Homecoming was a long day, and somewhat different than the homecomings I remember from the student side. I kept on feeling like their should be a homecoming parade. Instead, there was a fall festival on the quad.
When I mentioned the lack of parade, my classmates talked about it probably stopped when the students finally gave up on all the time they took putting those floats together. Which made me recall how little effort I put into those floats during my 4 years.
For we alumni, the day consisted of breakfast, followed by a “chat” with President Mullen in Gillette (translated East) Hall lounge. Topics of the chat, which was a Q&A, included the impact of Obamacare on the college (answer, don’t think it will have a big impact, but like most people we don’t really know the full impact), how Houghton was reacting to Moody Bible Institute’s allowing smoking and drinking by its employees, and what response the college had to people’s complaints about students that attend a Christian College and end up “losing” their faith.
After the chat, we walked quickly through the Fall Festival to reach our assigned room where the class of ’88 was to meet and greet and get reaquainted.
Some people I recognized right away — and knew their names. Others I did but couldn’t place names, and others I just didn’t recognize until they introduced themselves.
A couple of people told me I hadn’t changed at all. I wasn’t sure exactly how to take that “compliment” A simple comparison of my recent photos on Facebook should show drastic changes in at least the superficial appearances.
About halfway through our hour some people suggested a class photo, and we all walked outside, deciding on Fancher Steps as a good place to take a photo. We lined up our cameras on the edge of the walk, and some of the non-class spouses helped with everyone’s cameras, and took pictures for everyone.
Then we milled around outside and chatted, until an “official” college photographer, which we were unaware had been assigned to us, came by and took our picture. But he didn’t want to take it on the steps, but at the foot of the steps.
Lunch was next (there was a lot of food over the weekend), and then Betsy and I went down to the ribbon cutting for the new Alumni house. The old Walldorf house was now renovated and refurbished into the alumni house. It looked really neat inside — a lot of bedrooms decorated well.
But we still don’t know what an alumni house is or means. President Mullen mentioned it as a connection between current students and alumni, but just how I am not sure. What I can find on the college website mentions it as ” place where Houghton alumni can meet together and where out of town guests who are alumni can stay the night.” But it doesn’t mention cost.
After the ribbon cutting ceremony Betsy and I walked up to the sports fields to see what was going on. Some people had been up there much earlier, as the field hockey team played at noon, followed by women’s soccer at 2 p.m. and men’s soccer at 4 p.m.
To get there we had to walk past my old dorm, Shenawana. It looked the same from the outside, and I didn’t look to see what it was like on the inside.
When we went by the women’s soccer team was doing well, and we could see a lot of construction going on for the fields and new buildings of the new athletic center.
Not being sports fans, Betsy and I didn’t stay for the remainer of the soccer games, though we learned later that rain didn’t deter the Houghton men from winning their game, much as fair weather favored the Houghton women. No opponent scored against Houghton soccer on Homecoming Day.
The Alumni events closed with the Alumni Banquet. They put some 120-plus of us in the Nielsen gymnasium, seated by class groupings (3 tables for ’88), and the entire program was to sit and chat among the classmates.
The final event of the evening was the Senate Spot at 10 p.m. Betsy and I went and stayed until 11:45 p.m. We wore our earplugs through most of it for volume sake. Some of it was rather fun, but a lot of it was stuff we obviously didn’t get. But it reaffirmed to both of us why we didn’t usually attend these spots while we were in college.
We ended the weekend with breakfast Sunday morning, fellowshipping with old classmates in a worship service, complimentary refreshments after the service (food, food, food), and then starting the drive home.