Plan Ahead: Homecoming 2017 Events

For some, homecoming might mean alumni returning to campus for football, tailgating and tradition, but it’s also a weeklong celebration of and for the entire Pitt community.

Things get festive starting Monday, Oct. 2, when students turn out to "Paint the Town" blue and gold in preparation — decorating local businesses to show Pitt pride, that is.

This year, nearly 55 special events for faculty, staff, friends and students past and present are planned for homecoming week, Oct. 9-15, and a sampling of events is highlighted below.

Many of the festivities are free and open to the public, but some require registration or tickets. Details to all events are subject to change, so check back throughout the week. 

The basics

Just for students

  • Watch "Remember the Titans" at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 10, in the William Pitt Union to get the spirit of the season rolling.
  • Vote for homecoming court on the portal between noon Thursday, Oct. 12, and noon Friday, Oct. 13.

New this year

  • The Pittsburgh Experimental Economics Laboratory will host an open house — an afternoon of interactive exploration of the human decision-making process and its impact on economics and politics from 2-3 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12.
  • The Hillman Library celebrates its 50th anniversary with its kick-off event 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13. Guests can reminisce with friends over cake in the library and record short videos to become part of the archives themselves.
  • Pitt’s hosting the Resident Assistant alumni reunion at 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13, and the inaugural Pitt Alumni Homecoming Summit, also on Oct. 13, which includes a workshop wherein alumni and a diverse panel of current students can swap stories about the Pitt experience then and now.
  • The Academic Showcase, a discussion among faculty members and researchers moderated by Provost Patricia Beeson, will share how Pitt and UPMC are capitalizing on data-driven discovery. They'll discuss new technologies and tools that are bringing fresh insights and innovation into faculty research, from natural science and medicine to education and the humanities. The event is 8-10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, in Room 228, Alumni Hall, and can be watched live here.

Cultural and community events

  • Musical and stage performances include the free “Sounds of Pitt” concert Tuesday, Oct. 10. The show will feature performances by the Pitt String Orchestra, the Women’s Choral Ensemble and the coed a cappella group PalPITTations.
  • At Heinz Chapel, the “I Do, I Do — Again” event on Friday, Oct. 13, is offering the chance to relive “something old, something new,” something gold, something blue — whether or not you walked down the aisle there.
  • The Pitt Alumni Association’s community service project this year is making Zack Packs — creature comforts for families staying with their medically fragile children in the hospital.
  • The Blue and Gold Blood Drive will be held in the William Pitt Union 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12.

Friday night traditions

  • Courtside at the Cathedral features the men’s and women’s basketball team player introductions and alfresco shootout on Bigelow Boulevard at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13.
  • The fireworks and laser show at the Cathedral of Learning immediately follow the basketball event at 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13.
  • Monte Carlo night wraps up the evening from 10 p.m. to midnight Oct. 13 in the William Pitt Union Assembly Room, where alumni can mingle with students over casino games and prizes.