Centennial Homecoming includes added reunions, musical

Release Date: January 30, 2009    

PLAINVIEW – With events at Wayland Baptist University taking on a more festive feel during the Centennial Celebration, it’s only fitting that the Centennial Homecoming includes the same ramped-up festivity.

Slated the weekend of Feb. 19-22, Wayland’s annual homecoming activities will take on the same centennial feel while welcoming home alums from all classes in honor of the 100th year. Special honor classes are those ending in nine: 1999, 1989, 1979, 1969 and the Golden Anniversary Class of 1959.

Along with many of the traditional homecoming events, the centennial year weekend features some special events tying the heritage of the university and celebrating the long tradition of excellence in academics and athletics.

The event officially kicks off Thursday evening, Feb. 19, with basketball games in Hutcherson Center at 6 p.m. and a reception for the mid-1950s classes at the Plainview home of Jeannine Greene at 7 p.m. The first performance of the musical theatre production Man of La Mancha begins at 8 p.m. in Harral Auditorium as well.

Friday’s events kick off early with a Golden Anniversary breakfast at 7:30 a.m. for the Class of 1959, followed by registration and coffee outside Harral Auditorium beginning at 9 a.m. The traditional chapel service begins at 11 a.m., with recognition of alumni present, introduction of the homecoming queen candidates and presentation of the Distinguished Alumni Awards. This year’s honorees include Dr. Ted Sanders, Distinguished Alumni Award; Col. Michael Keller, Distinguished Alumni Leadership Award; Eddie Owens, Distinguished Alumni Service Award; Jacob Reed, Young Alumni Award; and the Weir Charitable Trust, Distinguished Alumni Benefactor Award. Christa Smith will also be honored with the Lifetime Service Award.

Following chapel, several lunch events are on the slate, including a lunch for alumni of the School of Business at the Far East Restaurant, the Legacy League Luncheon for graduates of 1959 and prior, and the School of Mathematics and Sciences Banquet honoring faculty, alumni and students of those disciplines. The afternoon includes the dedication of the Harold and Audrey Temple Scholarship at 2 p.m. in McClung Center and the Education Hall of Honor ceremony at 2 p.m. in the Van Howeling Complex.

Friday evening features the traditional homecoming banquet at 6 p.m., with entertainment involving famous cinema music and lines from throughout the century. Children’s activities are offered from 5-9 p.m. in the Trinity Building. The classes of 1974-78 have planned a dinner reunion at 6 p.m. as well, and the International Choir alums will gather for a reunion and singing time at 7:30 p.m. in the Mabee Learning Resources Center Atrium. Former Flying Queens are also gathering for a reunion from 8-9 p.m. in the Laney Center, and the musical will be reprised in Harral at 8 p.m.

Saturday’s lineup begins with registration and an open house in the University Store at 9 a.m., followed by a joint class reunion and reception for honor classes from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the Van Howeling basement. Also during that time, other groups have planned reunions in light of the centennial. Phi Chi Epsilon sorority will meet at 9:30 a.m., cheerleaders at 10:30, Alpha Delta Kappa sorority at 10:30, Delta Chi Delta members and beaus at 10:30 and volleyball alumni at 10:30.

The alumni luncheon will follow at noon in the Laney Center, featuring the dedication of many new endowed scholarships, several in honor of longtime employees, including Dr. Estelle Owens, Christa Smith and Dr. Harold and Mrs. Audrey Temple. Others include Mauriene Smithson Matthews, Cary and Sally Eaves, Truett and Bernice Hodnett, Jeane and Barbara Browning and the Class of 1958. The School of Languages and Literature has planned a reception for Smith immediately following the luncheon in the Laney Center foyer.

The basketball doubleheader against St. Gregory’s University begins at 2 p.m., including the introduction of the homecoming queen, performances by the Pioneer Band and recognition of the Athletic Hall of Honor inductees during the game breaks. The annual Hall of Honor induction takes a banquet format this year at 7 p.m., with a large class of inductees and the recognition of the Top 50 Athletic Teams in Wayland’s history. Inductees include women’s basketballers Carolyn Bush Roddy, Glynna Masten Harrison and Lisa Kolodziejczyk Robinson, tracksters Althea Thomas and Alrick Monroe, baseballer Michael Reyes, coaches Sheryl Estes and John Creer and administrator Dr. Greg Feris.

Homecoming weekend wraps with a continental breakfast at 8:15 in the Trinity Building and the Wayland Worship Service at 9 a.m. An alumni baseball game is set for 1 p.m. at Wilder Field, and the final performance of the theatre musical will begin at 2 p.m.

Tickets for the meal events, most set at $10, and the musical – $6 for alumni and students, $14 for others – are available through the Office of Alumni Services at Wayland. For information or reservations, call the office at 291-3600 or access an online registration form on the Past Students page of the Wayland Web site, www.wbu.edu, and return to the alumni office. The full schedule is also available online.