Highlands Virtual Homecoming Oct. 19 – 24

September 2, 2020

Highlands geology professor Jennifer Lindline will deliver a virtual HU Talks about Hermit’s Peak during Highlands Homecoming 2020, which will be virtual.  Margaret McKinney/University Relations

Highlands geology professor Jennifer Lindline will deliver a virtual HU Talks about Hermit’s Peak during Highlands Homecoming 2020, which will be virtual.
Margaret McKinney/University Relations

Las Vegas, N.M. – Mark your calendars for an exciting week of virtual Highlands Homecoming 2020 events the university is planning for Oct. 19 through Oct. 24.

The theme for homecoming this year is “Cowboy Connection” and all the virtual events are free.

“My biggest goal for virtual Highlands Homecoming 2020 is that alumni and the community know that the Highlands’ connection remains strong, even though we are all experiencing very trying circumstances this year,” said Juli Salman, Alumni Affairs director. “Out of sight is not out of mind. The idea is to make homecoming virtually amazing.

“Now more than ever, people need to feel connected to each other and their alma mater. We are striving to give people opportunities to gather virtually at a time when many feel disconnected due to the coronavirus pandemic,” Salman said.

All the virtual events will be listed on the Highlands Homecoming 2020 website at www.nmhu.edu/homecoming/ Check the site for updates as homecoming approaches. Zoom, an online  video-conferencing platform, will be used to deliver most of the content. Register online to receive Zoom links.

“I am hoping that people will come away from our virtual homecoming with a new perspective of Highlands and the resilience of spirit that is demonstrated here every day,” Salman said.

Something new for this virtual homecoming are HU Talks, modeled after the popular TED Talks speaker’s format of 15 to 18-minute talks with time for questions and answers. People from the Highlands family and Las Vegas community will be presenting on diverse topics every day, with something for everyone.

“The wide variety of subjects being discussed in our HU Talks are sure to stimulate, inform and entertain. So far, we have nearly 30 talks scheduled,” Salman said.

The HU Talks range from Highlands geology professor Jennifer Lindline talking about “The Mountain and the Legend of the Hermit” to Kathy Hendrickson of Las Vegas talking about “The Fred Harvey Legacy in Las Vegas” to Highlands archaeology faculty Vick Evans talking about “Archaeology and the Navajo Nation,” to Highlands languages and culture professor Eric Romero talking about “New Mexico Food Traditions,” and President Sam Minner giving a talk, “Fly Fishing With the President.”

There will be a registration link for the HU Talks events on the homecoming website.

Some other virtual highlights for homecoming include:

  • Online Art Auction every day to benefit student success.
  • Virtual Class Reunions – Oct. 19 for all class years before 1975; Oct. 20 for years 1976 – 1990; Oct. 21 for years 1991 – 2000; Oct. 22 for years 2001 – 2010; and Oct. 23 for years 2011 – 2020.
  • Highlands Department of Music performances.
  • Highlands Media Arts and Technology Department presentations.
  • Community Decorating Contest.
  • Trivia Tournament every day.
  • Donnelly Library Virtual Edible Book Festival and contest.
  • Virtual President’s Coffee – Oct. 23 with President Minner and Joan Minner.
  • President Minner’s Virtual VIP Tailgate – Oct. 23 with HU athletics.
  • Virtual Cowboy 10K and 5 K Gallop and Trot – Free t-shirts while supplies last. Register online.

“With the Cowboy 10K and 5K Gallop and Trot, we are encouraging participants to post their ‘race photo’ on social media to show their Cowboy pride,” Salman said.

Not all the homecoming activities will be virtual. This year, there’s a creative alternative to the traditional Cowboy Lounge social event.

“There will be a fun Cowboy Drive-In event at Ft. Union Drive-In in Las Vegas at sundown open to alumni, the campus community and New Mexico residents. It will feature a delicious catered drive-in themed meal prepared by Isaac Sandoval at The Skillet restaurant, a video homecoming awards presentation, online silent auction, and screening of ‘Paul,” a movie that was filmed in Las Vegas,” Salman said.

The cost for the Cowboy Drive-In will be $25 per person and participants must register and pay in advance on the Highlands Homecoming 2020 website www.nmhu.edu/homecoming/

Salman said all social distancing and safety protocols will be in place at the Cowboy Drive-In.