Hundreds of visitors enjoyed the sights and sounds of Homecoming & Family Weekend.
Traditions, honors, athletic victories and of course, great food and fellowship are the backdrop against which Olivet Nazarene University’s Homecoming & Family Weekend 2021 came to life. After forgoing the celebratory events last year, the campus was alive with energy and activities through more than 45 unique events organized by director of Alumni Relations, Erinn Proehl ’13/’19 MBA.
On Thursday morning during Homecoming Chapel, senior Alison Lee of Germantown Hills, Illinois, was crowned Homecoming Queen and senior Nathan Gonzalez of Kenosha, Wisconsin, was crowned King during the 66th annual coronation ceremony. Members of the Homecoming Court also included Tsakani Chambo, Natalie Cook, Kelli Neal, Makenzie Sherwood, Adam Keller, Kwame McGee, Derek Stark and Joshua Wolfe.
During the service, Ministerial “O” Award recipient, Rev. Rob Prince ’85, and Young Alumni Award recipient, Ben Heller ’13, were recognized and gave testimony to the role of faith in their professional careers. Following tradition on Thursday evening, the Alumni Board served breakfast to the student body in Ludwig Center at the Throwback Thursday Student Pancake Feed.
Friday morning, campus was abuzz with alumni and friends checking out departmental open houses, taking campus tours and filling in to attend the Presidential Inauguration of Olivet’s 13th president, Gregg A Chenoweth ’90, Ph.D. During the ceremony, Dr. Chenoweth was installed by Dr. Ron Blake, chair of the Board of Trustees and a covenant litany was read by representatives of Olivet constituents.
Shirley Hoogstra, J.D., president of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities was honored with the Maggie Sloan Crawford award, which recognizes an outstanding woman whose life exemplifies Christian ideals in their commitment to service.
In celebration of the historic inauguration, Dr. Chenoweth also hosted a breakfast for the Board of Trustees and a luncheon for members of the Leadership Society. At both meals, a panel of esteemed alumni shared about how their Olivet education propelled them into extraordinary careers. The panel was moderated by Dr. Kent Olney, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences.
In the afternoon, the quad was full of students in purple & gold, enjoying food trucks and outdoor games. Following the women’s and men’s basketball victories and the official dedication of McHie Arena’s court to the late Ralph “Tres” Hodge, the night concluded with the Taste of Olivet dessert reception in Chalfant Hall.
Saturday, the classes of 2016, 2011, 2006, 2001, 1996, 1991, 1986, 1981, 1976, 1971 and purple & gold grads (anyone who graduated prior to ’71) gathered in the morning to celebrate their undergraduate reunions.
Because of missing their reunions last year due to the pandemic, the classes of 2020, 2015, 2010, 2005, 2000, 1995, 1990, 1985, 1980, 1975 and 1970 met in the afternoon for reunions as well. The afternoon featured fantastic wins from the football and men’s soccer teams.
In the evening, many guests attended the School of Music Concert, featuring alumni soloists and the full University Orchestra, led by Dr. Neal Woodruff ’91. Throughout the weekend, there were multiple opportunities to take in a show at Strickler Planetarium and to see the fall play, The Hiding Place, produced by ONU Theatre.
The weekend concluded on Sunday morning with the President’s Prayer Breakfast. After Orpheus Choir, led by Dr. Jeff Bell ’81, opened the breakfast, the Lay ‘O’ Award recipient, Rick Dykhouse ’85, J.D., and Young Alumni Award recipient, Katie Fitzgerald ’15, Ph.D., gave testimonies of how Olivet shaped their respective careers, Dr. Marvin Jones, Dr. Don Reddick ’79, Jackie Owens ’11 and Joy Nance ’80 led congregational singing. First Lady Tammy (Salyer) Chenoweth ’89 gave a prayer of thanksgiving.
For more information about campus events, visit www.olivet.edu/events. Interested in learning more about campus life at Olivet, contact the Office of Admissions at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-648-1463.
Photos: Image Group Photography & Olivet Marketing