The Whitakers honored as part of Homecoming 2012 festivities
Anderson University President Evans Whitaker is renowned for his affinity for bowties. At this year's homecoming, Anderson faculty, students, alumni and the Board of Trust celebrated President Whitaker's 10 years of service by wearing bowties and staging a surprise recognition of the president and his wife following the women's soccer game.
In his Oct. 27 congratulatory remarks, Kip Miller, chairman of the AU Board of Trust, announced the board's decision to name the newest Boulevard dorm Whitaker Hall in honor of President and Mrs. Whitaker. Miller also presented the president with a four-tiered cake, topped with a giant cake-bowtie.
"For the first time in our lives we're nearly speechless," President Whitaker said in response.
In his remarks, Miller said that the Whitakers have instilled in Anderson University an attitude that fosters success. "Remarkable things have taken place here," Miller said. "These two are dream-makers."
One of the dreams fulfilled recently is the opening of the School of Nursing. The new program began classes this semester in a state-of-the art, newly renovated facility, which features human dissection, skills, and simulation labs. As part of the homecoming festivities, school officials dedicated the new facility. In attendance were several alumni who graduated from a nursing program run by then-Anderson College and Anderson Memorial Hospital in the 1950s and '60s.
"You've created history this year," President Whitaker said to the faculty of the new nursing program. Homecoming featured victories in other areas as well. The overall winner of the fourth annual Trojan Challenge Alumni and Friends 5K was 16-year-old Andre Falardeau, the brother of AU sophomore Anna Falardeau of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Among the female runners, Heather Glew of Iva, South Carolina, clenched the victory. Fifty people participated in this year's race, the proceeds of which will go to the Anderson chapter of SIFEâ€”Students in Free Enterprise.
Dr. Miren Ivankovic, who leads the SIFE group along with Dr. Bill Laing, said that SIFE gives business students the opportunity to apply what they learn in the classroom through business projects and competitions. Ivankovic said that the funds raised by the race will likely go toward transporting students to SIFE competitions. Dr. Ivankovic himself ran in the race, finishing second.
The winners of the third annual Alumni and Friends Golf Tournament were Joe Miller, Chris Edwards, Kaleb Davis, and Greg Quarles.
2012 Homecoming also marked the third anniversary of the Trojan Cook-off, a barbeque competition. Twenty-two vendors participated, handing out samples of their pork and sauce. Judges from the South Carolina BBQ Association selected Bald Hawg BBQ of Simpsonville, South Carolina, as the first place winner. The cooks of Bald Hawg said this is the first barbeque competition they have won; it was also their first year at the Trojan Cook-off. The South Carolina BBQ Association judges awarded second place to Swig-N-Pig and third place to Backwoods Bar-B-Que.
Culminating the homecoming victories, the homecoming court was introduced, and seniors Jonathan "Thor" Raines and Sydney Tran were named king and queen. Tran, of Seneca, South Carolina, is majoring in Elementary Education with an add-on certification in Early Childhood Education. Raines, of Easley, South Carolina, is a Christian Theology and Theatre major. He also wore a yellow bowtie.
President Whitaker congratulated the homecoming court and thanked those who wore bowties. "Keep wearing them," he said. "Bowties forever!"
Then, everyone ate cake.