On-campus homecoming postponed

Plans underway for 2020 virtual alumni weekend and combined on-campus 2020/2021 homecoming


During March and April, the Walla Walla University campus is normally buzzing with activity as students, faculty, and staff gear up for the return of hundreds of WWU alumni for the annual Alumni Homecoming Weekend. This year, Alumni Homecoming Weekend 2020 has been postponed out of caution and concern for the health and safety of our entire university family and various local communities. A combined 2020/2021 homecoming is planned for April 22–25, 2021.

“To minimize the risk of our alumni being exposed to the COVID-19 virus we are encouraging alumni to stay home and not to travel during this global pandemic,” said Claudia Santellano, WWU director for alumni and parent relations. “This was a very sad and painful decision for me because I love having alumni on campus. I love chatting with them, and most of all I love watching them interact with each other. However, we need to do our part to help preserve the health and safety of our alumni.”

Tickets already purchased for Homecoming Weekend 2020 will be refunded in full.

Santellano and her team are already working on plans for April 2021 when she said there will be “double the number of friends to visit with.” Honor classes for the combined Homecoming Weekend 2020/2021 will be: Vanguards, 1960, 1961, 1965, 1966, 1970, 1971, 1975, 1976, 1980, 1981, 1985, 1986, 1990, 1991, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2010, and 2011. The celebration next year will include 60 years of student missions and 50 years of art majors and minors, as well as class reunions and a class photo for each honor year.

Also for the combined Homecoming Weekend 2020/2021, alumni will have the opportunity to congratulate alumni of the year for 2020 and 2021 in person. The Summer 2020 issue of Westwind magazine will feature our 2020 alumni of the year: Sam Carvajal ’60, Doug Clark ’70, Bill Fritz ’75 and ’77, and Becky Billock ’94.

Santellano said that she is continually reminded of the inspiration and energy that WWU alumni bring to the WWU community. “Our alumni have blazed the trail and set the path for current and future generations,” said Santellano. “WWU is what it is today because of the alumni who have come through our doors in years past. They sustain us and uplift us. They are the university’s champions, cheerleaders, and ambassadors.”

Watch for details about Homecoming Weekend 2020/2021 at wallawalla.edu/homecoming and in future issues of Westwind. Stay up to date on the latest alumni news at westwind.wallawalla.edu. If you have questions, please contact Santellano via email at alumni@wallawalla.edu or by calling (509) 527-2631 or (800) 377-2586.

Posted March 19, 2020








A group of alumni gather for a photo during homecoming weekend 2019.
A group of family and friends gathered for a photo during the homecoming banquet in 2019.