Queen’s students & alumni share their most memorable Homecomings

Stories of sneaking into a football game, revisiting campus after 20 years, and more

Homecoming brings students and alumni together to celebrate Queen’s.

Whether it’s running down Aberdeen Street or connecting with past generations of Gaels, Homecoming is an unforgettable experience in the Queen’s community.

As this year’s celebration approaches, The Journal asked students and alumni to share the stories of their most memorable Homecoming.


“In 2008, my three housemates and I returned to Queen’s for our 20th reunion. The moment we stepped into Grant Hall and received our welcome packages, we began reminiscing. It was great to see so many familiar faces and catch up with old friends.

On Saturday—before the much-anticipated football game—my housemates and I decided to visit all the places we’d lived while at Queen’s. We took pictures outside of Victoria Hall, in front of our house on Albert, and on the porch of our place on Johnson Street.

While we laughed on the porch of our old home, the door opened and a young man asked if he could help us. We excitedly explained that we’d lived in the house 22 years earlier. 

He kindly invited us in to see our old rooms and introduced us to his housemates—second-year Engineering students who were working instead of going to the football game. They offered us beers and toured us around our old home. 

We ending up sitting around the kitchen table with the boys, drinking beer and sharing stories about what Queen’s was like 20 years ago. We completely forgot about the football game. We were having too much fun sitting in our old house. 

When it was time to leave, one of the young men said: ‘I can’t believe we just spent the afternoon drinking and sharing stories with women who went to Queen’s before we were even born.’

We left feeling very old, but very happy. Before heading home the next morning, we snuck back to our Johnson Street house and left a pack of beer on the front porch with a thank-you note. As we drove away, the door opened and the four young men ran after our car, thanking us. 

A very sweet memory of coming home.”

—Sharon Nagle, ConEd ‘88

“My first Homecoming, I was decked out in purple dye, tipsy by 10 a.m., and ready to charge the football field during halftime—back when it was still allowed. 

On my way to the stadium, I lost my ticket but let my inebriated courage lead the way. Breaking off from the main crowd, I snuck into the guest entrance and convinced two security guards I had entered and got lost looking for the bathroom. They fell for every word, walked me back to the student bleachers, and hoisted me up into the stands.

Later that evening, my luck came crashing down. Full of Leonard Hall pasta and PBR beer, I ran loose in the Brant Hall lobby.Kingston police officers found me and took me away to sleep it off. After resting on a hot concrete bench for hours, I was released. 

The officers gave me a McMuffin sandwich for my troubles and a great party story I’ve been telling ever since.”

—Anonymous, Eng ‘19  

“My first year at Queen’s was also my dad’s 30th anniversary of his graduation. Since his life doesn’t revolve around me, he and my mom came to Kingston with their friends to celebrate Homecoming—to me and my brother’s irritation. 

My parents promised they wouldn’t bother us on Homecoming and, instead, we went out for dinner the night before, which was a good compromise.

The next day, I ran around with my friends and tried to find a party we could sneak into. Giving up around 11 p.m., we headed to Aberdeen with the crowd. 

At the corner of Aberdeen and William, I spotted two familiar faces—it was my mom and dad.  We didn’t hang out for long because I couldn’t wait to run away with my friends. 

It was very memorable, to say the least. Few people have partied with their parents at Queen’s Homecoming.

—Hannah Stafl, ArtSci ‘20

“One Queen’s homecoming, my crew and I were leaving our pre-party when a random guy, roughly our age, came up to us. He said he was from out of town, claimed to have lost his phone, and offered $100 to someone willing to call him and his friends a cab. 

All my friends were ignoring him, focused on navigating the homecoming party-crawl. I doubted there was any money, but I felt bad for the guy. I pulled out my phone, found the cab company’s number, and asked for a car to be sent to the area. 

Once I got off the phone, I was shocked to find the guy holding out a $100 bill. As I ran to catch up with my friends, they were all amazed he actually gave me the money.

I bought all 12 of my friends Subway for lunch and was the real MVP of HoCo.”

—Elise Agnor, ArtSci ‘17

“While my Homecoming memories are a bit blurry, I recall an overarching feeling of anxiety about fitting in at all the events and parties. I remember my first Homecoming as the beginning of feeling truly comfortable at Queen’s, getting into a groove, and finding my people. 

I lived in Morris and had a roommate who went to Toronto for Homecoming. Her absence allowed me to open up my room for shenanigans. 

One activity involved purple Kool-Aid, which managed to spill everywhere. That, coupled with the general chaos of dozens of people celebrating, turned the room into a disaster zone. 

My roommate arrived with her mother on Sunday of Homecoming weekend while I was in the washroom. When I returned, her mother exclaimed, ‘Colleen, someone has ransacked your room. Are you okay?’

My roommate switched into another room that very night and I had a double room to myself for the rest of the year. 

A more noble Homecoming memory is being moved when senior Queen’s alumni took the field during the football game’s halftime. Their smiling faces—and seeming success—made me confident in the choices I’d made. 

It connected me to the past, and I knew that for the most part, everything works out. Your Queen’s memories are yours to count on when you choose to—and an Oil Thigh can be done at any age.”

—Colleen Kennedy, ArtSci ‘93

All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to journal_editors@ams.queensu.ca.

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.