Wildcat Families Come Together at Homecoming & Family Weekend

An improv performance by the JWU Players, and mind reading by professional mentalist duo The Evasons, kicked off Johnson & Wales University’s 31st annual Homecoming & Family Weekend on Friday, October 12. The campus was buzzing on Saturday, October 13, with culinary demos, honey tastings, and a “paint the town” event. Faculty, staff and college deans joined Chancellor Mim Runey for her Wildcat Chat with parents and families. Alumni Relations hosted a legacy lunch and co-sponsored the afternoon’s alumni athletic tailgate on the Scotts Miracle-Gro Athletics Complex. Everyone got into the spirit that afternoon at the fun zone full of lawn games, a selfie booth, henna tattoos, and pumpkin painting.

Despite the rain, it was one of the largest turnouts for the annual student parade. Twenty-four groups participated including the JWU Honor Guard, the Parent and Family Advisory Board (PFAB), fraternities, sororities, residence halls, dance groups, and the JWU cheerleaders. Diane Hogan, parent of culinary student Peter Tomlin ’19, has been involved with PFAB for four years and was asked to be a judge for this year’s parade. “It was such a wonderful experience,” she said. “To see the students, teams, clubs and houses be so creative with their themes and dances, it made judging much more difficult.” Hogan describes the weekend as the time to “not only have family time with her son but also have the opportunity to interact with other Wildcat families.”

On Saturday night, more than 500 family members and students attended family bingo, and current and former JWU athletes and alumni came together to celebrate the 2018 Johnson & Wales Athletics Hall of Fame inductees:

  • Cathy Bravo '12, women's volleyball

  • Steven Martell '08, wrestling

  • John MacKay '07, baseball

  • Domenic Recchia '12, men's ice hockey

  • Lamonte Thomas '12, men's basketball

  • 2010-11 men's basketball team

Before hitting the road Sunday morning, families could take part in a family-alumni row or take a dance hip-hop class. As one parent said after the hip-hop class, “I needed some exercise after a weekend of eating amazing food before the drive back to Buffalo.”

Homecoming & Family Weekend is a true collaboration among many JWU departments, PFAB, students, and faculty. Hogan says, “All parents want is the best for their children, and I am thankful that my son chose JWU. We are and always will be a Wildcat family.”