As part of the University’s beloved tradition, alumni throughout the decades gathered with current students, faculty, and staff to reconnect and celebrate Cairn University’s Homecoming. The Homecoming weekend took place from September 29-30, featuring a special chapel series along with various activities, reunions, and receptions. During the week anticipating Homecoming, students participated in Spirit Week, donning creative outfits on Mixed Matched Monday to pink apparel on Breast Cancer Awareness Wednesday. On Wednesday morning at the University’s flagpole, several students and staff committed to a day of prayer, a national tradition which began in public schools and became known as See You At The Pole.
Homecoming weekend officially began Friday evening with the Highlander Hall of Honor Induction where Justin Brubaker ’11, Steve Melniczak ’01, and Summer (Mullen) Arthur ’08 were recognized for their years of athletic excellence and sportsmanship. Afterwards, Dr. Todd Williams and his wife, Dawn,, hosted the Garden Party, an annual soiree in which they graciously invite students into their home at the beginning of the school year. Amid the Roaring Twenties’ ambiance and jazz music, students and staff members enjoyed an elegant evening of dance, laughter, food, and conversation among new and familiar faces.
The next morning began with “Brunch with the President.” This event provided alumni with an opportunity to reserve a spot at the table to eat and reconnect with Dr. Williams. Throughout Saturday, the walkway was filled with various events, rides, and food trucks. The campus was filled with excitement and enthusiasm amid live music and warm weather. Thanks to Lil’ Sibs Weekend, students were also allowed to invite their siblings on campus to participate in rides and eat in the Furman Dining Halls for free. Other hallmarks of the event were the two class reunions of 1992 and 2007.
Most Homecoming attendees spent large portions of the day supporting the Highlanders in their home games. Women’s volleyball began the morning, and the day finished after soccer games of both the men’s and women’s teams. As a highlight of the day, the iconic Phillies Phanatic sauntered onto the soccer field during halftime of the women’s game, taunting referees and encouraging Highlander spirit in the bleachers.
Homecoming also displayed the art exhibit Bone of My Bones: Wood Sculptures Celebrating the Meaning and Mystery of Marriage. It was presented as a result of Cairn University’s Arts Initiative, which seeks to integrate creative arts into every student’s experience. Thanks to artist Mark Potter and the Student Visual Art Society, both the Cairn community and welcomed visitors explored a collection of intricately carved wooden artifacts. Some of the collections told stories of real-life marriages that have lasted decades or even a lifetime, leaving memories of joy and comfort. Other sculptures demonstrated how male and female, both intrinsically different and similar, were made by love and for love as the pinnacle of creation.
Homecoming as an annual event allows alumni to come back, reconnect, and look back on the memories that were built during their time on campus. But perhaps, even more importantly, Homecoming helps both current students and alumni to look forward, contributing to the University’s continual improvement and impact on its future students, in the local community, and around the world.