FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Purdue University Fort Wayne is presenting a rejuvenated schedule after a couple of low-spirited years as a result of the pandemic.

PFW will host their Homecoming blast, ‘Blizzard of Dons‘, from Feb. 13-18. The point of emphasis throughout the week will be the men’s basketball team taking on Northern Kentucky at Memorial Coliseum on Feb. 17.

The campus activities will commence on Monday with a student organization poster decorating contest.

On Tuesday, Feb. 14, there will be a ‘Rec Day Rodeo’ from noon to 4 p.m. in the Lutheran Health Fieldhouse. This event consists of inflatable games, mechanical bull rides, axe throwing and archery tag.

The ‘Cocoa and Create’ event will kick off the slate on Wednesday, Feb. 15, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Classic Ballroom at Walb Student Union. At 6 p.m., Lutheran Health Fieldhouse will host a dodgeball tournament.

A revitalized Homecoming ceremony will run from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 17 at Memorial Coliseum. The celebration with have free food for the first 250 students, a DJ and a pep rally in preparation for the basketball game against Northern Kentucky. The game will tip off at 7 p.m.

Purdue University Fort Wayne Block Party

The Homecoming Dance back on campus will take place from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. in the Classic Ballroom at Walb Student Center.

“Homecoming is one of my top ten times of the year on campus,” said Krissy Surface, vice chancellor for enrollment management and the student experience. “I always look forward to the mix of traditions and new events.”

Surface is part of the working group that helped reshape PFW’s celebration as a week packed with events.

“I can’t wait to see the Mastodon alumni, campus community, and our fans take in all Homecoming has to offer,” said Kelley Hartley Hutton, the director of athletics. “Homecoming week is always fun and exciting with multiple options to sport your Dons gear, gather with friends, and cheer for Purdue Fort Wayne’s teams.”

For alumni, their migration home includes a tailgate party from noon to 3 p.m. on the final day of the blast in the International Ballroom at Walb Student Center.

Purdue University Fort Wayne alumna Star Smith enjoys bringing her family back to campus for the Homecoming basketball games.

“I like taking our kids so they can be in the college atmosphere,” said the former Mastodons volleyball star. “I like showing my kids the pictures and banners and talking to them about the history of what happened.”

PFW’s 2023 Homecoming will contain many prizes and giveaways including cowboy hats, food, blankets, glow sticks and mobile phone wallets.

“We decided (that) we really need to go big with Homecoming this year,” said Jerry Lewis, vice chancellor for communications and marketing. “Following a few years of carefully navigating the pandemic, this is an opportunity for our community to come together, celebrate, and unleash the spirit and pride that have always been there.”

For additional information about the ‘Blizzard of Dons’ Homecoming blast, you can visit the Homecoming tab on the Purdue University Fort Wayne website.