Homecoming week came to Indiana Wesleyan University on October 13th and it certainly made a mark! In many ways, students and facilitators saw this as something of a double celebration since COVID-19 had cancelled plans to have a Homecoming weekend in 2020, an important year that marked the 100-year anniversary of the college, and every effort was made to ensure that that the 2021 Homecoming was a celebration to remember.
The week officially began with a scholarship luncheon where students who had received scholarships from private donors were given the opportunity to dine with their sponsors and thank them for their gift. That same evening, the residence halls gathered on the Beckett Lawn to compete in the Derby, a race featuring all sorts of unconventional modes of transportation such as big wheels and giant bouncy balls.
On Friday, students all gathered for a special Homecoming chapel before the alumni who had come to campus gathered for the 50th class reunion luncheon.
Friday evening, students and alumni were treated to a very special event. The Evening of Celebration began with the honoring of the 2020 and 2021 Distinguished Alumni Award recipients, and featured a special concert by the IWU Chorale. The centerpiece of the event was the talk given by VeggieTales co-creator, Phil Vischer. A dessert reception in the Student Center Piazza followed the talk. That same evening, Student Activities Council put on Fallapalooza, a fall-themed event featuring spiced cider, fresh popcorn, and fun dances.
On Saturday, Lasana Ritchie and Malana Harpst, the daughters of Wilbur and Ardelia Williams, hosted an event in the Noggle Christian Ministries Center where they explained the significance of the stained glass windows their mother designed and crafted for the building. Following this, the IWU Marching Band gave an excellent concert prior to the football game between IWU and Lawrence Tech, a team that had previously gone undefeated. To the surprise and joy of many, IWU soundly beat them 35-0. After the game, the acclaimed musical trio Selah led the community in a great night of worship, joined by the IWU Chorale.
It is fair to say that IWU had a very happy 100th birthday as students and alumni thoroughly enjoyed the weekend’s activities and celebrations. David Rash, a returning IWU alumnus summarized the experience this way, “I found the return to the IWU campus to be a wonderful experience. The weekend was well organized…with opportunities to renew old acquaintances and make new ones.”
Did you attend Homecoming 2021? Feel free to share your experience with us in the comments below. Please join us for next year’s Homecoming on October 22, 2022!
Written by Emily Bays, Student Blog Writer