Our view: It’s not your typical homecoming

DKS Editors

More than 400 people will invade the Student Recreation and Wellness Center on Thursday – not to break a sweat working out but to help Kent State celebrate the launch of its fundraising campaign.

It’s the first event of its kind at Kent State, a university not known for a large endowment or frequent, hefty donations. Kent State doesn’t rake in anywhere close to the same amount of money as even fellow M.A.C. and state school Miami University does.

University officials hope that’s changing to the tune of $250 million – the fundraising goal – and they’re using homecoming week as the kickoff.

Normally, homecoming washes over campus without too much fanfare other than a more boisterous football game than usual and a parade too early in the morning for most college students to get excited about. That’s the key phrase – students getting excited about homecoming. It’s fun to see who is crowned Kent State’s homecoming king and queen, but otherwise students don’t treat the weekend as much more than a bigger reason to party harder. Homecoming is for the alumni, an excuse for them to revisit their college heydays with old friends.

But shouldn’t it be more than that?

Homecoming presents a prime opportunity for students and alumni to mingle, making connections that could be mutually beneficial down the road. Our Kent State degree will follow us forever after we cross the stage to accept our diplomas – and we should use that to our advantage.

Because the university is turning 100 years old in 2010, this year’s homecoming is bound to bring out the who’s who of the Kent State community, especially with the public launch of the fundraising campaign.

Go to the parade, the football game and other homecoming gatherings to get to know fellow Flashes, people who may be able to offer great advice or lend a hand when you’re job searching. And make it a two-way street: We’re sure alumni would love to meet current students and compare college experiences.

The common ground is already there: We’re all part of the Kent State family. The $250 million fundraising campaign may not directly benefit you with scholarships before you graduate, but if successful, it will help Kent State continue to build a good reputation. And that will benefit us all for years to come.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.