7 ways to enjoy Homecoming at UBC Vancouver this year

After the last 16 months, we could all use a whole lot more laughter, joy and social connection in our lives. Luckily, UBC’s upcoming Homecoming tradition has got you covered.

From September 17 to 19, join UBC students, alumni, staff, faculty and Emeriti in a joyous celebration of friendships, community and Thunderbird pride in one of our most longstanding traditions: Homecoming.

Presented by RBC, UBC Homecoming is the answer to the question: How can we kick off September with the biggest display of school spirit? 

With more than 66,000 students on both campuses and 370,000 alumni around the world, UBC’s community is wonderfully diverse and a huge part of what makes our university so special. Homecoming is your chance to reconnect with this remarkable global community and all the great things that make you proud to be a UBC grad.

Wherever you are in the world, show your school spirit this September by participating in one or more of these fun events at UBC Vancouver:

1. Be there for Thunder’s return

Get ready to cheer in real time as UBC’s legendary mascot makes its triumphant comeback to campus. Join the UBC community in celebrating the return of Thunder at an exciting virtual event on September 17. Stay tuned for more details on the UBC Homecoming website in the days to come!

Thunder the mascot at a Imagine UBC Pep Rally
Photo by Paul H. Joseph / UBC Brand & Marketing

2. Celebrate gutsy women 

UBC alumni and inspiring trailblazers, Dr. Martha Piper (LLD'07) and Dr. Indira Samarasekera (PhD'80, LLD'06) know what it’s like to persist in the face of gender and societal norms. The first (and so far only) women leaders to hold the position of president at two of Canada’s most respected universities, they return to UBC for a virtual conversation on September 18 to share their experiences and discuss their new book Nerve: Lessons on leadership from two women who went first. Get ready to be majorly inspired.

3. Explore all the attractions

From Nitobe Memorial Garden to the Museum of Anthropology, get free admission as an alum to a terrific lineup of UBC attractions during Homecoming weekend. Where else could you visit a traditional Japanese garden, dive into world-famous art, see Canada’s largest blue whale skeleton, and explore Indigenous history and cultures — all in one afternoon? Put on your most comfortable walking shoes because you’ll want to revisit all the sites!

A mother with her two young children exploring a drawer of artifacts inside the Museum of Anthropology
Photo by Paul H. Joseph / UBC Brand & Marketing

4. Nourish the scholar within

Cultivate your love of life-long learning by attending two fascinating talks this fall. 

On September 17, join Prof. Suzanne Simard (BSF’83) in an online conversation about her new book Finding the Mother Tree: Uncovering the Wisdom of the Forest. Published to wide acclaim, Prof. Simard’s work has caught the attention of Hollywood and is being turned into a film starring Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal.

On September 18, attend a virtual MEDTalk about an illness that affects more than 422 million people worldwide: diabetes. 2021 marks 100 years since the discovery of insulin. At this significant milestone, explore what the future of diabetes prevention, diagnosis and treatment could look like.

5. Indulge your inner foodie

If you’re tired of rotating through the same 5 recipes that got you through the pandemic, you won’t want to miss this cooking class taught by The Lazy Gourmet’s founder, Susan Mendelson (BSW'78). Spice up dinner time with her famous khao mok rice and salmon recipe. Or maybe you’re craving something sweet? Sign yourself and your kids up for this fun, tasty and easy baking class with Beaucoup Bakery’s Betty Hung (BA’08).   

Plus, learn how to make cocktails (or mocktails) that will wow your friends and family in a class with The Bar Cart’s award-winning bar educator Mike Shum (BKin'14). You can also up your craft beer knowledge with a deep and tasty dive into some of Vancouver’s famous brews.  

For all of these online classes, you’ll have the opportunity to purchase food or drink kits. With all the ingredients or beverages ready to go, indulging your inner foodie has never been easier!

Woman smiling and looking at her laptop
Photo by Paul H. Joseph / UBC Brand & Marketing

6. Show off your UBC knowledge

Have a penchant for weird and wonderful facts? Show off this talent by joining students and alums in a night of UBC-themed trivia, hosted by the Student Alumni Council and professional quizmaster, Mike Whitaker (BA'08). Play solo or invite a couple of friends to compete as a team. You’ll be sure to end the eve with some fun (and maybe even previously unknown) facts about your alma mater.

7. Dance like no one’s watching

The pandemic-induced inertia is real. Shake it off with Get Your Bhangra On!, an upbeat 45-minute online class that will have you smiling, dancing, learning new moves — and getting your heart rate up without you even realizing it.

Celebrate life

The last year and a half has challenged us in ways that we could not have imagined. UBC Homecoming is a great way to affirm, enjoy and relish all the things that make life whole: friendships, community, connection. (Doing so with some tasty food and drinks doesn’t hurt either!)

5 UBC students walking on UBC Vancouver campus, with the Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre in the background
Photo by Paul H. Joseph / UBC Brand & Marketing

So mark your calendar and get ready to show off your UBC pride this September — tag #UBCHomecoming when you do because school spirit is infectious!

If you’re a UBCO alum, or just want to explore even more ways to have fun during Homecoming, be sure to check out this TREK post on events happening on the Okanagan campus.