Lisa Watson could have taught a masterclass about how to wear Laurier pride on her sleeve at Homecoming 2018.
After 25 years away, she returned to Laurier’s Waterloo campus in classic style, sporting a purple leather varsity jacket with Laurier emblazoned across the back. On one sleeve, the year '93.
"This is my 25th reunion," Watson said, tapping the number. "A lot of my friends are back for it and I’m hoping to reconnect with them. What a great chance to meet up!"
Watson was one of thousands of Golden Hawks who returned to Laurier’s Waterloo and Brantford campuses for September Homecoming celebrations, two of the biggest events on Laurier’s alumni calendar. Brantford Homecoming took place on Sept. 22, with Waterloo following from Sept. 28 to 30.
Watson did connect with friends in Waterloo. They walked across campus and shared memories from their days as students.
Watson recalled jumping up and down with excitement after scoring a high-enough grade on a calculus test to be exempt from a final exam.
"That’s my favourite Laurier memory," she said before offering a wink. "My second is meeting my husband on campus, but he’s at home with the kids today."
The group later headed to University Stadium, where the Golden Hawks played the Guelph Gryphons as part of Homecoming celebrations. After the game, Watson and friends spent the evening at a 25th reunion dinner.
At the same time as the reunion dinner, graduates of the 1960s celebrated at the Forever Purple and Gold dinner and dance. The event marked the 50th anniversary of the class of 1968, the year Laurier won its only national championship in men’s basketball. Several team members were in attendance to mark the occasion and reminisce.
At Brantford Homecoming, alumnus Jeffrey Tamusuza said he was excited to see “all of the change” on campus.
"I haven’t been to campus in two years and so much is new," Tamusuza said. "I can see why people are here for Homecoming."
Alumni were offered exclusive tours of the new Laurier Brantford YMCA. A surprise highlight was walking into the facility’s gymnasium and seeing the large Golden Hawk logo that is prominently displayed across centre court.
"I’m so impressed," Tamusuza said. "It’s definitely a state-of-the-art addition to campus. The students going to Laurier now are really lucky."
Top photo: Lisa Watson (second row, right) celebrates with fellow Laurier alumni during Homecoming 2018.