University of Denver Celebrates Homecoming 2022
In what turned out to be a perfect fall weekend, the University of Denver community returned to campus to celebrate Homecoming 2022. With pandemic protocols and limitations no longer in place, the campus was entirely “open” for alumni and friends to visit the University.
For many visitors, it was their first opportunity to see, in-person, the new Community Commons and the Burwell Center for Career Achievement, both which opened during the pandemic. Tours of the new buildings were available to visitors, as well as a walking tour of DU’s Chester M Alter Arboretum, led by biological science faculty from the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.
For current students, Homecoming activities lasted all week and included a campus-wide capture the flag contest, ice cream sundaes, and a DU drive-in movie experience featuring “Top Gun: Maverick.” These were just some of the many events hosted by Student Affairs and Inclusive Excellence.
On Friday afternoon, the Crimson Classic brought the entire community together. Over 800 individuals signed up to participate in the 10th annual 5K run/1.5-mile walk. Stephen May was the top male finisher and Molly Smith posted the best female time. In what has become a Homecoming tradition, the Crimson Classic formally kicks off the weekend and brings everyone together to celebrate wellness.
“Homecoming is one of DU’s longest-running traditions,” says Chancellor Jeremy Haefner. “It energizes the entire community to see students, alumni, faculty, staff—and even those living in the community around DU’s campus—come out in full force to participate in Homecoming’s many fun events and share their DU pride.”
DU’s signature Homecoming event, HocktoberFEST, hosted more than 1,200 people on Saturday afternoon on the Campus Green, located outside the Community Commons. There, participants learned about dozens of campus organizations and enjoyed music, activities for adults and kids, food trucks and a beer garden featuring some alumni-owned businesses. The event led up to DU men’s hockey hosting Providence in Magness Arena.
“This year’s Homecoming was a celebration like no other at the University of Denver with tremendous turnout,” says Val Otten, senior vice chancellor for Advancement. “Our alumni and friends were excited to participate in all the festivities and cheer on our championship hockey team, and we were thrilled to welcome the DU community back to campus for a memorable weekend together.”
DU fans packed Magness to watch the No. 4-ranked Pioneers defeat the No. 11-ranked Friars 4-1 on Friday night and then 3-2 on Saturday. Before the Saturday game, DU capped its celebration of last season’s national championship by raising the ninth hockey championship banner to the rafters of Magness Arena.
“For many institutions this never happens, but for us it’s happened nine times. To honor that achievement with all that goes into making it a reality, it’s just incredibly special,” says Josh Berlo, vice chancellor for Athletics and Ritchie Center Operations. “The student-athletes are very much aware of the [Homecoming celebrations] happening on campus. Teams do really well when they feel the whole University community is rallying around their events.”
In addition to watching the Pioneers on the ice, fans were able to watch the women’s volleyball team defeat South Dakota State 3-0 in Hamilton Gymnasium and men’s soccer defeat Southern Indiana on Wednesday night by a score of 6-0.