Lee Hosts Record Setting Homecoming

Friday, November 15, 2013

Life is returning to normal for Lee University after more than 1,200 alumni and 2,500 total guests returned to campus for a record-setting Homecoming weekend. “This was our 53rd Homecoming,” explained Jerome Hammond, vice president for University Relations, “and the largest attendance on record.”  Mr. Hammond said that two significant reunions and several new initiatives account for the large crowd.

The Lee Singers and Alpha Gamma Chi both celebrated 50th anniversaries during the Homecoming program. The Lee Singers brought back nearly 500 alumni representing each of the five decades from 1963 to 2013. “It felt so amazing to be back together with everyone,” said Dwayne McLuhan, a 1968 Lee graduate from Sun City, Ariz. “It’s like you pick up right where you left off.” The Greek club Alpha Gamma Chi also hosted a luncheon drawing more than 300 alumni to campus.     

In addition to the reunions Mr. Hammond said some important changes help to explain the turnout. “A few years ago the university recognized that Homecoming needed updating to better reflect alumni interests. We also recognized the need to improve how we connect with alumni throughout the year. The combination of those changes has made Homecoming weekend more enjoyable for our alumni.”

A major addition to Homecoming was the introduction of departmental breakfasts. For the first time, alumni were invited to join their college professors for breakfast and a brief program. Each of the nine breakfasts featured an update from the department Chair, a keynote speech by a special guest, and the presentation of a departmental distinguished alumnus award. “We had no idea these would be so popular,” said Patti Cawood, director of Alumni Relations. “We thought alumni would like this element, but no one anticipated the great turnout. It must be true that alumni really like their profs.”   

Other new events included “Lawyers at Lee,” a reception for alumni working in the legal profession; Alumni Q&A, a panel of successful alumni answering student questions about life after college; Lee 2.0, a reception for current students with familial relations to a Lee alumnus; and Blessing of the Couples, a brief devotional ceremony in front of the Lee Chapel performed by the campus pastor. 

any of the more familiar events were on the homecoming schedule as well. The Grand Reunion returned as the preferred event for all alumni to gather and enjoy Friday night. Dr. Paul Conn fired the starting gun for the Homecoming 5K through downtown Cleveland and Lee’s Campus. Lee students again set up booths early Saturday morning at the Homecoming Tailgate Party, giving alumni an update about clubs, choirs, academics and more.

Following the tailgate party, students and alumni lined the sidewalk to cheer on the Flames as they entered the Walker Arena for the Homecoming ballgame. At the popular music festival the Lee Singers reunion choir took the stage with close to 500 alumni. “It was really cool to see the people that paved the way,” said Lee Singer alum Emilei Disbrow. “Even the charter members were full of excitement to see their old friends.” 

A victory for Lee at the seventh annual Volley for A Cure helped to raise over $40,000 for breast cancer awareness and the Mary Ellen Locher Foundation of Chattanooga.

Alumni filled the Walker Arena and cheered on the Flames to an 86-76 victory against rivals, Tennessee Temple. The Lady Flames also took home a victory with 72-46 over Bryan College. 

Mr. Hammond expects next year to be even bigger. “You don’t get many of these and people realize it,” he says. “Everyone is on Facebook, but there’s nothing like hugging old friends, having coffee with a favorite professor, or yelling like a teenager in a packed Walker Arena. Homecoming is special.”


Tennessee Treasury Department To Host Series Of Webinars On Saving For College

In celebration of College Savings Month, the Tennessee Treasury Department wants to help make college planning easier. Beginning Sept. 10, the department will host a series of free web-based seminars - or webinars - on topics related to college savings. These webinars will include information about the TNStars 529 College Savings Plan, which allows people to save money for children’s ... (click for more)

Dalton State Magazine: A Glimpse Into Campus Life

Jacob Southern turned to two things to help him cope with struggles growing up: fishing and God. After becoming a student at Dalton State, he added conservation biology to that list.    Set to graduate in December, mr. Southern is making great strides in undergraduate research, all while finding himself as a young adult. His story is told in the latest edition of the ... (click for more)

School Board Unanimously Makes Cuts To Teacher Insurance; Spouses Can Only Stay On If They Have No Other Insurance

The Hamilton County School Board on Thursday night voted to Increase the premium for spouses by $100 - a move officials said would save the schools from $2,040,000 to $3,040,000. Spouses will not continue to be covered if they have insurance available to them on their jobs. School officials said the 1,700 spouses on county school insurance last year had $10 million in claims. ... (click for more)

City Audit Hits Travel Abuses By Top Chattanooga Library Personnel; Report Forwarded To State On Possible Fraud

A report by Internal City Auditor Stan Sewell found travel abuses by top personnel of the Chattanooga Library. The auditor said he found possible instances of fraud and forwarded information to state officials in regard to "reported potential fraudulent activity" by Margaret Backus, Systems Administrator and Nathaniel Hill, Assistant Library Director. The report says, ... (click for more)

Thanks For Making The Southern Brewers Festival A Success

Now that the dust has settled I'd like to thank Chattanooga for supporting the Southern Brewers Festival and making it yet another very successful event.    For those who do not know - the SBF benefits the Chattanooga chapter of Kids on the Block and the Chattanooga Community Kitchen.  As a partner helping the SBF with volunteers, sponsorships and the overall production ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Al Sharpton’s Wise Remarks

I’ll admit I paid little more than scant attention to the Monday funeral of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old who was shot and killed by police bullets in Ferguson, Mo., after he allegedly was involved in strong-armed robbery. There are too many tawdry details and, in my way of thinking, there is nothing under God’s sun, absolutely nothing, that gives others the right to riot, burn ... (click for more)