Oberlin Celebrates Homecoming Weekend


Photo courtesy of Office of Communications

President Carmen Twillie Ambar on the field at halftime of the Homecoming football game.

The campus seemed to be abuzz with energy from students and non-students alike when Homecoming Weekend approached. Homecoming Weekend is always a time for members of the Oberlin College and community to come together. Whether it is families coming to Oberlin to watch their student-athlete perform on the field or alumni visiting old friends, there is always something that draws people to Oberlin’s campus.

The festivities began Friday with the Heisman Club’s annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. The four honorees were: Jenny Krumpus, OC ’96, Swimming & Diving; Carl Kumpe, OC ’94, Lacrosse and Soccer; Dave Tempest, OC ’72, Swimming & Diving and Cross Country; and George “Howie” Furcron, OC ’54, Basketball, Football, and Track & Field. Inductees continue to reflect the dedication and passion of student-athletes to the school — for example, Dave Tempest, an All-American swimmer and cross-country runner, and his wife Kathy, who also graduated in ’72 and played on the women’s basketball team, raised money for the Heisman Club by biking 2,400 miles from Seattle, WA to Oberlin.

Festivities continued Saturday, with the athletic department’s annual yard sale of old uniforms, warm-up gear, and bags, which took place between the Knowlton Athletics Complex and Williams Field House. The day was packed with sporting events, featuring the field hockey, volleyball, football, and men’s and women’s soccer teams taking the field. Men’s and women’s basketball, men’s soccer, and men’s lacrosse also hosted their annual alumni games. While all teams lost their games, spirits remained high throughout the remainder of the day.

Saturday was also Senior Day for the women’s soccer team. While it was not the last home game of the season, it was a reflective event for College fourth-year Sammy Clanton.

“Senior Day for me was a really bittersweet experience,” Clanton said. “Stepping back, the game essentially symbolized that my soccer career was coming to an end. Even though it wasn’t my last game, that day was still just as emotional and impactful as I’m sure my very last game will be.”

Homecoming Weekend also served as an opportunity for the families of student-athletes to visit Oberlin. College second-year and member of the football team, Zac Ntia, highlighted the importance of getting time to see his family.

“I love getting to see my family whenever I can, so them getting to come for Homecoming [Weekend] was awesome,” said Ntia. “It’s something that I definitely don’t take for granted.”

During halftime of the football game, the Division III National Championship-winning women and trans ultimate Frisbee team, The Preying Manti, was presented with a national championship banner to celebrate their achievements and promote club sports.

“Presenting the women and trans ultimate team their national championship banner was an impactful moment for me,” wrote Delta Lodge Director of Athletics and Physical Education Natalie Winkelfoos in an email to the Review. “I admire what they accomplished and, alongside President [Carmen Twillie] Ambar, to be able to publicly recognize and congratulate them was one of the many highlights of the weekend for me.”

Additionally, after weeks of anticipation and voting by the Oberlin student body, the name of the squirrel mascot was announced: Yeobie. Yeobie could be found at all sporting events on Saturday, posing with students and families.

For Ify Ezimora, OC ’19 and newest class trustee, Homecoming Weekend was her first time being back at Oberlin since graduation last May, providing her with a chance to reconnect with other alumni and members of the community who had impacted her four years at Oberlin.

“I think a lot of alumni come back for a variety of reasons,” Ezimora said. “Some of us have strong connections with people who still go to Oberlin or faculty and staff that still work at Oberlin, and it just makes sense for us to come back for Homecoming. Some of us played on sports teams during undergrad, and the athletic community is really tight-knit, so all sorts of athletes come back. Others just love Oberlin so much that we would attend any kind of Oberlin gathering whether it happened on campus or not.”

The festivities finished with a fireworks show that took place after the men’s soccer game at Fred Shults Field.

“It was great to have so many Obies return home [and] connecting with current students, faculty, and staff,” Winkelfoos, who is looking forward to next year’s Homecoming Weekend, wrote. “And the collaboration between the Conservatory and Student Life to make it such a great weekend was remarkable. The spirit and pride of Oberlin was on full display over the weekend. We are already looking forward to next year’s Homecoming.”