October 11, 2017 – This past weekend well over 300 alumni and friends flooded onto campus for a time of celebration and reminiscence during Bryan College’s Homecoming 2017. The rains held off and made way for a beautiful weekend packed with fellowship, mealtime reunions, meet-and-greets, and athletic events.
Homecoming opened on Friday with a special chapel service featuring acclaimed speaker and teacher Dr. Christopher Yuan. During registration that afternoon the business and career services departments hosted a meet-and-greet for students and alumni professionals to network together. Friday evening boasted four separate dinner opportunities: the Burger Bash (open to any registrants) and celebratory reunion dinners for the Class of 1992, the Class of 1977, and the NCCAA champion teams being inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame the next day. The first day’s festivities drew to a close with an ice cream social, to which all were invited.
Saturday held even more chances for alumni to fellowship together, starting at 10 A.M. with a retirement reception for English professor Dr. Beth Impson. Then came one of the most celebrated annual homecoming events: the tailgate lunch. Alumni, faculty, staff, and students gathered in the Triangle to eat and chat. A bounce house, face painting booths, and outdoor games were provided for the children. Later the Sports Hall of Fame inductees were presented on the soccer fields during the homecoming game halftime, followed by the presentation of the homecoming court.
During the Red and Gold Gala later Saturday evening several notable alumni were honored, including Alumni of the Year Jake ’59 and Sandy (Schmickl) ’72 Matthes; Young Alumni of the Year R.J. and Lesley (Artois) Smith ’07; and Honorary Alumni of the Year Pat Kinney ’17, Judy Shetter ’17, and Coach John Reeser ‘17. In addition, this year the 1975 NCCAA Cross Country Champions and the 1977 NCCAA Soccer Champions were officially inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame. The weekend ended Sunday morning with worship and a message brought by Tom ’80 and Connie (Reehoff) ‘82 Branson as they shared what they learned from Connie’s near-death experience.
Alumni Director Paulakay Hall ’84 reflected, “There was a lot of prayer and hard work that went into Homecoming 2017. We prayed for a grateful spirit on campus, we prayed for our alumni to come home and celebrate their legacy and heritage here, and we prayed for God’s sovereign grace and peace to rest over our campus. All of those prayers were answered in abundance. We were blessed with alumni from as far away as Alaska and as close to home as Dayton – and each one of you was an encouragement to us and an honor to have on campus. Thank you, Lions, for ‘coming home.’ We love you!”
Written by Chloe Ann Townsend ’13, advancement writer and editor.