The John Carroll community celebrated Homecoming and Family Weekend Oct. 1-4. The weekend consisted of events for alumni, families and students.
Lisa Ramsey, associate director of student engagement, helped plan Homecoming and Family Weekend. “The weekend offered different types of events to appeal to the diverse group of people on campus,” Ramsey said. “Homecoming is unique in that it appeals to a wide variety of constituents. Alumni, parents, families, students and the community come together to enjoy the weekend.”
The weekend started on Thursday, Oct. 1 with a comedian in Kulas Auditorium. Julian McCullough, a nationally known comedian, host, and actor, performed for JCU students. McCullough has appeared on “The Tonight Show” with Jimmy Fallon and was also on MTV2’s hit show “Guy Code.” He was well-received by the audience at JCU.
On Friday, SUPB sponsored the Homecoming Dance at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Rainforest exhibit. Raise the Roof Entertainment provided the students with a DJ, who played all types of music, ranging from Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ On A Prayer” to the Bruno Mars’ hit “Uptown Funk.” There was also a free photo booth with props for students to enjoy. In addition, attendees were allowed to stroll through the rainforest and observe some of the animals.
Junior Nickencia Weaver attended the dance and enjoyed the music and animal exhibits. Weaver says, “The dance was nice and very tasteful…the food was delicious, so I had fun. I can’t wait to go next time.”
Students especially enjoyed the venue because of the animal displays and the waterfall at the entrance of the rainforest.
The next event of the weekend was the Footprints for Fatima 5K Run and 1 Mile Walk. The Arrupe Scholars Program organized the race. Nearly 275 people pre-registered for the race, but many others decided to run the morning of the race. In all, over 300 people participated in the event. The money raised from the race will be used to provide Thanksgiving dinners for over 125 needy families in the Hough neighborhood of Cleveland.
Katie Spring, the administrative assistant for the Arrupe Scholars program, said there were prizes for winning runners. Spring explained, “We solicited local companies for gift cards…All of the winners also got a drawstring bag.”
Sophomore Blake Dixon placed in the top ten in the race. “I ran in the race last year and it was fun” Dixon said. “It’s for a great cause and I always love helping out. It’s a win-win situation.”
Saturday afternoon, JCU held a tailgate party preceding the football game. Belvoir Blvd. was closed to traffic between Washington Blvd. and Fairmount Blvd. so clubs and food trucks could set up. Several organizations that were represented were Kappa Delta, Kappa Gamma, JCU ROTC, Knights of Columbus, JCU Smiles with Style and Her Campus. Each organization was fundraising for their organization or for a philanthropy group.
Junior Rachel Spenik was representing Her Campus at the tailgate party. Spenik said, “Her Campus made over 100 homemade cupcakes as a fun group activity to sell at the tailgate. We sold them for $.50 a piece to fundraise. The weather limited our sales but we still had a great time! The money we raised will be used to hold events similar to the ‘Girls’ Night!’ we held last semester.”
Junior Patrick Wyszynski was fundraising for JCU Smiles with Style at the tailgate. Wyszynski and Natasha Taleff founded this organization last year. Wyszynski described his club’s philanthropy: “We are part of the non-profit organization called Smiles with Style. Our club supports this group by fundraising and volunteering at local children’s hospitals. We work to lift the spirits of the sick children receiving treatment, so our proceeds will go towards the items we use to cheer the children up (tiaras, stickers, nail polish, play masks, fake swords, wands, etc).” JCU Smiles with Style was accepting donations in return for Blue Streak spirit gear, such as blue and gold necklaces and facial stickers.
Large crowds of fans dressed in blue and gold gathered at the Don Shula Stadium for the homecoming football game at 1:30pm. The Blue Streaks faced the Ohio Northern Klondikes. Unfortunately, John Carroll lost the game 27-30, but there was still a huge turnout of students, families and alumni despite the loss and bad weather. At halftime, the 2015 inductees in the John Carroll Hall of Fame were named. Patrick Pasqualicchio and Noble Churovia were named Homecoming King and Queen.
After the game, students and families headed to the student center for the SUPB-Sponsored Homecoming Carroll Casino. Tables were set up in the LSC Conference Room with casino games. There were also several raffle prizes and free food.
Junior Mikenna Miller attended the casino night with her family. She said, “I thought that the casino night was a good time for family to get together. It was a good way for families, whether its parents or siblings, to come and enjoy something that everyone can take part in.”
Saturday evening, members of JCU Greek Life hosted the first annual Community Showcase. Junior Ese Osaghae and Senior Dan McManus hosted the talent show. Most of the performers sang, but one pair of women danced and another woman put on a short comedy show. There were two winners: one overall winner and one Greek Life winner. Josiah Jones Ray, a member of the JCU Gospel Choir, was the overall winner.
Freshman Anna Masica was the Greek Life talent show winner. “I played the ukulele and sang a mash-up of ‘Ho Hey’ by The Lumineers, ‘Skinny Love’ by Bon Iver, and ‘Riptide’ by Vance Joy” said Masica. “I am a proud member of Gamma Phi Beta, and our money will go to Girls on the Run, which mentors girls and runs with them. Running is used to inspire and motivate girls, encourage lifelong health and fitness, and build confidence through accomplishment.” After the talent show, SUPB sponsored a late night breakfast.
On Sunday morning, Homecoming and Family Weekend ended with a Mass and brunch. Mass was held in the DeCarlo Varsity Gym. Brunch was open to all family members in the Schott Dining Hall.