| 2006 Homecoming Celebration
The weekend of Nov. 10-12 brought at least 500 alumni back to Berea’s campus for the annual Homecoming celebration. As always, a plethora of exciting activities awaited current and former BC students.
2006 Alumni Award recipients
Friday’s highlights included a book signing by renowned photographer James Archambeault, the annual Black Student Union Pageant, the opening performance of the Berea College Theatre Lab production “A Raisin in the Sun” and a reading by three prominent Appalachian authors, sponsored by Appalachian Heritage magazine.
Also on Friday evening, three distinguished alumni were honored at the Alumni Awards Ceremony. Paul S. Peercy, ’61, received Berea’s 2006 Distinguished Alumnus Award for his professional success in the semi-conductor industry. Outstanding Young Alumnus Awards were bestowed upon Major David L. Peeler, Jr., ’89, a decorated member of the U.S. Air Force, and Hasan Davis, ’92, a youth advocate, educator and performer.
Throughout Saturday, alumni reunited with former classmates and teammates at various receptions, toured campus facilities and sat in on alumni lectures. Saturday’s main events were scheduled to begin with the annual Homecoming parade, but Mother Nature had other plans. Rain storms forced the cancellation of the parade, which, according to Director of Alumni Relations Mae Suramek, had 60 entrants. The bad weather then turned worse and prevented the scheduled Black Hawk helicopter fly-over in honor of Veterans Day, which was slated to occur at 11:26 a.m. over Chestnut Street.
To avoid soggy sweets, Taste of Berea moved from the Quad to Seabury’s upper gym. Various campus organizations gathered to sell their baked goods and knick-knacks to students and alumni. Berea College nursing students sold cupcakes, pizza and soda to raise money for Donna Lakes, the Nursing Department's office manager who is battling breast cancer. At a nearby table, collegium members sold “Think Pink” t-shirts to raise money for the American Cancer Society. The Concert Choir baked Chinese doughnuts, the Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society (SAACS) sold element cookies and Black Music Ensemble members served up fried fish and baked goods. A DJ played music for young and old alike, while children played in an inflatable playground and competed in a coloring contest.
As usual, the homecoming festivities culminated in the men’s and women’s basketball games and Homecoming coronation ceremony. After the games, students and alumni returned to Seabury for the Homecoming dance, sponsored by the Campus Activities Board. In keeping with this year’s theme of “Where Friendships are Formed Fast and True,” photos of students with their friends were projected on a wall during the dance.
Homecoming weekend drew to a close with the alumni worship service in Union Church, officiated by Reverend Lisa Caldwell-Reiss, ’91. The service was followed by the Black Music Ensemble’s Homecoming concert, also in Union Church. This year’s concert was directed by Kimberly Wilson, ’97, filling in for the choir’s usual director, Dr. Kathy Bullock, who is on sabbatical.
A great deal of effort went into planning these popular events and many others throughout the weekend.
“Homecoming planning is nearly a year-long process," said Suramek. "The Office of Alumni Relations works closely with volunteer Alumni ‘reunion chairpersons’ to plan, execute and market the event. The Alumni Relations staff also collaborated … with many campus departments, student groups and the community to program over 50 events that weekend.”
Now that alumni have returned home and students and faculty have settled back into their semester routines, members of the Berea College community are left with the memories of both an amazing Homecoming weekend and “friendships formed fast and true.”
Stay tuned to BCnow for more stories about the Homecoming celebration.