Sept. 21, 2017
For Immediate Release
Waterloo – For Wilfrid Laurier University grad Junaid Ali, the best part of Homecoming is the pancake breakfast that kicks off the Saturday celebrations. The alumnus, who graduated with a BBA in 2015, has been coming back to campus for three years to lend his DJ talents to the community event.
This year, approximately 10,000 people – alumni, community members and students – will gather in Waterloo Sept. 29 to Oct. 1 for Laurier’s annual Homecoming weekend.
For Ali, 2017’s Homecoming theme “there’s no place like home” is particularly fitting. It was at Laurier and in Waterloo where he first honed his DJ skills, playing local venues while he earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a specialization in accounting. Although he now works in Toronto in the music business, Ali says that spinning the family-friendly pancake breakfast is his way of saying he’ll “always be a Golden Hawk.”
“It’s so great to see people dancing, whether it’s an 80-year-old alumnus that used to go to Laurier when it was called Waterloo Lutheran or a four-year-old there with her father or mother who went to Laurier,” said Ali. “As a Laurier Golden Hawk, that’s all I want. I’m DJ-ing for my Golden Hawk family at that point. It’s all about bringing people together and showing that Laurier is a great place to be.”
Programming begins on Sept. 29 and runs throughout the weekend. The pancake breakfast is just one of many events where the whole community is invited to participate. It precedes a lunchtime welcome barbecue for Deborah MacLatchy, Laurier’s new president and vice-chancellor, and the afternoon football game where the Laurier Golden Hawks take on the Western Mustangs in their first matchup since Laurier’s 2016 Yates Cup win.
Alumni like Ali will have many opportunities to catch up with fellow classmates at reunion dinners, two alumni celebrations on Saturday night and exclusive access to the stadium end zone during the football game. In addition to the alumni celebrating class reunions, the Faculty of Education is marking its 10th anniversary. Laurier is holding a memorial event for beloved professor Don Morgenson, who taught at the university for more than 50 years, and passed away in April. Students and alumni who are observing Yom Kippur are invited to join the football team on Sunday morning to watch the team practice, hear insights from the football coach about the homecoming football game and share in a kosher meal.
“Homecoming is a special celebration for Laurier and also for the Waterloo community,” said Bridget McMahon, assistant vice-president, alumni relations, annual giving and stewardship at Laurier. “We’re proud to welcome everyone as part of our Golden Hawk family, and we continue to work closely with our community partners to encourage safe and respectful celebrations. We hope that the community will join with us in Homecoming.”
The celebrations in Waterloo mark just the beginning of Laurier’s Homecoming. The university’s Brantford campus will celebrate Homecoming on Friday, Oct. 20. For registration and detailed information about Homecoming events, visit LaurierAlumni.ca/Homecoming.
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