Acadia University’s Homecoming had a twist this year as 40 alumni from Bermuda, Bahamas and other Caribbean countries came back to ‘takeover’ campus and rekindle fond memories of their years in Wolfville.
The event was organized by Karolyn Darrell-Burgess (’00), Shoshana Williams (‘00), Vincent Savery (‘05), Jason Sukdeo (’02) in Bermuda and Mario Smith ('99) in The Bahamas, with support from staff in Acadia’s Office of Alumni Affairs. “This plan has been in the works for years. We knew, being islanders, that people would need a lot of time to prepare! So we gave them a few years,” says Darrell-Burgess. The event was promoted on social media and by the Alumni Office at events throughout Bermuda and the Caribbean.
Although many Bermudian and Caribbean alumni live thousands of kilometers away, the affection for and affinity to Acadia remains strong. “Every year Acadia hosts a reception in Bermuda for alumni and new students,” says Darrell-Burgess. “My friends and I try to attend each year. Two years ago we got to talking about how none of us has been back since we graduated.” After reminiscing about all of the wonderful memories, she says a plan was born. “We started thinking, wouldn’t it be something to go back and show Acadia how we used to do things? We sketched a plan on a cocktail napkin and here we are!”
Events for the ‘Takeover’ included a street march attended by both alumni and current students that featured music and dancing, a welcome reception and dinner, along with regularly scheduled Homecoming activities.
“It was amazing being back. So much has changed,” says Darell-Burgess. “It was great to enjoy Wolfville without the pressure of exams. Hands down the best part of the weekend was seeing people I haven't seen in 17 years and getting the chance to catch up in person.”
A plan is already in the works to bring the ‘Takeover’ back to campus in five years’ time. “I couldn’t be happier with the response from our alumni in Bermuda and the Caribbean to our homecoming reunion,” says Ian Murray, Executive Director of Alumni Affairs and Advancement Strategy. “We enjoy a special relationship with grads, particularly in The Bahamas, Bermuda and Barbados, and it was a genuine pleasure to welcome them ‘home’ to Acadia. Their participation in the weekend’s events brought a special kind of energy that we all felt – we can’t wait for them to return!”
Darrell-Burgess added to that sentiment saying, “This brought back so many great memories and we hope to do it bigger and better in five years.” For more, please see our photo gallery.