2013 Homecoming and Family Day
Variety spiced up annual celebration of alumni, students, and families
Building on what is becoming an autumn tradition, 2013 Homecoming and Family Day at Anderson University featured the sight of graduates from the early 1960s and the sound of a choir reunion. "You always try to get better with an event," said Chad Nelms, director of alumni relations. "I felt that we stepped it up a notch."
An estimated 1,600 students, alumni, family and friends participated in the festivities, which took place Saturday, October 19, at sites around campus. Events ranged from the traditional—class reunions—to the competitive—a 5K run—to the charitable—a bone marrow drive.
This year's homecoming queen was Lindsey Riley, a senior from Greenwood, South Carolina. The homecoming king was Chandler Hash, a senior from Greer, South Carolina.
Trojan athletics hosted a trio of matches. The women's soccer team defeated Lincoln Memorial of Harrogate, Tennessee; the men's soccer team lost to Lincoln Memorial, and the women's volleyball team was defeated by Wingate University of North Carolina.
AU has developed a diverse slate of activities, according to Beth Friend, administrative assistant in the alumni/development office. As some become annual traditions, others are added. "The extra thing we had was the choir reunion," Friend said. Graduates dating back to the early 1960s arrived Friday for practice and fellowship. "It was just a really neat time."
On Saturday, the choir performed during welcome ceremonies at Henderson Auditorium. Those ceremonies honored the 50th reunion class, as well as the 20th anniversary of AU's first four-year graduating class.
"We had a really good 50th reunion class this year," Friend said.
An AU professor, Miren Ivankovic, won the Trojan Challenge Alumni and Friends 5K. An AU alumna, Christina Honeycutt was the female winner of the race, which raised more than $2,000 for AU's chapter of Enactus, a community service-minded business team that organized the run.
The winning team in the fourth annual Trojan Cook-Off barbecue contest was Up In Smoke, from Rock Hill, South Carolina.
AU students got into the spirit in the days leading up to Homecoming and Family Day. "We think about homecoming as not just Saturday, but the whole week," said Sarah Mudd, interim dean of student development and director of student activities. The week began with a bonfire and pep rally and ended with a dance attended by 600 students. In between, there were tricycle races, pumpkin-painting contests, Ferris wheel rides and a drive-in movie.
"The main goal is to give students an opportunity to make connections with each other and build affection for the university," Mudd said. "Our events get bigger and better every year. Students really seem to look forward to it."
Other Homecoming and Family Day activities included the ceremonial planting of an oak tree on the Alumni Lawn and a student concert at Figs Beanery & Creamery café in Anderson, South Carolina. The Athletic Campus hosted a silent auction, meet-and-greet with faculty members, live music and a classic car cruise-in.
The soccer teams set up a donation station and canvassed the crowd to raise money for cancer awareness. The Student Nursing Association collected registrations for a national database which could potentially match donors with someone in need of a bone marrow transplant.
You appeal to the different affinities," Friend said of the wide-ranging agenda. "We're always looking for ways to have more folks back on campus and making it an annual tradition. "It was a nice, family feeling."