Thank you for making Homecoming 2012 so memorable!
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This academic year, President, Dr. Ann Fields has encouraged students, faculty, staff, alumni and guests to “Give Thanks”. The Homecoming Recognition Banquet of 2012 was a moment of giving thanks for the opportunity to receive an education from a school like William Penn University. Kayla McMorran, class of 2011 states, “As an alumna, I was humbled and honored to have an opportunity to be in the same room with so many exceptional alumni like Dr. Melvin Oliver, Craig Jelinek, the Long family, Gerald Heslinga, and faculty member Lonny Wilson, who has dedicated 40 years of service to this institution.” As we celebrate Homecoming, let's give thanks for our outstanding and generous alumni who continue to embody our values of simplicity, peace-making, integrity, community, and equality.
The Alumni Association held its annual meeting Saturday morning at 8:00 am in the Penn Activity Center. The gathering was well attended with enthusiasm for positive change and a new optimistic direction for the organization as a whole. Current Vice President of Fundraising for the Alumni Association, Jason Van Wyk, emphasized the significance of reaching beyond Iowa to engage all alumni. As we move forward with a clean slate, the new constitution and officers were voted for, and agreed upon. New president David Ridgley of Melbourne, Florida, and Denver, Colorado, expressed his gratitude to hold this position and serve William Penn and its alumni. Ridgley stressed the importance of reconnecting with alumni and briefly discussed the encouraging effects that will come from building relationships with William Penn University’s alumni. The new elected president left the attending members with a final heartening statement regarding his outlook for the Alumni Association and WPU, “I look forward to working with everyone and making it happen. We will make it happen.”
One of the best parts of Homecoming weekend is getting to see the reactions of friends and classmates reuniting on campus. This year was no exception with several groups returning to William Penn, including the brothers of Sigma Phi Sigma, the 1972 Boot Hill Bowl Championship team, along with their cheerleaders and drill team, and the 2002 Men’s and Women’s Cross Country team. This year also brought back some of William Penn’s talented authors and artists for the Alumni Authors and Artists Expo, held in the Penn Activity Center. Beautiful handcrafted items including pottery, photography, woodworking, hand-blown glass and watercolor paintings filled the second floor lobby. Thank you to all the talented authors and artists for sharing your works with us this weekend!
The women’s softball and men’s wrestling teams invited alumni back to relive the glory days during the Alumni Games held Saturday morning. The Lady Statesmen had the good fortune of playing on a beautiful fall day, while showing the youngest generation of players a few tricks of the trade. Meanwhile, at the PAC, several former wrestlers took to the mats for some one-on-one action. Though some returners needed a few more breaks than others, all had a good time.
The crowd, the weather, and the energy were perfect for this year's Homecoming game as the Statesmen took on the Olivet Nazarene Tigers. The crowd cheered the Statemen through this close game to their victory. The final score was 27 to 3 as the Statesmen came back after halftime and dominated the field. This Homecoming game honored the 2002 William Penn Cross Country team, the 2012 Hall of Fame Inductees, and the 1972 William Penn Football team. As always, it was great to see so many alumni coming back to support their alma mater during Homecoming. Celebrations continued after the game during the Alumni Social at the Peppertree.
What an amazing weekend this has been for the WPU alumni, students, family and friends! We had the opportunity to focus on getting to know our alumni and their families on a different level. We have an absolutely incredible group of alumni who are grateful someone believed in them, maybe met their spouse here, and all who attribute their success to their start at William Penn.
With almost a week of meeting, greeting, and touring, it all came to a close with a social at The Peppertree on Saturday after the victorious game. Alumni and family stopped by for their final farewell and to express their gratitude for an exceptional weekend promising to come back next year and do it all over again.