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Penn cheerleaders lead crowd chants during the Homecoming game against Yale at Franklin Field on Oct. 22. Credit: Jesse Zhang

This year’s Homecoming was nothing short of exciting for returning alumni and current students alike, with tours, galas, and sporting events packed throughout the weekend.

The weekend embodied Penn’s spirit and allowed for all community members to participate in a mixture of campus-wide programming and student-organized events as well as reconnect with old classmates from years past. The Daily Pennsylvanian spoke to alumni and current students participating in Homecoming who said that the atmosphere on campus was one of reunions and relaxation.

Homecoming weekend this year also coincided with the inauguration of Penn's ninth president Liz Magill. The University hosted a variety of events in celebration of Magill's inauguration. During this weekend's Homecoming football game, Penn narrowly beat Yale University, continuing its undefeated streak.

Wharton junior Allison Dao said that, to her, Homecoming weekend provides an opportunity to see those who recently graduated and develop new connections with older alumni. Dao, who serves as the vice president of corporate relations for Wharton Women, was involved in planning the Wharton Women Homecoming brunch over the weekend.

Dao explained that Homecoming weekend provides a unique opportunity for Wharton Women members to interact with alumnae in a more relaxed setting compared to other alumni events throughout the semester.

"Homecoming is, to me, a time to bond across different generations," Dao said. "In a Homecoming setting, everything is much more chill, and we were able to just eat, speak, and catch up on each other’s lives in an organic way that helps us rekindle or forge these new relationships."

College first year Mia Calvo said that Homecoming provided her an opportunity to connect with new friends and take a break from schoolwork for one weekend.

“Homecoming is about school spirit, community, and taking a break from classes to have fun,” Calvo said. The student section of Homecoming weekend included free food, games, and merchandise giveaways for students and continued the tradition of an annual tree planting ceremony for the first-year class.

Alumni also flocked back to campus to enjoy the festivities last weekend and reconnect with old classmates. 2009 Wharton MBA graduate Caroline Dahllof said she appreciated that Homecoming offers an amazing opportunity to meet and catch up with fellow alumni every year.

“Once we leave Penn, we all go in different directions,” Dahllof said. “We have kids, family, and work, so it’s hard to stay connected. It’s nice that there are these opportunities for us to connect, learn from, and strengthen our relationships with each other.” 

2013 School of Design graduate Sarah Elger echoed these sentiments, saying that she saw the Homecoming weekend as an opportunity to reconnect with old friends, take advantage of Penn’s opportunities and resources, and meet new people.

“This weekend showed me that [Penn] still feels like an incredible place to learn, grow, and support others who are also in pursuit of continuing growing as a person and a learner,” Elger said.