Brooks' First Homecoming @Home

As far as kickoffs go, Brooks' virtual 5K run/walk, leading off the school's first-ever remote homecoming, was a winner — for all. Nearly 150 participants rallied to run or walk November 7 on campus and in hometowns as far flung from 1160 Great Pond Road as California and Germany!

"It seems like nowadays, more than ever, movement has become a mechanism for stress-relief, so I think that motivated a lot of folks," said Associate Director of Alumni Relations Carly Churchill '10. "And how fun to walk or run knowing that you are not alone — that other Brooksians are covering a few miles too."

Alumni and friends of Brooks started posting pictures on social media around 8 a.m. EST, sharing images of parents and children, friend groups and solo striders laced up and on a mission to get moving — in honor of Brooks' Homecoming @Home event series.

"It was fun to see the photos of people who got their families (and pets!) involved," said Churchill. "We want all Brooksians to feel good about coming back into the fold and it seems the 5K helped do just that."

Romelia Leach '90 won the raffle of participants who submitted a photo and proof of covering their 3.1 miles and received a "swag bag."

See a gallery of photos from the November 7 virtual 5K run/walk.

Physical challenges are just one category of event offerings in Brooks 2020 Homecoming @Home virtual event series, running from November 7 through 23. Alumni are invited to join in thirteen different events on Zoom — including the recently-held movie screening, talk with Head of School John Packard and class agent training session — that showcase the passions and skills of some of Brooks alumni.

Upcoming offerings range from tonight's happy hour and wine discussion with Evan Merriam '11 (Use promo code "BROOKS" to receive 20 percent off your entire Merriam Vineyards wine order) to yoga with Cat Lau '12 on Sunday, a HIIT workout with Kat Barker Bacon '10 on Monday and the opportunity to meet with campus affinity groups, experience a fourth-form World Literature class with Leigh Perkins '81, enjoy a guided mindfulness lunch break and view a fire trail "walk" next week.

The Homecoming @Home series wraps up on November 23 with an alumni career panel focused on COVID-19 resiliency that will shed some light on how Brooks alumni have been forced to adjust over the past eight months. Broadcaster and former professional soccer player Charlie Davies '04 will moderate the event and discuss the experiences of panelists Beej Das '91, Summar Lyons '03, AJ Rich '01 and Connie Shaheen '06.

"We wanted to create different types of offerings that struck a balance between providing updates from campus and connecting fellow alumni," said Churchill. "Thankfully, we have so many talented and generous alums, a bunch of whom agreed to help Homecoming @Home become a reality."

So while it may not be the traditional alumni homecoming experience, participants and organizers alike are enjoying the benefits of trying something new this year. (The November 12 Class Agent Training session was the class of 1973's Bill Werner's first-ever Zoom call!)

"The biggest silver lining is the fact that people from all over can connect with Brooks without having to travel," said Churchill. "It's really cool that people who live thousands of miles apart can spend time together over a common bond."

Take it from Reeba Lambert '89, who joined in the kickoff 5K from her home in Raleigh, North Carolina and said she "loved that I got to represent Brooks by wearing the shirt" for participants designed by Arts Prefect Gabi Garozzo '21, daughter of Loubna Salhab Garozzo '96 (shown below). "Brooks has such a special place in my heart but I can't make it to so many of the events," said Lambert. "Being able to join virtually was so convenient and made me feel connected again!"

Alumni, visit our Homecoming @Home page to see the schedule of events, register and check out who else is joining in. "See" you soon!

Follow Brooks School on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to see all the activities, projects and happenings in our community during the school year.


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