an impressive reminder of what our students are able to accomplish after leaving Fairmont State University. I heard countless stories from our alumni – it seems clear that wherever our Falcon alumni soar, they positively impact their communities, and their hard work and success speaks volumes about just what a special place Fairmont State is. And trust me, their messages had quite an impact on our current students, too.
From the Alumni and Emeritus Awards Luncheon and Alumni-Student Roundtable to the parade and the Homecoming football game, our students met and networked with our alumni throughout the weekend. Our alumni not only shared stories of their time here at the University, but they also inspired our students with testimonials detailing their achievements after leaving Fairmont State.
When our students see our alumni come back, they learn so much about all of the wonderful things they can accomplish in their post-graduate lives. It gives students a chance to gain a deeper understanding of what we do here at Fairmont State – we create opportunities for students to soar. When they are able to see how their degrees can play out in the real world and how they can make a difference after their time here at Fairmont State, students become even more motivated. They want to do better for themselves, their families, and the community that has given them so much. After interacting with alumni, our students are hopeful and excited.
That’s why I want all alumni to know in their hearts that they are always welcome here. I realize this campus and this school are alive in their memories, but I also want us to be an active part of their lives. If you are an alumnus, remember: no matter where you are or where you have been, once you’re are a part of our Falcon Family, you are always a part of the Falcon Family.
I look forward to meeting you. Until then, I’ll keep working every single day to make sure that we give every Falcon the resources and support to take wing and truly soar.
Come home. Our doors are always open.