Nothing is sweeter than a Homecoming that truly feels like coming home. And after a year’s hiatus, Retrievers streamed onto campus Saturday, October 9, with family and friends in tow to celebrate. Eager to reconnect with each other and campus, alumni, students, and friends took part in carnival games, rides, and food trucks—with everything pausing for one of the most anticipated moments of every Homecoming: the puppy parade.

It wouldn’t be a UMBC Homecoming without an opportunity to promote the passion and achievements of our faculty and alumni. In the Proscenium Theatre, Grit X presenters delved into compelling aspects of UMBC’s impact in the areas of research, scholarship, and creative achievement.

Cutouts of President Freeman Hrabowski and True Grit welcomed attendees to the Alumni + Friends tent, but seen almost as frequently around the bustling field was the real Dr. Hrabowski and everyone’s favorite campus comfort dog, Chip. (We all need a little extra comfort from Chip these days as we think about saying goodbye to President Hrabowski at the end of this school year!)

So many campus groups collaborated to create a safe Homecoming experience for everyone to enjoy. “Homecoming 2021 was the perfect example of how the UMBC community comes together to support one another,” says Jess Wyatt, assistant director of Alumni Engagement and one of the lead coordinators for the event. “Despite having no idea what the landscape would look like, we were able to plan and execute an event that allowed our alumni, students, and greater campus community to come together around a shared love of UMBC.”

Wyatt pictured here with her own #FutureRetriever at the Homecoming Ice Cream Social. Photo by Kiirstn Pagan for UMBC.

Homecoming is also a time to welcome our cohort of #FutureRetrievers! We’re so excited to look forward to your 2039 graduation ceremony!

As the evening wound down on Erickson Field, the Down and Dirty Dawg Band and the UMBC Dance Team led the way to the Retriever Soccer Park, where the men’s team battled rival Stony Brook University. The men’s team did not ultimately triumph, but the stands were packed with fans rejoicing in the chance to once again cheer on the Retrievers together.

And finally the return of yet another favorite tradition, the Erickson Field bonfire.

Homecoming may be over, but UMBC is still welcoming Retrievers home. On Wednesday, October 20, the Alumni Association Board of Directors will honor the 2021 Alumni Award recipients.

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Header image of the fall 2021 carnival by Kiirstn Pagan for UMBC.

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