Our "Welcome Home" 2012 Homecoming event at Warner Pacific exceeded our wildest expectations. I haven't seen the final attendance numbers yet, but early estimates show a possible triple increase in alumni participants over last year's Homecoming! The success of the weekend was clearly a result of the hard work and dedication of Cindy Pollard, our Alumni Council, the Homecoming committee, and everyone else who helped plan, recruit, promote, or volunteer during the Weekend. And most importantly, thanks to all of our fellow alumni who showed up on campus!
The event kicked off Thursday morning with a combined student/alumni chapel service, featuring an inspirational message by my former college roommate, Pastor BJ Kuykendall. By the way, thanks goes out to John Kuykendall for many of these photos!
After the Golden Torch Society/PBC Luncheon, our Alumni Council convened to welcome in four carefully selected new members: Alex Bates, Bruce Krieg, Christi Kurtz, and Jessica Taylor. Before we got down to Council business, Jess Bielman gave us a taste of WP's mission to be "In the City, For the City": Using the WP van, we drove through the communities near campus to highlight the college's many social action projects.
The sold out dinner theater performance of Jim Spark's original play, "Biography" premiered on Thursday night. The all-alumni cast featured many talented actors.....including my multi-talented dad, Doug Hamilton! We didn't share any father-son stage time (missing each other by seconds), but I finally got to see my favorite former WP Alumni President/professor/theater director/father show off his dramatic flair.
Friday's activities included the Brunch and Song-Fest, Classroom Visitations (Dr. Carver's double-take was priceless as I took my seat at the start of his lecture), the Sing-A-Long Movie, the Men's and Women's Basketball Games, and the Super Scoop Ice Cream Social, hosted by the current student government officers.
Name dropping alert: In between events on Friday, I had a bizarre coincidence at L.A. Fitness while I was getting pumped up (no pun intended) for the WP basketball games. Band members from rock groups Hawthorne Heights and August Burns Red were hitting the weights as I arrived at the gym. I may not party like a rock star, but now I can say that I've worked out with a few of 'em.
We saved the best for last. On Saturday morning, turnout for the Future Alumni Class of 2033 Pre-Reunion was phenomenal!P With so many alumni having kids this past year, it only seemed right to round up everyone for a "Preunion" baby-fest (grandparents, etc. aren't pictured). My parents graciously agreed to host this event
Kathy and I couldn't help but wonder, though......How could Lindsay Chamberlain, one of the graduates from our student ministry, already have a baby boy that is nearly the same age as our 5 month old daughter Lena? If our kids ever hooked up, that would be a strange youth pastor/ in-law situation!
Saturday afternoon was crammed with the Souper Seminar and Jazz Concert, Hall of Honor Induction Dinner, and the Honored Alumni Luncheon to honor notable WP alumni Sonya Fischer, Bob Stewart, Ethel Willard, Robert L. Williams, and Ysu Umbalo.
I was so excited that my buddy Ysu Umbalo was recognized for his medical relief work in the Congo, that I lovingly included a blurry picture here of Brian Hill's presentation during the Luncheon on Ysu's behalf. We wish that you could have accepted the award in person, Ysu!
The Connection Reception, hosted by Bernie & Cindy Buckle and Michael & Stephanie Pollard during and after the basketball game (did I mention that we won all four Men's and Women's games?) on Saturday evening, was a perfect way to cap off our Homecoming Weekend.
Mark your calendars, WP alumni... Next year's WP Homecoming is scheduled for February 14-16, 2013! Love will be in the air, and we hope you'll make it there!!
Garth Hamilton, WP Alumni Council President