An insider’s guide: Homecoming lingo

With so much going on during Homecoming, you might come across a few unfamiliar terms. Here are some commonly used words and phrases that frequently come up in the Homecoming schedule and events:

Alumni Association of CWRU: Organization of Case Western Reserve University alumni. Similar to student government organizations like Undergraduate Student Government or Graduate Student Council, except for alumni.

Alumni: Plural, meaning people who graduated. Similar words are “alumnae” (group of CWRU graduates who identify as women), “alumnus” (a graduate of CWRU who identifies as a man), and “alumna” (a graduate of CWRU who identifies as a woman.) “Alumni” usually includes all genders. If you want to avoid designating a gender for one person who graduated from CWRU, you can say “alum” or “graduate.”

Case Alumni Association: Organization of alumni of the former Case Institute of Technology, as well as students and alumni of engineering, science and math.

Graduates of Distinction: The group of alumni celebrating 50 years since their graduation (from any school or college.) This year, that would be the Class of 1973. 

Grand Class: Any alumni who graduated more than 50 years ago, including graduate and undergraduate degrees.

Homecoming Royalty: Student leaders from the senior class who are honored by a vote of the student body for being exemplary Spartans. They are recognized at a ceremony during a break in the football game (known as halftime). Historically, student bodies used to elect a king and queen, but the CWRU community has chosen to remove the gender factor and honor a group of royalty without restrictions by gender.

Reunion: Literally, a union again. Groups of alumni who were enrolled at the same time or graduated in the same year gather together periodically to reconnect and make new connections.

Reunion Classes: Groups of alumni who graduated a number of years ago ending in zero or five. This year in 2023, reunion classes are 2018, 2013, 2008, 2003, 1998, 1993, etc.

Shine On: A phrase used to refer to the continued vitality of the university. It comes from the lyrics of the alma mater, “shine on, forever, Case Western Reserve…”

Spirit Wear: Wearing clothes that have the CWRU name, logo, or mascot on them, or even just wearing clothes that are blue, gray, white, and black.

State of the ___ Address: A leader will tell a large group about recent news from the organization.