Homecoming and Reunion Weekend always brings a special buzz to the Northwestern campus, but October’s celebration also brought something else — the national spotlight. Attracted by a Homecoming football game featuring nationally ranked Northwestern and powerhouse Ohio State, the popular ESPN pregame show College GameDay made an appearance on the lakeside campus, giving 2,500 purple-clad faithful a chance to put their spirit (and creative signs) on display for a national television audience.
The weekend festivities, which more than doubled a Homecoming and Reunions record by attracting 17,081 alumni and friends, were a spectacle from the start. On Friday, Mike Greenberg (J89) hosted his ESPN Radio show Mike & Mike in front of an enthusiastic crowd on Deering Meadow before serving as grand marshal of the Homecoming parade down Sheridan Road that evening. Later that night alumni fanned out across Evanston, Chicago and the North Shore for lively class parties.
On Saturday, neither a heavy downpour nor the Wildcats’ heartbreaking 40-30 loss to the Buckeyes could put a damper on the outpouring of Northwestern pride. At halftime, co-chairs of the 13 reunion classes presented President Morton Schapiro with a check for $53.5 million to support the University. The class of 1968 led all classes by giving $17.5 million — a record for a 45th-reunion class — while the class of 1963 had the highest giving participation, as 41 percent of the class made a gift.
The classes of 1954, 1959, 1964, 1969, 1974, 1979, 1984, 1989, 1994, 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2013 and all young alumni classes will celebrate Reunion 2014 Oct. 17–19.
Check out the photos from the reunion class parties and see complete coverage of the Homecoming weekend festivities, including photos from the Homecoming parade, a Q&A with grand marshal and Mike & Mike host Mike Greenberg and photos and a video from the ESPN College GameDay broadcast.
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Ever wonder about those strange designations we use throughout Northwestern to identify alumni of the various schools of the University? See the complete list.