Homecoming is a festive fall campus tradition, and this year is full to bursting with events and activities that help alumni of all ages celebrate their alma mater.
“We welcome over 1,000 people to come back to campus,” says Director of Alumni Affairs Megan Haake Milby ’03. “It’s my favorite time of year in the Alumni Office, because it’s bustling and full of folks who are as thrilled to be back at Centre as we are to see them.”
The weekend kicks off Friday with a faculty art show in the Jones Visual Arts Center, with ceramic pieces by Charles T. Hazelrigg Associate Professor of Art Judith Jia; blown-glass work by Graduate Assistant in Studio Art and Visiting Assistant Professor of Art D.H. McNabb ’02 and H.W. Stodghill, Jr. and Adele H. Stodghill Professor of Art Stephen Rolfe Powell; drawings by Visiting Assistant Professor of Art David Stenulson; and drawings and oil paintings by H.W. Stodghill, Jr. and Adele H. Stodghill Professor of Art Sheldon Tapley. The exhibit is hosted in the AEGON gallery from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a reception held from 4 to 5:30 p.m.
“It’s very rewarding for us to exhibit together as a faculty,” says Tapley. “We are showing recent work, and also some things done in the past few years. Having the exhibition open at Homecoming gives us a chance to re-connect with our alumni. I am looking forward to seeing many of my former students at the Friday reception and on Saturday.”
Cowan will be bustling with alumni during Friday’s donor recognition dinner at 6:30 p.m., where members of the Colonels Club, Centre Associates, Heritage Society and Lifetime Giving Society are feted for their contributions to the College.
Following the dinner, alumni can stroll over to the Norton Center for the Arts to see a performance by American Idol and country music superstar Scotty McCreery. As American Idol’s youngest male winner ever, McCreery has only continued to succeed and grow as an artist, and he is sure to put on an entertaining performance for alumni and friends.
Alumni can return to the Norton Center the following morning for the Homecoming Fall 5K Run and Walk at 9:30 a.m. Sponsored by the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, the race is a great way for alumni to revisit some of their favorite parts of campus and see many of the changes in recent years—Pearl Hall, the South Fields, Brockman Commons and the Abraham Lincoln statue.
Midmorning on Saturday, the Donald D. Buchanan ’83 Memorial Outdoor Classroom will be dedicated, officially inducting it into the Centre College campus and honoring the well-loved alumnus for whom it was built and named.
The highlight of the day is the alumni recognition ceremony at 11:30 a.m. in Weisiger Theatre, where distinguished alumni and athletes will be honored for their achievements and contributions to the College. Alumni from the class of ’43 up to ’01 will be recognized for contributions to education, government, the military and athletics.
“It’s my favorite part of Homecoming and a wonderful ceremony,” says Milby. “Alumni come back and tell us how important Centre is to them and how it has shaped their lives today.”
The afternoon will be chock-full of various sporting events for alumni and friends to enjoy. Field hockey and volleyball games kick off at 1 p.m., with the football game against Hendrix at 2:30 p.m. Women’s and men’s soccer matches begin at 5:30 and 8 p.m., respectively.
A new event for this year’s Homecoming is the study abroad reunion, gathering in the Evans-Lively Room of Old Carnegie from 4 to 6 p.m. on Saturday.
Leigh Cocanougher ’08, assistant director of the Center for Global Citizenship, says that the reunion serves multiple purposes.
“The reunion is open to anyone who’s studied abroad as a Centre student,” she says. “It’s a way to get alumni to relive some wonderful memories from studying abroad and get to know fellow alumni who studied in the same city at a different time. It’s also a way to reconnect students with their faculty leaders.”
Cocanougher is excited about this new event as an opportunity for strengthening connections between alumni.
“It’s a fantastic addition to this year’s Homecoming festivities because we’re not only celebrating the fact that we’re number one in the nation for study abroad percentages but are also providing an opportunity for past study abroad participants to share stories from their experiences with other alumni.”
Saturday night will also be overflowing with reunion parties for any graduating classes ending in 3 or 8 at various homes and hot spots around Danville. The capstone to the weekend is a performance at 9 p.m. in Chowan by The Wild Feathers, a Nashville-based band that plays a unique fusion of rock, country, folk and blues.
For Milby in particular, this year’s Homecoming is especially meaningful.
“Since it’s my 10th reunion, I’ve been counting down the days to Homecoming,” she says. “Almost 50 from my class will be on campus, which is a huge group for a 10th reunion. I’m really looking forward to seeing and catching up with my classmates.”
By Mariel Smith