Spirit Weekend Brings Back 200 Alumni
This past weekend (September 30 to October 2) marked the first Thoroughbred Spirit Weekend, an inaugural homecoming that brought more than 200 alumni back to campus. The weekend “was a celebration of all things Skidmore,” said Mike Sposili, Executive Director of Alumni Relations & College Events.
The weekend included a tented tailgate overlooking Wachenheim Field, mini-college classes, a fireside student accapella performance, Sunday brunch in the dinning hall and the Friends of Skidmore Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. There were also many sport games going on throughout the weekend that alumni could attend. The weekend might have had a strong focus on spirit and athletics, but “whether you were an athlete or an art major, it was all about a feeling that you were coming home,” said Sposili.
The original idea for the weekend came from a member of the Skidmore Alumni Association Board of Directors, Chuck Kaufman ’82. He also served as the chair of the Homecoming Committee. Over a year ago he proposed the idea to the board. “The response was enthusiastic,” said Kaufman.
Both former athletes and those who never played a sport at Skidmore came out for the weekend. Alumni returned for various reasons. For both Kaufman and Colleen Hursh ’04 (another member of the Skidmore Alumni Association Board of Directors) they love returning to Skidmore no matter the reason. “I almost never pass up an opportunity to return to campus,” said Hursh.
Hursh attended the spirit weekend because she was “excited to be a part of our inaugural Spirit Weekend, see how everything unfolded, and connect with other alumni and members of the Skidmore community....and also, of course, to show my Skidmore spirit!” This event differed from traditional Skidmore alumni reunions because “attendees were able to spend time with old and new friends they otherwise don't get to see who don't happen to be on their regular reunion cycle,” said Kaufman.
“If we make some adjustments to the various Spirit Weekend events, improve our promotional efforts, and use creative thought (of course!), I am hopeful that we can make this a tradition in the years to come,” said Hursh. Sposili shared that they are planning to host the weekend again next fall. “Over the next six months, we’ll be tweaking the content of the weekend and we will most likely focus on Saturday as the main day of the weekend when planned activities will take place,” said Sposili.
“School spirit can't be built in a day, but the Thoroughbred Spirit Weekend was a true homecoming for many alumni,” said Kaufman. Hopefully, this weekend will just be the start of more Thoroughbred spirit and more alumni engagment, something Hursh says Skidmore already does a great job of doing. “I think Skidmore does a nice job encouraging alumni to engage in a way that feels right for them,” said Hursh.
Spirit Weekend logo provided by Mike Sposili.