Kansas Wesleyan University will welcome back alumni and their families for Homecoming and Family Weekend, with an extensive slate of happenings Oct. 11-13 that includes numerous first-time events, traditions such as the athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony, and an exciting conference football matchup at the Graves Family Sports Complex.
The action gets underway with two events earlier in the week, as the KWU Wind Ensemble holds “Voices of Eve: An Evening of Women in Music” at Sams Chapel on Monday, Oct. 7. The concert is a free event, and will feature multiple world premiere pieces from female composers to help recognize the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19thAmendment.
On Thursday, Oct. 10, the campus and Salina communities will celebrate the success of the Nursing campaign with a ceremony held at the future site of KWU’s Nursing Education Center (135 E. Claflin Avenue). The campaign for the new facility has already raised over $3.5 million. The celebration gets underway at 5:30 p.m.
Homecoming begins in earnest Friday morning, Oct. 11, as alumni have an opportunity to attend various classes from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. The Class of 1969 will celebrate its 50-year reunion and be inducted into the Order of the Golden W at 12:30 p.m., the same time that the Coyote Cup Golf Outing begins at the Salina Country Club. That event will have a new pro-am format this year, as each foursome will include a KWU golfer or a local golf pro.
Alumni will have an opportunity to attend the Heritage Society Estate Planning Workshop, presented by BE Wealth, at 2:30 p.m., prior to the Alumni Awards Dinner at 6 p.m. Alumni Ryan Hicks ’05 (Young Alumni Award), Gordon Gorton ’67 (Alumni Service Award) and Randle Corfman ’79 (Alumni Achievement Award) will be recognized, while Emily-May and Jim Richards will receive the Alumni by Choice award.
Friday wraps up with a basketball Late Night event at Mabee Arena, highlighted by the introduction of this year’s men’s and women’s basketball teams. A food truck party will follow behind the Student Activities Center, where some of Salina’s best food trucks will have their wares available.
Saturday starts with a bang, as five former KWU Coyotes are inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame Breakfast is at 8 a.m. in Muir Gym, and includes 2009 NAIA All-American Kaylaen (Dittmer) Evans, former baseball standout Charlie Dyer ’70, All-KCAC honoree Todd Hampton of football, class of ’59, Jimmy Ranieri ’98, a two-sport star in soccer and football and Jay Morton ’01, a four-time NAIA qualifier in the discus and shot-put. The 2001 and 2002 conference championship football teams will also be inducted.
The school will honor athletic Hall of Famer and former administrator Ginny Bevan ’56 at 10 a.m. with a ceremony that will name a location on campus, before the newly revamped Pollak Chemistry Lab can be toured during an open house from 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Class reunion photos, as well as alumni baseball and softball games follow, before tailgating gets underway at noon for the 2 p.m. football game. Unique to the tailgating experience for the Oct. 12 game will be a “Beer and Brats” tent at the Kirwin House, located just off campus, at which alumni 21 and over may purchase a $20 ticket for beer and a brat sandwich.
After the game, alumni should make sure to stay on campus for the popular homecoming concert at Sams Chapel, which will start at 5:30 p.m., and at 7 p.m. at St. John’s Military School, KWU will celebrate 50 Years of Women’s Athletics with a special dinner reception.
The weekend wraps up Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m. with a service at University United Methodist Church that will feature the KWU Philharmonic Choir.