In conjunction with campus and community partners, Western New Mexico University Alumni Affairs has scheduled Mustangs At HOMEcoming — a series of mostly virtual gatherings plus a concert accessible in a variety of ways — for the first three days of October.
The lineup includes a social hour for alums to share memories of The Cooler and hear about its new namesake on campus, a special broadcast to honor the 50th anniversary of the Mustang football team’s championship win and learn about the future direction of Mustang Athletics, and a concert meant to be either live streamed or enjoyed while physical distancing at a drive in/dance on campus.
“Mustangs At HOMEcoming is well suited for our alums who completed their degrees from afar as well as for those who’ve built many memories with their friends and families here in Silver City,” said Amanda Moffett Lane, who is the WNMU Alumni Affairs Director.
Thursday, October 1, 3:30 p.m. — Mustangs At HOMEcoming Kickoff: The lineup begins with a live State of the University address from WNMU President Dr. Joseph Shepard and virtual social hour with conversation centering around The Cooler as alumni remember it — and as it has recently been reimagined on campus. The opening event will occur on Zoom.
Friday, October 2, 5 p.m. — Future of Mustang Athletics and 1970 RMAC Mountain Football Championship Anniversary Broadcast: Director of Mustang Athletics Scott Noble will discuss the department’s coming seasons and introduce the newest coaches at WNMU. Then, members of the 1970 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Mountain Championship-winning football team will reflect on their victory and be recognized on the 50th anniversary of their accomplishment. Both conversations will be moderated by Mustang Athletics insider and broadcast personality Natalie Tristan over Zoom.
Saturday, October 3, 6:15, 6:30 and 6:45 p.m. — Tour of Ben Altamirano Stadium: Head Mustang football coach Frank Tristan will take small groups to see the recent upgrades in Ben Altamirano Stadium, providing insight into the university’s plans for the facility. Branded masks will be given to attendees.
Saturday, October 3, 6:30 – 10 p.m. — Voter Registration Drive In Concert and Dance: This multi-faceted event features a virtual component for alumni who are on campus in spirit and also an in-person component that promotes physical distancing for local alumni and community members. On-site voter registration hosted by WNMU Cultural Affairs will begin outside the Fine Arts Center Theatre at 6:30 p.m. Mariachi Plata de WNMU will play a short set, with members being distanced several feet apart, outside the Fine Arts Center Theatre around 7 p.m. The Voter Registration Baracutanga concert streaming live from the Fine Arts Center Theatre will be played in real time over YouTube for virtual listeners and projected on the south wall of the Fine Arts Center Theatre for drive in attendees starting at 8 p.m. Baracutanga Live from WNMU is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. Emceed by WNMU Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Isaac Brundage, the evening includes videos about the history of voting in America, a message from New Mexico State Auditor Brian S. Colón, and information on how to vote this fall. The parking lot will open at 5:30 p.m.
Throughout Mustangs At HOMEcoming — At-Home Tailgate Competition: Alumni can download a tailgating toolkit and revel in Mustang spirit together yet apart. Those who share photos of their at-home tailgate parties using #MustangsAtHOMEcoming could win prizes.
“This year’s virtual events make homecoming accessible even to WNMU alumni who haven’t been able to attend in the past since it’s traditionally held on campus, so Rawhide and I are hoping for a better turnout than ever,” Moffett Lane said.