By Zack Bennett
Lander students and alumni spent the week of Oct. 10 celebrating Homecoming with events throughout the week. This year’s celebration highlighted the 150th anniversary of the University with the theme “Bearcat 2072: The Next Era.”
“Homecoming is always a special time of the year,” said Steve Wohlwend ’81, president of The Lander Foundation Board of Directors. “It’s been wonderful to see Lander grow throughout the years, and you can tell it has during times like Homecoming.”
Student groups competed in week included a strongest, powerlifting, a neon dodgeball game, talent showcase, scavenger hunt, and a glow paint party, among plethora of other engaging activities.
Alumni Weekend kicked off on Thursday, Oct. 13 with the Martin-Sims Golf Classic to raise funds for athletic scholarships. On Friday evening, alumni from all classes were welcomed back with a social at Howard’s on Main in Uptown Greenwood. For those associated with NPHC Zeta Phi Beta and Phi Beta Sigma, a meet and greet gave alumni a chance to mingle and reminisce. This year marked the 40-year reunion for Zeta Phi Beta and the 25-year reunion for Phi Beta Sigma.
Saturday morning was filled with college sessions for alumni, featuring topics such as “Streams of Learning” presented by Lisa Wiecki and Dr. David Mash, of the Jackson Library; “The Story of Southern English,” presented by Dr. Sean Barnette, professor of English; and “Dr. Dave’s Fun with Physics Show,” hosted by Dr. Dave Slimmer, dean of the College of Science and Mathematics and professor of physics.
“Connecting with former students is always a good time, especially when I have a chance to make it about science,” said Slimmer.
Tailgating kicked off around 11 a.m. on Saturday. Students and alumni were treated to games, a live DJ and food trucks during the party on the front lawn.
Following tailgating, the crowd moved inside the Finis Horne Arena to watch the Lander Volleyball squad take on Young Harris College. The Bearcats defeated the Mountain Lions 3-0, advancing their record at the time to 15 wins and seven losses on the season.
Homecoming King and Queen were named following the game. Chad Smith, of Inman, and Azjanae Anderson, of Columbia, were voted King and Queen by fellow Bearcat students. “It was definitely a surprise,” said Anderson. Smith was sponsored by Phi Mu Fraternity, and Anderson by Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
Homecoming Week wrapped up with the University’s annual Alumni Awards Dinner. Outstanding alumni were honored for their achievements while they enjoyed a full-service dinner in the Abney Cultural Center. Sharon M. Adams ’65 received the Grace Iler Norman Award; Col. Cory J. Plowden ’99 received the Distinguished Alumni Award; and Katie Troutman ’07 received the Young Alumni Achievement Award.