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Set up a Zoom party with some old college buddies to celebrate Homecoming from a distance this year.

The pandemic may have put traditional JMU homecoming festivities on hold, but one doesn’t need to be in Bridgeforth Stadium to celebrate the football season. This year, alumni can relive their days as a Duke from home. Recreate the JMU gameday experience with these fun, socially distanced activities.

Have a tailgate at home

For many Dukes, tailgating parties are one of the most anticipated parts of Homecoming. Football fans won’t be gathered on campus this year, but one can still host a tailgate from their backyard. 

Set up chairs and a canopy outside and decorate with JMU-themed merchandise. Grab some beverages and make one’s favorite Homecoming snacks. For inspiration, here’s a list of six gameday recipes from The Breeze. Invite members from one’s household or social bubble to celebrate. Don’t forget to sing along to the JMU Fight Song.


Go through old pictures

Break out some photo albums and flip through one’s most precious JMU moments. Bring on the nostalgia by reminiscing about Homecoming games from the past. Send old college friends photos and reconnect over the memories. One can also share stories behind pictures with friends and family to get everyone into the JMU spirit.

Watch highlight videos of JMU football

The Dukes may not be playing a Homecoming game in Bridgeforth Stadium this year, but one can still get their fix of JMU Football by watching highlight reels from the Dukes’ best games. The official JMU Athletics website has a playlist of football videos to view and the JMUSports channel on YouTube has many football recaps and highlights to check out. Organize a virtual watch party by video calling friends in order to bond over the best moments in JMU Football history.

Zoom your college buddies

Meeting up in person with college buddies may not be possible this year due to COVID-19, but there are other ways to catch up with fellow Dukes. Social distancing makes connecting with friends harder; however, there are plenty of ways to stay in touch. One can invite their JMU pals to socialize on a video call. Download Zoom, or any other video conferencing platform, and host a virtual reunion with all of one’s friends. 

Have a JMU-themed photoshoot

One doesn’t have to be on campus to bleed purple and gold. There are many Insta-worthy opportunities at homecoming, but one can still take good pictures without going to the event.  Show school spirit from home by dressing up in JMU apparel and have a photoshoot with purple and gold props and any other JMU merchandise one has in their house. Share the pictures on Instagram and tag @breezejmu for a chance to be featured on our social media pages.

Participate in JMU Alumni Association virtual events

Homecoming may not be happening in person this year, but the JMU Alumni Association is still hosting many virtual events that are available for alumni. Some of the activities include a JMU scavenger hunt that can be done from home, a virtual fun run, a series of online webinars, and much more. Check out the Alumni Association’s website for a full list of the events that will be happening during the week.

JMU Homecoming may look different this year but alumni can still celebrate their alma mater with these fun activities. Social distancing prevents football and tailgating from occurring, but there are ways to show school spirit from home. So grill up some burgers, throw on JMU apparel and virtually reach out to a few fellow Dukes to have the best at-home gameday experience this October.

Contact Alexa Fitzpatrick at thebreezeweb@gmail.com. For more on the culture, arts and lifestyle of the JMU and Harrisonburg communities, follow the culture desk on Twitter @Breeze_Culture.