GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Thousands of alumni are returning to North Caroline A&T State University for a weekend full of events. GHOE festivities have been going on all week.
Several alumni said what draws them back is the opportunity to connect with fellow Aggies.
“I think what brings most people back is just the sense of belonging they get from being here on campus,” said Justin Neal, an NC A&T State University alumnus.
Many North Carolina A&T State University alumni traveled from near and far to attend homecoming.
One alumnus said he traveled from San Diego for GHOE, and it’s a tradition for his family.
“We come back every year. My son is a senior here. He’s a biomedical engineer, and my daughter graduated in 2021. She was an arts major … We’re in Aggie family … Every year, I get to connect with all my friends, all of my classmates … The whole experience itself is just amazing,” said Athanison Monroe, an NC A&T State University alumnus.
Many alumni said it feels like home, and that’s what keeps them coming back for what they call the “Greatest Homecoming on Earth.”
”It’s like a big family reunion … We would love nothing more than to come back to the school that gave us our everything and continue to give the love that we got while we were here,” said Shaunda Luther, an NC A&T State University alumna.
”You see people that you studied with, and we failed together, and we succeeded together … and we’re always here each to lift other up, and we’re happy to come back and pour into the next generation like folks did for us,” said Dara Kendall, an NC A&T State University alumna.
Several vendors working the Aggie Fan Fest said the large crowds are a plus for many small businesses.
“Not only do we do A&T’s Homecoming, we do some other college homecomings … To compare them to this … It’s not even a fraction of the people. This is actually special not only for Greensboro but even for the region,” said Andrew Crawley, Slush Rush owner and NC A&T State University alumnus.
One vendor said it’s her first year in business and first year as a vendor during GHOE, and she looks forward to the customers it will bring.
“I’m thinking it’s going to be very hectic, but I’m up for the challenge,” said Valerie Ingram, Heavenly Hive Kettle Corn owner.
Meanwhile, Aggie alum, Dekevias Atkinson, says he’s looking forward to the fellowship.
“I met my wife here at a&T and just so many friends that I’ve made in a life time so without the people, without the alumni, A&T isn’t what it is.”
While thousands of alum and visitors flood into Greensboro what many say is the Greatest Homecoming On Earth, Aggies like Tim Shropshire hope everyone has a fun and safe GHOE.
“Every Aggie here, we’re related somehow. So, it’s just good seeing them again. And that’s what it’s all about.”
The City of Greensboro said Aggie Fan Fest is the largest city-managed special event in Greensboro with more than 65,000 people enjoying the event during NC A&T State University’s homecoming weekend.