Fall is in the air, and Mount Marty University (MMU) is set to welcome Lancers and the Yankton community to its inaugural football homecoming and alumni reunion weekend.
Lancer Days 2021 kicks off today (Thursday) and runs through Oct. 17 with both familiar and new events on and off the Yankton campus.
MMU’s homecoming was traditionally set in February and its alumni reunion in June, said Johanna Jablonoski, director of Alumni Relations for MMU, and a 2014 MMU graduate.
“But what we were missing was, our alumni didn’t get to interact with any of our students,” she said. “That’s something we’re really excited for this year, and fall is a good time of year to bring people back to campus.”
Mount Marty has four core values: awareness of God, community, hospitality and lifelong learning, Jablonoski said.
“Two (of those values), will really be showcased this weekend: hospitality for our alumni, that whenever you come back to Mount Marty, you’re home, you’re welcome and you’re loved.” she said. “And community — not only the Mount Marty community, but the larger Yankton community.”
Jablonoski noted that, when she joined MMU’s Alumni Relations Department, she was impressed with the Yankton community’s involvement and support of the school.
“So, (this weekend) one of our biggest events, especially for the community, is the first Lancer Days Parade, Saturday morning at 10 a.m.,” she said.
There will be many groups participating in the parade, including alumni, students, faculty and others from the community, she said.
“We have a nursing float, nursing alumni, the nursing department and nursing students are jumping on it,” Jablonoski said. “We have the current women’s basketball team, and they’re inviting alumni to walk with them.”
Several Yankton businesses, some of which are alumni owned, will also be in the parade, and local schools were invited to attend, she said, adding that she hopes the children will take the opportunity to wear Lancer blue and gold.
“We also have three different vehicles that will be honoring our Athletics Hall of Fame inductees, Fine Arts Hall of Fame inductees and our alumni award recipients,” Jablonoski said.
The parade will go west down Levee Street in Yankton’s Meridian District and along Riverside Park, turning north and going back east along Third Street, she said.
The Fine Arts Hall of Fame inductions, set for Sunday, are also new this year. As part of the ceremonies, attendees will experience fine arts performances.
“When they induct a person, they’ll also present a piece that connects to that person,” she said. “For example, S. Jane Klimisch and S. Jeanette Klimisch were very instrumental in the arts, so, they’ll be performing a bit of play that one wrote, and for the other, they’ll be performing a song.”
The Klimisch’s awards are being given posthumously. The other two inductees set for Sunday are Jack Lyons (Music Faculty 1966-1998) and Eugene Brinkmeyer (Music Faculty 1975-2004 and founder of the Gregorian Club).
Prior to Saturday’s football game, will be the tailgate event in Yankton’s Memorial Park.
“A lot of our alumni will have never been to a Lancer tailgate before,” Jablonoski said. “We’re looking forward to seeing a lot of people there.”
Attendees are encouraged to bring chairs, coolers and snacks, while MMU provides the food trucks, music and games for the children.
“I think those are great opportunities for our alumni, our students and the Yankton community to come together and just celebrate the weekend,” Jablonoski said. “And, I hope everyone is saying ‘Go Lancers!’”
Thursday, Oct. 14
• MMU Women’s Soccer Game vs. Dakota Wesleyan University, 5 p.m., Crane-Youngworth Field
• MMU Men’s Soccer Game vs. Dakota Wesleyan University, 7:30 p.m., Crane-Youngworth Field
• Homecoming Coronation, 7 p.m. or 7:30 p.m., Marian Auditorium
Friday, Oct. 15
• History of Mount Marty presented by S. Terry Lafferty, noon, MMU Dining Hall
• Campus Tours by MMU Student Ambassadors, 2-4 p.m., Roncalli Welcome Center
• Athletics Hall of Fame, Social at 5:30 p.m. Event at 6 p.m., River Rock Events Center
• Alumni Welcome Reception, 7-8:30 p.m., Mount Marty University Welcome Center
• Alumni After Party, 9 p.m., Czeckers Bar & Grill
Saturday, Oct. 16
• Honor Guard Breakfast, 8:30 a.m., Meridian Venue (Former Hatch Furniture Building) 109 E. 3rd St.
• Lancer Days Parade, 10 a.m., Meridian District, Downtown Yankton
• Lancers Tailgating, 10 a.m., Memorial Park
• Lancers Football Game vs. Concordia, 1 p.m., Crane-Youngworth Field
Sunday, Oct. 17
• Alumni Mass, 10 a.m., Bishop Marty Chapel
• Fine Arts Hall of Fame, Luncheon — noon, event — 1 p.m., MMU Dining Hall
For registration information and a full list of events, visit www.mountmarty.edu.