The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday January 20th

GAA Prepares for Alumni

Students can expect to see plenty of alumni at parties and even in some classes trying to relive their UNC experiences during this year's Homecoming weekend.

Alumni are already getting nostalgic by printing up their old class T-shirts and making plans for weekend poker games with old UNC buddies.

The General Alumni Association began planning the alumni weekend -which happens to coincide with Homecoming - last spring with the release of the fall football schedule.

Linda Rainey, GAA events coordinator, said the planning process focused on making the weekend interesting for all alumni.

"It's new and different because we're not just sponsoring milestone reunions this year," she said.

"This year, it doesn't matter whether it's a milestone year or not, everyone should come."

Rainey estimated that students can expect to see from 800 to 1,000 alumni descend on Chapel Hill this weekend.

That total includes the alumni returning for the Black Alumni Reunion 20th Anniversary Celebration.

Alumni will be able to choose from more than eight different pregame parties before the Saturday football game against the University of Maryland.

The GAA's main pregame party, held at George Watts Hill Alumni Center, will include the presentation of the Distinguished Young Alumni Awards.

The GAA is also sponsoring a tent at Tar Heel Town specifically for alumni from the classes of 1995 and 2000.

After the game, GAA has an all-alumni postgame party planned at the Carolina Inn.

"We want (alumni) to leave Kenan Stadium to come straight over to the lawn at the Carolina Inn," Rainey said. "It's right across from Frat Court and we hope the party will remind them of what they used to do when they were students."

Rainey also said she hoped the party would be a good opportunity for alumni to find each other because of the specific informational sections organized for classes from the last three decades.

In addition to planning the various events for Homecoming weekend, the GAA has helped organize information on all the different alumni activities happening this weekend.

"We sort of helped partner all the schools together to get their information out to all alumni," Rainey said.

The Chancellors' Club, the Medical Foundation Cofounders Club and the School of Nursing will be sponsoring various Homecoming events aimed at educating members about current conditions at the University.

Jason McAbee, spokesman for the Chancellors' Club, said some professors have agreed to let club members attend their classes on Friday.

"We're having our members participate in some undergraduate courses," McAbee said.

The nursing school will focus on education with discussion panels and lectures open to alumni during Homecoming weekend. "We're also debuting a video documenting the last 50 years of the nursing school," said Kelly Almond, spokeswoman for the school.

All nursing alumni events planned for Homecoming weekend are a culmination of the yearlong celebration of the school's 50 years of service, Almond said.

With all of the different events planned, UNC alumni will definitely be able to feel at home during Homecoming weekend. Rainey said, "It's going to be a very big weekend!"

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