When most Alumni journey back to their respective colleges and universities it’s for the great experience of an HBCU homecoming. But this weekend, Howard University played host to a special group of Alumni that all had a special bond and contributed to the collective fabric of the college experience.
Student athletes nationwide work not only their minds, but their bodies, tirelessly in order to play at the college level. The Howard University Athletic Department is thanking all Alumni athletes by welcoming everyone back for a weekend of good fun, fellowship, and of course a little competitive sports.
Howard’s head football Gary Harrell is the mastermind behind this great event.
“The idea was generated three years ago when I was coaching at Bowie State. I was back in the area and wanted to figure out a way to galvanize everyone to come together in good spirit. The event consisted of former football players coming back with their families to reconnect with old teammates and friends while playing a friendly game of flag football” Says Harrell.
The weekend long events kicked off Friday with the welcome back mix and mingle. Athletes and their families from the football, basketball, volleyball, and cheerleading teams were asked to not only come out, but to flex the skills they once used daily at Howard to play in games during the day on Saturday. Along with the games, a cook out, Mary Kay pampering session, and after party were are all on the agenda.
Lauren Fleming, a Howard Alum and former cheerleader stresses the purpose and spirit of this event.
“It is very important because our programs need support both physically and financially. So to have active alumni presence will help the continuation of our programs and help promote others to join the HU athletic legacy” says Fleming.
For many athletes, an athletic scholarship paved the way for their college education and that’s why giving back is so important for the next generation of student athletes.
“It’s important for former Howard athletes to return back to campus to share some of their Howard experiences with current athletes. It also helps them stay connected to the Athletic Department to receive a clear understanding of the vision and direction of the program.” Says Harrell.
This was the first year the event, which was started in June 2010, was open to all sports, cheerleaders, and band members. Coach Harrell says that with the participation increasing each year this event will remain an annual gathering enjoyed by all.