Methodist University will celebrate its 2016 Homecoming and Family Weekend on Oct. 21 and 22. This is Methodist’s 52nd annual Homecoming. The celebration will include athletic events, alumni reunions, awards ceremonies, and events for families.
On Friday night, the Methodist University Department of Athletics will induct its 19th Hall of Fame class in addition to its fourth Teams of Distinction class. The induction banquet will be at 6:30 p.m. in the Berns Student Center. The 2016 induction class includes women’s golfer Carol Brogan ’01, men’s golfer Hank Klein ’91, softball player Rebekah (Kelly) Quinn ’08, men’s track and field athlete Tazz Petty ’09, and women’s soccer player Lori (Silvasy) Stephenson ’88. The Teams of Distinction for 2016 are the 1986 volleyball team, the 1994-95 men’s golf teams and the 2001-02 women’s tennis teams.
A Homecoming Bonfire and Pep Rally will begin at 8 p.m. Friday behind the Riddle Center.
The MU Alumni Association Awards Ceremony will be held on Saturday at 10 a.m. in the Alumni Dining Room. Honorees will be Rhyan Breen ’07, Distinguished Young Alumni Award; Johnny Wilson ’99, Distinguished Alumni Award; Marta Bullard and Howard Bullard Jr., Philanthropist Award; Wendy Vonnegut, Outstanding Faculty/Staff Award; and Dena Breece’00, Outstanding Alumni Service Award.
One new feature this year is a candlelight memorial service at 11:30 a.m. Saturday in Hensdale Chapel to remember alumni and friends of the university who passed away this year. Rev. Kelli W. Taylor will lead the service. There will also be the second annual ceremonial tee shot at 8 a.m. Saturday on the campus golf course to commemorate alumni of the PGA Golf Management Program who passed away this year.
“We come together to remember those members of the Monarch family who have passed away this year, and to celebrate their contributions that live on today in the present MU community,” Taylor said. “We hope that this will be a time for all those who share a connection to Methodist to relive fond memories, to give thanks, and to strengthen the tie that binds our hearts as Monarchs.”
Another special event is a service project to help relief efforts following Hurricane Matthew. During the week, the campus community donated pairs of work gloves that alumni and student volunteers will then be combining with other items donated from area churches. United Methodist congregations and the Gateway District are assisting in this part of the North Carolina Annual Conference and United Methodist Committee on Relief. From 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, volunteers will assemble 100 “flood buckets” in Berns Student Center. The buckets, which will be stocked with about $65 worth of supplies, will later be donated to local families in need.
“This effort of packing flood buckets grew out of students’ volunteering on the Thursday after the hurricane, helping families in the Arran Lakes community to clean their flooded homes,” Taylor said. “They worked in conjunction with 10 United Methodist churches, led by Hay Street and Haymount UMCs.”
The Homecoming parade will begin at 12:15 p.m., before the football game at 1 p.m. The Monarchs play Huntingdon, with a halftime recognition of alumni and members of the homecoming court. The men’s soccer team will also be at home Saturday, with a 3 p.m. game against Piedmont.
Saturday evening, the Class of ’66 will hold its 50th reunion dinner at ScrubOaks, though all alumni are welcome. Registration for the dinner is required by Thursday.