WASD alumni, foundation to celebrate homecoming

Members of the Williamsport Area School District’s Alumni Association and Education Foundation are planning events to showcase the high school’s successes and unveil plans for its future during the high school’s Homecoming game on Friday, where the Millionaires will take on the Tunkhannock Tigers.

At 5:30 p.m., the Alumni Association will offer an exclusive alumni tour of the newly renovated Williamsport Area Middle School, 2800 W. Fourth St., followed by the presentation of the 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award.

Alumni must RSVP for the tour to the Alumni Office at 570-327-5500, ext. 33495.

Dr. Samuel B. Hoff, from the class of 1975, will be recognized as this year’s distinguished alum. Among other political and social achievements, the University of Delaware history and political science professor has secured his name as a presidential candidate since 1988.

He will be presented with a plaque during a pre-game ceremony at 6:30 p.m. on the field at the stadium, prior to the 7 p.m. kickoff.

In addition to the annual crowning of the Homecoming King and Queen, a half-time presentation and student performance will launch the WASD Education Foundation’s “Return to Glory” capital campaign, in the wake of receiving its recent $500,000 contribution from the district’s transportation company, Student Transportation of America Inc.

That donation secured the naming rights for the high school stadium in an agreement passed by the school board on Oct. 1, and becomes effective July 1, 2014.

With a $3.5 million goal, the “Return to Glory” campaign is driven by a volunteer task force of community leaders to restore and update the high school’s aging athletic complex.

The first phase of modernization is expected to include the installation of an expanded all-weather turf field for football, soccer and band; a new track-and-field complex; and other infrastructure improvements to the stadium.

The Alumni Tent will be open above the stands throughout the game, where attendees can review information on the campaign with committee members, as well as a chance to win raffle prizes.

“We’re excited about what’s planned,” said Greg Hayes, director of both the alumni association and the district’s education foundation. “All of the events before and during Homecoming hinge on our campaign’s kickoff. Everything we’re doing that evening is all being done in the spirit of what homecomings is really about: It’s a celebration of alumni, our students, our community and a new vision that encapsulates all of that. We’re encouraging everyone to join us to make it a successful night to celebrate it all.”