By MARTY LEVINE
When it came to the Pitt Alumni Association’s Homecoming planning, “this year we’ve had to develop not only a Plan B, but a plan C, D, E and F,” said Nancy Merritt, vice chancellor for alumni relations. “We are setting the best plans for today and so far it seems our alumni are just as flexible.”
By Sept. 2, more than two weeks prior to Homecoming (Sept. 22 to 26), the events already had more than 700 registrants; the last normal year, 2019, had about 2,000.
Registration is required for guaranteed admission to events, and the check-in tent (where Homecoming giveaways are distributed) will be open at Bigelow Boulevard and Forbes Avenue from noon to 4 p.m. Sept. 22; 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Sept. 23; and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sep. 24. Those checking in just before the football game versus New Hampshire on Sept. 25 should head to the Great Lawn outside Heinz Field beginning three hours before kickoff.
One event that remains virtual is Chancellor Patrick Gallagher’s annual update on the University, which will be delivered at the Board of Trustees meeting (10:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Sept. 24) and livestreamed to everyone on Pitt’s YouTube channel.
And, of course, Homecoming ends with Tailgate Village outside Heinz Field on Sept. 25, three hours before kickoff, the time of which hasn’t been set yet, and a fireworks and laser show on the Cathedral of Learning lawn that night.
A “Beat New Hampshire” family-friendly carnival is also set for 2 to 6 p.m. Sept. 24 on the William Pitt Union plaza.
In between, the Young Alumni Council, for those in their first decade after Pitt graduation, will present Roc Talks, a la TED Talks, by several members, from on 7 to 9 p.m. Sept. 22 at the Wyndham Pittsburgh University Center, and a Nightcap gathering at the Southern Tier Brewery on the North Shore, 9 p.m.-midnight Sept. 24.
“We started the planning at the end of last spring and over the summer, and things were looking promising, as far as our rate of the pandemic was concerned,” Merritt said. “We knew our alumni were eager to convene in person and we knew they wanted to convene safely.”
All indoor events have since been moved to outdoors, and an in-person commencement for 2020 graduates, originally planned for during this year’s Homecoming, was again delayed until spring.
Marty Levine is a staff writer for the University Times. Reach him at email@example.com or 412-758-4859.
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