ASU President Art Dunning: Homecoming Big Step in Making Albany True ‘College Town’

Art Dunning

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

This past weekend, thousands of alumni, family and friends from all over the country converged on Albany for the annual Albany State University homecoming celebration. As they drove into the city, the blue and gold wreaths hanging from the bridge glistened in the sun; the Golden Rams were freshly painted in major intersections of downtown, and welcoming signs were hung and painted on the windows of local businesses.

Without a doubt, the Albany community once again rolled out the red carpet. Hotels were booked, restaurants were full and the crisp Saturday-morning temperatures did not deter enthusiastic crowds from lining the streets to cheer during the parade.

Homecoming could not happen without the support of this entire community, from our elected and appointed officials to the residents who tolerate the extra traffic and crowds. ASU’s homecoming produces the largest economic impact of any event that takes place in Albany each year. While this is certainly something to celebrate, it is the spirit with which this community embraces homecoming that is truly extraordinary.

* Elected and appointed city and county officials took time out to attend events and officially welcome our alumni and students.

* Local law enforcement collaborated seamlessly with campus police to demonstrate why community policing keeps us all safe.

* City and county staff and campus staff ensured that the community and the campuses were clean, well-manicured and in pristine condition.

* The ASU Gospel Choir was joined by choirs from throughout the city in a Gospel Explosion, kicking off Homecoming Week with their voices raised in song.

* The ASU Marching Rams Show Band entertained Albany Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours guests as they celebrated homecoming in Lovett Hall.

* The ASU Alumni Men of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. presented a $15,000 gift in honor of their brother, Albert W. “Smitty” Smith, during homecoming to support student scholarships.

* The ASU Tom Joyner School of the Month Fundraising Committee was promoting their “You Can’t Build a Chimney from the Top” fundraising campaign, encouraging donors to give $19.03 — representing the year the university was founded.

* Thousands of community residents braved the first cold morning of the season to line the streets of downtown for the annual parade.

* High schools, middle schools, elementary schools and nonprofits from throughout the region and the state marched proudly down Pine Avenue.