Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, comedian Demetri Martin, and Newark, N.J. Mayor Cory Booker will headline Meliora Weekend this year, held Oct. 10 to 13.

Meliora Weekend combines alumni relations, homecoming, and family weekends, and attracts 7,000 attendees each year for four days of events such as seminars and performances.

Gates was appointed defense secretary in 2006 by President George W. Bush. He was asked to remain in office by President Barack Obama and served until 2011. He will be the keynote speaker on Saturday, Oct. 12.

Martin, a former writer for “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” and the author of the New York Times’ bestseller “This is a Book,” will perform on Friday, Oct. 11.

Booker, mayor of Newark, N.J. since 2006, will be the featured speaker for members of the George Eastman Circle, the University’s leadership giving society.

The University will hold an online lottery in July for Gates’ live keynote address. Details to enter are not available yet. For more information, visit the Meliora Weekend 2013 site.

Look for extensive coverage of Meliora Weekend in the fall issue of the Campus Times.

The crowd went (mildly) wild for Brenda Song’s Yellowjacket Weekend panel

While attendance was low, those who did show up seemed pretty engaged, with many lining up to ask questions during the half hour Q&A portion of the event.

Notes by Nadia: More accommodations, please

I’ve compiled a short list of ways that the University could become more accommodating.

The Freshman Guide to Making Friends

Walk up to someone, get on your knees, and shout, “PLEASE BE MY FRIEND!!!” Bonus points if you start hysterically sobbing.