It is quite obvious that Homecoming is an exciting time for everyone here at Bryant. Whether it be the alumni, the soon graduating class, or the newly introduced class of 2020. Being a member of the freshmen class made the “hoco” experience all the more amazing, and I know others feel this way. Many first year Bulldogs were asked how they felt about their first Homecoming experience, and every reply was that of excitement and gratitude towards the University itself and the people who have made it what it is to this day.
Prior to the blaze on the pond, everyone in attendance listened to the encouraging words of President Machtley, pumping up the crowd in its entirety for the football game, versus Central Connecticut, the following day. The pep rally segment of the night was exhilarating and rowdy, as the football team was ready to take on their opponent Saturday at 1pm. Being highly spirited, peppy, and enthusiastic is what makes the Bulldogs, Bulldogs. Seeing this, as a freshmen class, definitely further shaped our attitudes of where we chose to live the next four years of our lives even more, in the best way possible. Some comments were made as to how this year’s Homecoming crowd was the largest yet and would potentially be the best Homecoming to date. Hearing this reiterated the fact that we are all a part of something special, no matter what year we are anticipated to graduate, or if their graduating year was 15 years ago. Watching the immense inferno, lit by the one and only President Machtley, illuminate everyone’s faces, whether they were familiar or not, radiated such a comforting feeling. The fireworks painted a beautiful display across the sky over the Rotunda. This symbolized that the weekend of unity and unmatched school spirit had officially started. Overall, Friday night at the pond was an experience that made each person standing there fall in love with this school just a little bit more, and recognize its true and genuine hospitality.
The next day at the football game, the beloved Bulldogs took a victory against CCSU 45-25 in the Northeast Conference opener. The Bulldogs took charge of the field right away and the stadium roared. The stands were filled with around 4,500 people who had such vitality, and the atmosphere running through the newly dedicated David and Terry Beirne Stadium Complex were electric. It seemed as though Tupper had a little more ‘pep in his step’ this past Saturday as everyone’s black and gold Bulldog spirit was on display, either in the stands or celebrating at the tailgate.
The tailgate area was so full of jubilance. Alumni and students reconnected with lifelong friends that they met here at Bryant. It was an area of never ending black and gold attire, smiles, and laughter. The positive energy from the game without a doubt carried over to the tailgate area as everyone celebrated. The classes from ’69, ’76, ’91, and beyond were all represented whether it was a handful of members from that particular graduating class, or huge groups. A sudden realization hit when it struck that four year really is not a long time- that this soon will be all of us in one, two, three, or four years. It really emphasized the message that college is the place where you meet the friends that will stick with you for a lifetime, and, maybe for the lucky ones, there is potential to meet your soulmate. In fact, two Bryant Alumni got engaged this weekend, and actually met on the first day of freshmen year. This alone is remarkable and it makes me believe Bryant can work miracles.
Walking through the campus this past weekend, Alumni could be spotted in every room reliving the best four years of their lives with the people who shared those everlasting experiences with them. Alumni shared their campus with members of their new families, giving them tours of a place that will always lie in their hearts. Bryant alumni’s children were seen taking photos near the archway, with Tupper. They hugged the small statues of Tupper, sporting their new Bryant shirts and other merchandise. Also, past roommates took pictures by their freshmen, sophomore, junior, and senior year dorm room doors. It was nice to let these people who have been a part of our community relive something they so desperately missed and are so happy to be a part of. It was hard not to overhear conversations of how much everything has changed, but also how some things never change, like Bryant’s one of a kind atmosphere. Although new buildings have been constructed, and residence halls may have been remodeled or touched up, it seems as though nothing can change what actually brought us all here in the first place. Not only is Bryant now ranked number 9 in U.S. News Rankings for Best Colleges, the people are so polite, so genuine, and so kind. This attitude makes this place special and what made Homecoming such an indescribable experience as a freshman. The class of 2020 cannot wait to see how next year’s homecoming is even better than this one, and all of the other advancements and improvements that will be made by this time next year.