Young children and students alike danced barefoot in the moonlit night during Jazz on the Overlook last Friday evening. Alumni and their families, along with current students, faculty, and staff enjoyed the Sweet Georgia Sound playing swing music under the stars and above the twinkling lights of Chattanooga as a part of the 2016 Homecoming festivities.
October 16th and 17th Covenant College welcomed over more than 700 people, including alumni and their families, to campus. The weekend of events kicked off with Chapel on Friday where President Halvorson awarded the Alumni the Year awards, followed with a talk by alumnus Steve Smallman (‘85). Joanna Taft (’85) was awarded Alumnus of the Year, Anna Hollidge (’13), was awarded Young Alumnus of the Year, and Nathan (‘10) and Jessica (Jelgerhuis) (‘08) Newman were awarded Volunteers of the Year.
After chapel, alumni from classes of 1976 & 1966 met for their 40th & 50th year class reunion lunches and photos. There were over 40 alumni and friends present at the two reunions. Soon after lunch alumni were led on tours of the Carter Hall renovations by college staff, and enjoyed finding their names written in the tower.
That evening alumni, faculty, staff and their families enjoyed a picnic on the lawn followed by fireworks and Jazz on the Overlook. Campus Activity Board Director Zoë Knight (‘17) was pleased with the event, saying,“We had fantastic desserts, a beautiful moon hanging over the overlook as people danced, and a great turnout. There were a lot of alumni in attendance which made for a unique atmosphere as well.”
The Homecoming fireworks are traditionally on Saturday following the soccer games, but were moved since the games finished in the daylight of the afternoon. In addition to some event schedule changes, Homecoming weekend was also much earlier than it has been in past years. Traditionally, Homecoming has been in October and Kilter has been in September. Kim Collins (‘99), Director of Alumni Engagement, said there were many factors that affected the change, but especially the NCAA set soccer schedule, “We had just three weekends to choose from, and we also had to work around Campus Preview Weekend and the Board of Trustees meetings.”
Saturday was packed with events for alumni and their families starting with the alumni soccer and baseball matches against the Junior Varsity men’s and women's teams. In addition to the sporting events, there were academic lectures and events available for alumni to interact with current faculty and staff. Collins commented, “Alumni always love the athletic events, but this year they also had the chance to interact with faculty by taking a class from Prof. Morton in the new Lucas Art Workshop, hearing a lecture on faith and science from Dr. Madueme, and hiking the bluff trail with Dr. Morris.”
Andrew Fultz (‘18), together with the alumni office, organized a reunion for Second South on Saturday to come together and enjoy a cookout. Fultz commented, “The hall has been a focal point for our Covenant experience, so it was great to connect with Southies from many different generations and to celebrate what Second South has meant to us.” Over 40 “southies,” plus their families, came together to raise funds to aid in the Carter Hall renovations. Together they raised $3,484.
Saturday afternoon provided fun for the alumni and their families as inflatables, games, and food trucks were set up near Scotland Yard before the men’s varsity soccer team competed with William Peace University and the women’s varsity soccer team competed with Salem University. Both teams won their respective matches 1-0.
With cool fall weather, magical swing dancing, shutout wins for both soccer teams, and fun for all, Homecoming 2016 was a huge success. Once a Scot, always a Scot.