For the past 38 years, Becky Smith was the mastermind behind making Homecoming happen. T&C reached out to Smith after her recent retirement.
Smith says the biggest struggle in planning such a large event is “all the moving parts." She also says, "It was like putting an engine together. When you get the machine together, it’s harmony; it runs smoothly and effortlessly.”
Smith’s favorite part of planning Homecoming is “the organization of homecoming: making sure tables were delivered, special event planning, seeing the people I would’ve known."
Smith says her favorite tradition is “how this campus comes together as a community to put together the biggest Otterbein show of the fall semester. It brings alum, parents, students, staff, and pets together."
Since Smith's retirement, a new staff has taken over the planning of Homecoming. The new staff is located in Alumni Relations.
Ben Schwarz, associate director of alumni relations, is the new mastermind for homecoming.
When asked about the hardest part about his new role, Schwarz said, “Homecoming and Family Weekend has so many amazing events and coming in after an Otterbein legend, Becky Smith, there is a lot of pressure to get things right.”
A new and exciting event coming to homecoming this year, according to Schwarz, is the 80's and 90's reunion. "I received a phone call from an alum who said, 'I want to get my band back together for our 25th reunion. Can we make it happen?' Then we did it. The 'Sam I Am' band (full of Kings fraternity members) will be getting together. Not only that, they’re doing a fundraiser supporting the work of their classmate with the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s research," Schwarz told us. "Before the event has even happened, they’ve raised over $1,000.”