“Every time I popped in to an activity, there was a crowd there,” Jamie Gleason ’01, Alumni Director, said of the 2012 Homecoming Weekend. “I was excited to see alumni engaged in everything. We had alumni at the Garden Party for the first time ever, kicking the weekend off on Friday night, all the way through to a strong showing at the faculty seminars on Saturday afternoon.”
Cairn University’s 2012 Homecoming on October 5-6 brought back alumni from throughout the years to gather with current students, faculty, and staff for a weekend of celebration. Friday evening’s activities included the Garden Party at Fairview Manor sponsored by the Penndel Resident Life team, a concert from the School of Music featuring alumni from a 35-year span, and a 3 on 3 basketball tournament with alumni and student teams. On Saturday, the day began at 10 am with activities and games along the Campus Walkway and included class reunions, a Chorale reunion performance, the annual Build-a-Boat competition, alumni and Cairn Highlanders athletic competitions, and topical seminars presented by faculty.
The annual alumni soccer game had its best turn out in years, with nearly 25 players. The Class of 1972 40th Reunion Celebration Luncheon also had nearly 25 attendees, old friends catching up on life in the intervening years since graduation and remembering the quality time spent together at the 1800 Arch Street campus. The first Chorale Reunion, which brought together over 50 singers from over 50 years, was a smashing success; after just over an hour of rehearsal, they performed five pieces to a full audience.
“I think Build-a-Boat has become an icon of Homecoming,” Jamie Gleason said, referring to the annual race across the pond made up of groups of students, faculty, and staff who build watercraft out of found items. Students, alumni, and friends gathered to watch as the Technology Services staff beat the other teams across the water. “My only goal was to make it across the water without ending up in it,” said Michele McAlack ’86, University Ministry Center Assistant. She and her husband Matt ’83, Director, Youth Ministries Programs, piloting a faculty-staff boat, were successful in their goal.
The Cairn Highlanders put in a good showing on the field, too. While Women’s Tennis fell to Immaculata University and Women’s Volleyball fell to Cabrini College in a hard-fought loss, the Men’s Soccer team moved to 3rd place in their conference standings with a 1-0 win over Immaculata University.
Dr. Todd Williams ’92, University President, was pleased with the day. “Homecoming 2012 was a great event on all fronts,” he said. “I always look forward to seeing former students and classmates of mine but also visiting with old friends from every decade as well as seeing new faces. I especially enjoyed being able to personally talk with folks about the changes of the past year and what’s ahead because these are exciting days. Next year is our Centennial Celebration and I think this year’s Homecoming was a good momentum builder. The Alumni Relations office and the Planning Committee did a fantastic job. I am already looking forward to 2013!”
The day was full of conversations and connections, as friends sat together over lunch under the big tent, watched the WWC alumni play Ultimate Frisbee, walked the hallways and galleries taking in the visual art displayed on campus, or examined issues of the day with faculty from the various Schools and Departments of the University. Homecoming 2012 was a time of remembering, reconnecting, and looking forward to what God is going to do next as this biblical university follows His path. It was, in fact, a cairn of its own.
On Wednesday, November 15, Vietnam Veteran David Christian was invited to speak to Cairn University students. Christian, originally from Bucks County, is the youngest most decorated Vietnam War veteran, having