AU Homecoming spirit takes over campus

Mon, 2011-10-24 09:47 -- univcomm
October 24, 2011

A break from the cold and rain brought hundreds of students, alumni and others out to Anderson University for a Saturday filled with homecoming activities.

A street fair and Raven Fest closed a section of University Boulevard going through campus leading up to AU’s football game against Defiance College’s Yellow Jackets. Unfortunately, the Ravens took a loss.

homecoming11courtFreshman Michaela Hammel wasn’t sure how the Ravens were going to fare before the game. [Photo on left: Anderson University homecoming king and queen Dawed Chung and Liz Cox are introduced during halftime of the home-coming football game Saturday.]

“They’ve had an OK season,” she said. “But I don’t care. I’m excited because it’s the team for my school, and I’m going to cheer them on.”

Hammel, from Anderson, said she’s been to numerous AU football games throughout the years but has never been to homecoming events.

“It’s so cool to see all the people out here,” she said. “To see the ones (people) that have been here and used to go here.”

Free Raven’s Nest sundaes were another appeal that attracted Hammel and her friends to the booth, and people filled the street and green area on campus.

“It’s a weird mixture, but I don’t know, it worked,” Hammel said. “There was puppy chow on the bottom, some pretzels and chocolate on top.”

Not far from where Hammel laughed and joked with friends, a young woman stood under a tent dressed like a princess.

“I’m just here to pass out candy and have a picture taken with the kids,” Anne Barlow said.

The sophomore from London, England, said divine intervention led her to AU. She’s adjusting to the culture and idioms, and her experience has been “wonderful.”

“It’s just been a wonderful homecoming,” she said. “My favorite part was the luminaries and, of course, all the tradition.”

Welcoming home graduates from the past were a series of tents for each decade. Signs on the front indicated specific reunion years, but everyone was invited to check out what was inside.

Ron Moore, the senior development consultant for AU, stood near a table under one of the tents. He proudly wore his AU letterman jacket and said he graduated in 1966.

“This is part of alumni development,” he said. “We’re trying to recognize specific groups and invite people close to that date to share in the reunion.”

Moore said he spent most of his morning talking to familiar faces from the past.

“A lot of people I knew have come by here and even some I had to be reminded of,” he said. “I saw a couple from St. Joseph, Mich., that I knew when we went here. I haven’t seen them in 43 years.”

The tents were filled with old photos and yearbooks. The walls had a collage of facts from the specific time period.

“It’s hard to believe a gallon of gas was only 40 cents back then,” Moore said. “You know, the advantage of AU is the experience. It’s large enough to offer a wide selection of educational programs, but small enough to meet people and make lifelong friends.”

—April Abernathy is a reporter for The Herald Bulletin. Photo credit: Don Knight. Story republished with permission.

Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing, and theology.