Published October 11, 2012
Picture Western New York’s biggest collegiate party of the year. Imagine a mini-carnival. A semi-menacing bonfire. Emotional and joyful reunions of long-lost friends. The pomp and energy of big-time intercollegiate sports. A nightlife of comedy and jazz. Unique food and special events, such as a wing-eating contest, family brunch, a car smash and window paintings.
Now mix that fun and excitement with the heady rush of higher education, where cultivating the mind is a central ingredient to all—OK, most—of the festivities.
Many would call it a perfect way to celebrate a beautiful Western New York autumn weekend. The hundreds of UB people working hard to make the pieces of the Oct. 19-21 weekend come together call it True Blue Days: the upgraded, enhanced, ramped-up homecoming festivities.
Erin Lawless, associate director for affiliate programs in the Office of Alumni Relations, is candid about past UB homecoming celebrations and equally straightforward about this year’s edition.
“Historically, homecoming has not been a tradition at UB,” says Lawless, one of the UB administrators stepping up to the task of making these True Blue Days an event to remember. “But in the last few years, I’ve become passionate about it.
“There are going to be so many people on campus that weekend and all of them will have the opportunity to take part in what will be a carnival-like atmosphere with games, prizes, rides, bounce houses, a magician, concessions and a lot more,” she says.
“It’s the perfect way to spend an autumn afternoon in Buffalo. It’s so exciting to think that UB’s True Blue Days is an event that brings the entire UB community together; there’s something for everyone that weekend. I love the inclusivity of it all.”
One of the rallying points of True Blue Days is the Saturday afternoon football game. This year, the UB Bulls play the Pitt Panthers at 3:30 p.m. Oct. 20 in UB Stadium. But that’s only one of the highlights in this year’s new, improved and expanded homecoming festivities.
Among the True Blue Days’ notable events:
“It’s crazy to think that the True Blue Days committee has been meeting since March to pull all this together,” says Lawless. “It’s crunch time now and the excitement is mounting as we get closer to homecoming game day. In all the hustle and bustle, my favorite part of the afternoon will be to just take a step back and watch the students, alumni and fans having fun together, cheering on their team, demonstrating pride for their institution and all of us feeling the spirit and optimism in the air.
“My future hope for True Blue Days,” she says, “is that it becomes a recognized and distinctly special time of year; a spirit-filled tradition that reaches our entire UB community.”
For more information about True Blue Days and the full schedule of events, visit the True Blue Days website.