Big Orange treeHomecoming weekend was packed with an array of nostalgia, entertainment, and excitement from Friday, November 7, with the Strong Hall Reunion, Daily Beacon Reunion, and Wrestlers Reunion to the annual Party in the Park on Saturday, November 8.

There was standing room only for the Sophronia Strong Hall Reunion. As alumnae from each decade entered the former residence hall, the building seemed to take on its former life as a dormitory. Alumnae returned for a last opportunity to revisit their old dorm and to see the rooms they called home. Laughter, excitement and mixed emotions filled the lounge as former residents shared memories and stories of their life in Strong. Alumnae came from as far away as Missouri, Texas, New York, Virginia, and Florida. The most senior alumna returning was from the Class of 1942.

Many Daily Beacon alumni as well as former members of the Orange and White, the Beacon’s predecessor, returned to campus for the first Beacon-Orange and White reunion. It was a huge success with alumni returning from 12 cities in nine other states (Florida, Virginia, California, Georgia, Ohio, Texas, New York, Illinois and North Carolina). Attendees represented sixty-plus years of campus publishing and included students from the ­decades of the 1940s up to the 2000s. Some 20 media professionals attended and other careers represented included freelance writers/authors, small business owners, accountants, lawyers, advertising/public relations, fashion design, and engineering. The most senior alumna present was a former editor from the class of 1945.

Former wrestlers, students, and colleagues of Arthur B. Stowers Jr. gathered at the Baker Peters Jazz Club to honor his service to the university, the wrestlers, and the community. The evening culminated with a presentation to the University celebrating Stowers’ life by establishing the Arthur B. Stowers Jr. Award to provide scholarships to students to continue his commitment to the “teaching of others” as well as continuing his legacy of service to the university.

On Saturday, lots of excitement filled the air at the Party in the Park, the annual Alumni Affairs tailgating event in Circle Park. Alumni and friends came from all over the United States for the celebration.

From rocking to the sounds of The MOOD Band to taking line dancing lessons and cheering with the cheerleaders as well as enjoying face painting, magic tricks, and the balloon artist with the children, the Party in the Park was fun for everyone.

Olympians Dee Dee Trotter and Jangy Addy were special guests. Joining alumni and friends for the party, they signed autographs and posed for pictures.

The academic showcase featured exhibits from Undergraduate Admissions; Architecture and Design; Chemistry; Physics and Astronomy; Theatre; Education, Health, and Human Sciences; Social Work; and the Southern Appalachian Science and Engineering Fair.

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