Thursday, September 22 - Saturday, September 24
Photos From Homecoming 2016
View the Homecoming 2016 Photo Album on Flickr
Photos by Jamie Galen, Lily Morawski, Nora Russell, Haley Sliwa, Judson Staff
2016 Homecoming Recap
Homecoming 2016 Featured High-Energy Acts, Alumni Events and a Live Concert Recording
Homecoming 2016 took place Sept. 22-24. Yes, we welcomed home old friends and opened the door to new ones. But the year’s roster of special guests, activities and events was fresh and #Judsonawesome.
On Thursday, Sept. 22, the Homecoming calendar kicked off with the synergistic networking event, Network Night in Lindner Tower (1151 N. State St., Elgin). The event began with a dedication of a new state-of-the-art classroom and moved to the Eagle Lounge, where students chatted with area power brokers to foster new partnerships and potential mentors. The night’s keynote discussion was led by sales coaching executive Jack Frisby ’81, a LinkedIn expert and owner of the sales strategy firm, Optimize Selling Solutions in Indianapolis, Ind.
Friday, Sept. 23, was chockfull of activities:
Morning worship during the Alumni Chapel in Herrick Chapel at was led by Matt Archibald ’04, Ben Calhoun ’03, Stephen Carter ’05, Dan Lugo ’06 and Ian Simkins ’06. Nick Mancini ’05 delivered an inspiring message; he is the student ministries content developer at Life.Church in Oklahoma City, Okla.
Chapel was followed by lunch and a campus tour that includes a guided walk through Judson’s recording space, Dark Room Studios in the Thompson Center.
Friday was meeting day for the Alumni Delegates Congress. The evening’s Alumni Banquet was at 5 p.m. in Lindner Fitness Center and showcased the Reunion Years ('66, '71, '76, '81, '86, '91, '96, '01, '06, '11, '16) and the Class Delegates who were recognized. The banquet also included the Alumni Awards Ceremony to honor the Distinguished Alumni and the Alumnus of the Year.
The Alumni Awards Ceremony honored three people as Distinguished Alumni. The award is given in recognition of their outstanding contributions to their profession and the community. This year’s recipients included Dr. J. Rebecca Mills ’88, vice president of Research and Hospital Engagement for the Denver-based healthcare organization Premier Inc. from Conifer, Colo.; Sylvia Salazar-Wetzel ’00 of Elgin, Ill., a former Bison Gear & Engineering executive who now leads a skilled workforce initiative to create and implement solutions to remedy the shortage of qualified entry-level workers in manufacturing; and Jon M. Beilstein ’77 of Pacific, Mo., director of Sales and Business Development for the St. Louis Football Club (United Soccer League, Chicago Fire Affiliate).
Dr. Warren Anderson ’86 of Elgin, Ill., was presented with the Alumnus of the Year Award, an honor given in recognition of significant contributions to church and society, consistent with the mission of Judson University. Dr. Anderson is the dean of Chapel, director of the Demoss Center for Worship in the Performing Arts and director of the Judson University Choir. Additionally, he teaches in the Worship Arts and Music departments. During his 25-plus years as a Judson faculty/staff member, Dr. Anderson has also served as dean of Men, director of Housing, director of Christian Ministries, lecturer in Communication Arts, houseparent, admissions counselor, summer-ministry-team director and as an assistant men’s basketball coach. He is a worship pastor at Elgin Evangelical Free Church, and he wrote a monthly column and served on the editorial board of Worship Leader magazine for 17 years.
During the dinner ceremony, Dr. Anderson thanked administrators, staff and faculty members who imparted lifelong lessons. He then continued: “I wish to recognize two important groups of people. First, I wish to thank all the students I have had the privilege of teaching .... for enriching my life in ways that they will never fully appreciate. And second, I would like to thank my family for the support that they have given me in so many ways.
“In case it isn’t obvious by now,” he continued, “the reason Judson was, is, and will continue to be great is not its physical or technological infrastructure … it’s people, a people who continue to put their faith in a sovereign Lord of the University who gives us strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.”
Following the Alumni Awards Ceremony, the dynamic, high-energy Zuzu African Acrobats Show performed in Lindner Fitness Center and closed out the evening’s festivities. This talented troupe of tumblers and contortionists from Mombasa, Kenya, were finalists on the “America’s Got Talent!” show. They were also a part of the Saturday schedule.
On Saturday, Sept. 24, the schedule as packed full of sporting events, fun family activities and food galore!
In the morning, runners/walkers set their pace at the Judson 5K RunWalk that began at Lindner Fitness Center.
The Alumni Men’s Soccer game, the Alumni Baseball game, the Alumni Softball game, the Alumni Women’s Soccer game, the Alumni Women’s Volleyball team against the Judson Women’s Volleyball team all got an early start.
Alumni Choir members used the morning hours to rehearse in preparation for the night’s live recording with legendary artist Bob Bennett.
Judson President Gene Crume and his wife, Cindy Crume, extended a “Coffee with the Crumes” invitation to alumni to meet them in the Reed Room for coffee and an informal state of Judson update.
There was a special Hall of Fame Lunch & Induction Ceremony in Lindner Commons for Judson sports legends who left their indelible mark on campus. They included: Julie Anderson Schickert of Milwaukee, Wis. (Women’s Volleyball, 2001-2004); Heather Johnson of Belvidere, Ill. (Women’s Basketball, 1998-2000); Jim Wallis of Poplar Grove, Ill. (coach, Men’s Basketball, 1984-1993); Doco Wesseh of Newark, Ill. (Men’s Soccer, 2002-2004); Rick Williams of Schaumburg, Ill. (Men’s Basketball, 1998-2002); and Bob Pleticha of Elgin, Ill. (Weightlifting, 1972). The Judson Hall of Fame will also honor the 1991 Men’s Soccer team.
The afternoon hours included walking tours, a special alumni gathering for School of Business and Professional Studies graduates, and a Toasty Cheese Food Truck for those seeking gooey cheesy satisfaction.
Other afternoon highlights included a return of the Zuzu African Acrobats to kick off play time under the Hospitality Tents. There was an exotic petting zoo, carnival games and inflatables for the young and the young at heart.
The Men’s Varsity Soccer team played against Olivet Nazarene University, and the Women’s Varsity Soccer team played against Olivet as well.
The Exercise and Sport Science program celebrated its 30th anniversary on this day. Physical Education, Health and Wellness, and Sport Administration alumni and faculty gathered under the Hospitality Tent between 2:30-4:30 p.m. to celebrate with light refreshments.
And, at 7 p.m., there was an unprecedented live recording concert between legendary singer-songwriter Bob Bennett and the Judson University Choir (alumni and current members participating). The singers performed 10-12 songs from Bennett’s canon. The music was professionally recorded for CD by producer Gary Hedden. The CD will be made available for purchase soon