IWU ready to celebrate – HOMECOMING 2006

From Chronicle-Tribune
Homecoming, inauguration festivities this weekend

Teresa Smith, Indiana Wesleyan University‘s first lady, giggled as she spoke about the preparations going on for the homecoming and inauguration celebration beginning today on campus.

"It has been interesting," she said. "Planning for homecoming can be so time-consuming, and then we’re adding something as significant as an inauguration … It makes for a very busy weekend."

Starting today and running through Saturday evening, events for alumni and students will help make their homecoming experiences something to remember.

Teresa Smith said a decision was made to hold homecoming and the inaugural celebrations for her husband, Henry, in the same weekend to save alumni members from having to make two trips to take part in both.

"There is some alumni members that want to come back for homecoming, and they would already be making one trip," she said. "We just decided to make it one big event."

Henry Smith has been serving as president since July 1 and will be sworn in officially Friday. He was named Indiana Wesleyan’s first executive vice president in 2004.

Among the activities planned from Thursday to Saturday are alumni luncheons, concerts, a family fair, a pep rally and a torch run from downtown to campus.

Smith said the torch run, which begins at the Grant County Courthouse, is an old tradition they are attempting to rejuvenate. A bonfire will take place at the Smiths’ presidential home following the run.

"It died out over the years," she said, noting that between six and eight people participated last year. "We tried to think of some traditions that used to be around that we could bring back. We decided this was something we could do."

Rick Carder, alumni director, said they tried to select activities that would engage students while including alumni and the inauguration.

"We always have class reunion events coupled with family fairs, and this year we’ll have some special events targeted for the inauguration," he said.

Carder said planning has gone fairly well, especially with the two events being held together.

"We’re very excited," he said. "We had a good time sharing resources and putting this together."

Smith said although it is important to make it a special event for alumni, committee members have been doing their best to make it fun for current students.

"There has been an air of excitement on campus," Smith said. "We have been decorating and trying to make this an event in which students take ownership.

"I told them in chapel, ‘It is about you guys who are here, now – not just about alumni.’ We’re celebrating students that are on campus now and making it special for them."

Chronicle-Tribune – Originally published October 5, 2006


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