"We were strangers for such a long time, but now we're friends 'til the end of time."
The Long Blue Line Comes Home. That is the theme for Homecoming 2014, and this year that phrase is particularly meaningful to me. Homecoming at The W is always a special event, we return to a remarkable place, reunite with cherished college comrades and connect with alums, students and faculty. It is not whether we win or lose a game, but that we are coming together – to remember, to relive, to laugh, to cry (only a little) and to celebrate (a lot). Homecoming rejoices in friendships, old and new, and this year I have so many more special W friends to come home to.
Mississippi University for Women is almost indescribable. It is widely known that we W alums are a passionate and vocal group - and absolutely loyal to our alma mater. Yet, too few take the opportunity to return to campus. Last year, I remember hearing a number of the Golden Girls say that their 50th Class Reunion was their first time to be back on campus! Hearing that made me determined to urge alums to revisit the university in hopes that no one will miss out on the wonderful and restorative experience of coming home.
We can't really recapture our youth in a return to campus, but I do believe Homecoming is the closest thing to time travel I ever expect to experience! For one weekend each year, I am once again a W girl, that essential me who joyously revels in the unique "W-ness" of our amazing university. There's no doubt that attending MUW shaped the course of the rest of my life. I am equally convinced that taking part in Homecoming rekindles The W magic for me; much like a Disney vacation refuels my inner child. And I know the women and men around me feel the same way.
This year has been a banner year for MUW, and it is thrilling to learn of steady enrollment, the state's best degree completion ratio, the most degrees conferred by a regional university, growth in the numbers of donors and dollars plus new ventures on the horizon. The Homecoming schedule reflects the enthusiasm of the current campus atmosphere with a smorgasbord of activities and events stretching from Thursday afternoon when Registration opens to Sunday Brunch which caps off the festivities (March 27-30). Yet there is no doubt that despite our appreciation for and enjoyment of dinners and parties and performances, the highlight of the weekend – what we will remember most fondly and what will endure – is sure to be the fellowship we share with one another.
I hope to see you at Homecoming 2014 as I conclude my year as President of the MUW Alumni Association. But even if you cannot join me on campus this year, you can always join me in supporting our amazing alma mater through active membership in the MUWAA – and by visiting when you can. Just like home, The W is always here for you.
Come home to The W, and join me in celebrating all we are, all we have been and all that we will be.
"Our hearts were joined together, by the mighty bonds of love."
God bless, my friends.
Cheryl "Sherrie" Jackson Cooper
Class of 1982
MUW Alumni Association