By Amy Waters,
SU Director of Leadership Giving and Stewardship
Capistrano has its swallows. Salisbury University has its Sea Gulls. Each fall, those Gulls return to SU, whether they’re among the thousands of cyclists who come to test their mettle during the Sea Gull Century, or the hundreds of University alumni and families of current students who enjoy Homecoming and Family Weekend festivities on campus.
This year, those big events are held during back-to-back weekends in October. Cyclists begin arriving Friday, October 2, for the 27th annual Sea Gull Century 100-mile or 100-kilometer bicycle ride, scheduled Saturday, October 3.
They will chose from three routes: the traditional 100-mile Assateague century that started it all, the 100-kilometer Princess Anne metric (65 miles) and the 100-mile Snow Hill century, added several years ago to increase the variety of scenery for veteran riders.
Throughout the event, they will experience a healthy dose of Eastern Shore hospitality, from warm greetings at registration, to treats such as pie à la mode served up at rest stops by friendly volunteers, to a festive celebration on campus at the ride’s end.
Riders on everything from tandem bikes, to unicycles, from ages 8 to 90, have come to enjoy camaraderie, Eastern Shore scenery and the challenge. Many ride for charities, such as Women Supporting Women, or in honor or in memory of someone.
Proceeds benefit the local community, including over $130,000 for Habitat for Humanity over the years, and recently, the Salisbury Zoo, local elementary schools, faculty grants and student scholarships.
Money raised through the Century also has helped support bike-SBY’s initiative to connect SU with the city’s downtown area by creating new bike paths. In all, the Century has an estimated annual economic impact of $2.5 million on the Lower Shore, according to SU’s Business, Economic and Community Outreach Network.
Registration is $90 per rider. For more information, or to register, call 410-548-2772 or visit www.seagullcentury.org.
The following weekend, SU alumni and parents, siblings, grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles and other family members of current students are invited to campus for SU’s annual Homecoming and Family Weekend. The three-day event is a chance for the more than 44,000 graduates in the local community, and across the nation, to reconnect with their Alma Mater, while families of future alumni have the opportunities to visit with their students and learn more about campus offerings.
Starting Friday, October 9, highlights include a golf outing, exhibits and a celebration for five new Athletics Hall of Fame inductees.
Saturday brings a plethora of student reunions (faculty and staff also have the opportunity to reunite during a special luncheon earlier in the week). The SU football team takes on Rowan University (NJ) that day at 1 p.m. Admission is $5, $3 for alumni and non-SU students, $2 for children 5-12, free for children 4 and under.
An alumni pre-game barbecue, with music and children’s activities, starts at 11 a.m. All are invited. Admission is $15 for adults, $5 for children 10 and under. Pre-purchased tickets also include admission to the football game. For more information, call 410-543-6042 or visit http://alumni.salisbury.edu.
Other Homecoming and Family Weekend activities throughout the weekend include open houses, special dinners and athletic contests.
In addition to these three special weekends, SU offers a full schedule of fall cultural events, from concerts to theatre performances. Consider visiting campus … there’s something engaging and fun for everyone!