Art exhibits, athletic events, barbecues and banquets, "Godspell," gold, a health fair and 5K walk/run, and a variety of social events are among the highlights of West Virginia Wesleyan College's annual Homecoming celebration Friday through Sunday.
The weekend will begin with the college's annual Founders Ceremony at 11 a.m. Friday in Wesley Chapel. Dr. Orlo Strunk Jr., a former faculty member and academic dean and author, clergyman and psychologist, will be the featured speaker. A retired distinguished faculty member and scholar at Boston University, Strunk will be awarded Wesleyan's honorary doctor of divinity degree.
Three West Virginia women will also be honored during the ceremony with the college's Rhododendron Award, which was established to honor native sons and daughters of West Virginia who have brought distinction to their home state or who have offered exemplary acts of leadership on behalf of West Virginia Wesleyan College. The honorees are longtime chemistry educator Virginia Fisher (class of 1932), children's book author Jean Latham(1925) and Katherine Reemsnyder (1930), an advocate for the college for nearly 80 years.
Other major events Friday include the annual Johnny Myers Golf Classic at the Arnold Palmer Signature course at Stonewall Resort at 12:30 p.m., a volleyball match with the University of Charleston at 6 p.m., the class of 1959 reunion dinner at Stonewall Resort at 6:30 p.m., a 7 p.m. men's soccer match with Alderson-Broaddus College, the reunion social at Stonewall resort beginning at 7:30 p.m., and the theater department's production of "Godspell" at 8 p.m. in the Virginia Thomas Law Center for the Performing Arts. Other show times for are at 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.
Saturday morning events begin with a health fair from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. in the Wesley Chapel oval and a 5K walk/run, sponsored by Wesleyan and St. Joseph's Hospital. At 9 a.m., the Center for Community Engagement will host an open house in the Benedum Campus Center, which will be followed by a reception with faculty and staff in the Campus Center Social Hall from 10 a.m. until noon.
The alumni swim meet will begin at 10 a.m., and the Bobcat Blitz, which features a variety of activities for children ages 10 and younger on the Barnhart Health Center lawn, will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
The annual Emeritus Club Luncheon will be in the French See Dining Center at 11:30 a.m. Other graduates and guests are invited to enjoy traditional tailgate food at Ross Field, where Wesleyan and Fairmont State will square off at 1 p.m.
At 3 p.m., the Wesleyan Art Department will present an opening reception for the alumni art exhibition in the Sleeth Gallery. Fraternity and sorority socials will be after the football game and will be followed by the 2009 Homecoming Banquet in the French See Dining Center. A number of people will be honored at the event including Richard Hamilton (1958), Alumni Service Award; Dewayne (1957) and Ginnie Lowther (1968), Alumni Achievement Award; Karim Badwan (1998), Young Alumni Service Award; Virginia Gum Hamisevicz (2004), Young Alumni Achievement Award; and Jo Ann "Grandma" Michael, Extra Mile/Friend of the College. A variety of social events are scheduled after the alumni banquet.
Sunday's activities include a chapel service at 10:30 a.m. featuring the Rev. Jeffery Ingold (1984), pastor of Abiding Presence Luthern Church, Fuquary-Varina, N.C., and the "Bon-Voyage Brunch" in the French See Dining Center.
"We have planned a diverse range of activities for our alumni, friends and students," said Kristi Wilkerson, director of alumni relations. "We are anticipating the return to campus by many alumni for a weekend of reconnecting, reminiscing and rekindling friendships and memories of their days at Wesleyan."
For a complete homecoming schedule, visit www.wvwc.edu.