Bob Jones University is preparing to bring students and alumni together during Bruins Spirit Week and virtual “Homestaying.”
Coinciding with Bruins Spirit Week Oct. 5 through Oct. 10, Homecoming will take place as a virtual event termed “Homestaying.” Many of the events that students will be enjoying on campus will be available to alumni tuning in from the comfort of their homes.
BJU will stream the Bruins soccer and volleyball games online as well as a concert, with watch parties to go along with those streams. Saturday, Oct. 10, BJU will host Zoom meetings all day for alumni to connect with other alumni from their graduation year.
To top it all off, BJU will be producing “The World’s Most Unusual Game Show,” a game show mash-up of “Jeopardy,” “Family Feud,” “Minute to Win It” and more, with both alumni and students as contestants.
Chelsea Fraser, the director of alumni relations for BJU, and her team have been planning this virtual homecoming since June, working with alumni to put the show together and including them in the planning every step of the way. Fraser has enjoyed working with alumni and hopes that Bruins Spirit Week and Homestaying will encourage strong alumni-student relationships.
“An engaged alumni community helps show students what [comes] next,” Fraser said. “We’re really excited to be able to put something together we hope serves both groups.”
Fraser said the event is important to have despite the challenges COVID-19 has thrown into the semester. Students may be students for only four or six years, but they will be alumni for the rest of their lives.
“[Students are] future alums and we’re wanting to serve [them] now, as well as into the future.” Fraser said. “We don’t get a pass on investing in our alumni. We don’t get a pass on investing in our students. That relationship matters too much.”
On the student side, the SLC has been planning on campus events for students to enjoy throughout the week. Judah Smith, the men’s student body president, and his team have been working with Fraser and her team to put together Homestaying. Smith’s team has been focusing specifically on student activities and has come up with a full week of fun and exciting events.
On Monday and Tuesday nights there will be respective movie showings of Sheffey and Overcomer with snacks for sale. Tuesday will also be “Decade Day,” where students can dress in their favorite decades’ stereotypical style. A prayer and worship rally with ice cream for sale will be held in the Activity Center Wednesday at 9 p.m., Thursday holds Artist Series at 7:30 p.m. and on Friday students can wear casual dress with Homecoming T-shirts. The T-shirts will feature a design from Elijah Krepfle, the 2020 Homecoming T-shirt design competition winner.
Friday will also have student-led chapel and a picnic lunch, and then Bruins volleyball games, the taped gameshow and a pep rally in the evening. Saturday finishes out the week with a morning color run, evening picnic and two Bruins soccer games.
One of the events Smith is most excited about is the student-led chapel, which will be outside at Alumni Stadium and across the athletic fields to allow for social distancing. The chapel, which will focus on music, praise and worship, will be the first time the entire student body will be together for a service. It will also be the first time the student body will be able to sing together this semester.
“I think it’s important as a student body to have these unifying moments,” Smith said. “To have a chance to really interact as a whole.”
The proceeds from snack sales, T-shirt sales and other fundraising activities will go to an organization BJU has chosen to partner with this year. The organization will be announced Monday, Sept 28. A presentation of the fundraising check to the organization will be held Saturday night.