By Mark and Carol Poblete
Homecoming Committee Co-Chairs
In July, the ABBA Homecoming committee, with the support of the Board, made the difficult decision to cancel all in-person events as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Little did we know at the time that such a disappointing situation would blossom in creativity and opportunity that opened the door to hundreds of passionate Penn Staters and fans of the Blue Band showing their support in so many different ways.
To kick off Homecoming week, our first-ever Blue Band virtual trivia night, hosted by published authors Lew Lazarow and Tom Range, engaged over three dozen participants in an entertaining and informative evening of history.
In lieu of our traditional Friday night post-parade reception at the O. Richard Bundy Blue Band Building, nearly five dozen ABBA members gathered via Zoom to reminisce, celebrate, and raise the song. Click to read more.
Finally, extending beyond Homecoming week, over 500 runners, walkers, and even a few twirlers took to the roads and trails in their neighborhood as part of the inaugural “For the Legacy” virtual 5K (click to read more), raising tens of thousands of dollars for the Blue Band Legacy Fund and providing a much-needed morale boost for the students of this year’s band. It was a truly global demonstration of the incredible passion that the Blue Band inspires in each of us.
While we’re all hoping that Homecoming 2021 is a return to normal (or whatever a safe, in-person “new normal” will look like), this year’s events showcased the spirit and innovation that are hallmarks of the Penn State experience and gave countless Blue Band family members the chance to help us create some new traditions together. The Homecoming Committee is grateful for the support and partnership of the College of Arts & Architecture, University Libraries, and the Penn State Alumni Association. But, most importantly, we’re grateful for each ABBA member for being a part of our Homecoming 2020 “virtual” experience.