Homecoming 2015 was fabulous! It is hard to find the right words to articulate what made the three days so wonderful. The alumni who descended on the campus brought an energy and love seen in their smiles, tears and sharing of memories. The class reunions, with yearbooks open and old hairstyles revisited, brought alumni back to the deep sense of community they shared as students. The children of alumni, faculty and staff added laughter and joy, whether in the bounce house or at an athletic event. The current students brought energy under the big tent, sharing the exciting activities and their passion around student organizations. And there were the athletic events. Although there wasn’t a Redhawks soccer game, lacrosse, tennis and volleyball provided exciting games. The weather was outstanding! I could go on and on…It was everything you would wish a homecoming to be.
Amidst all the excitement and energy there were two other significant moments over the weekend – two events that leave me almost speechless: the dedication of the Crothers Science & Nursing Center and the dedication of the Dorothy Whittingham Nursing Simulation Labs.
On Friday morning the community gathered to dedicate the new Crothers Science & Nursing Center. The building, over 40,000 square feet of science and nursing simulation and lab space, was named in honor of former President and First Lady Bill and Rilla Crothers by an anonymous donor. That act alone is worth noting because of the humility and grace in which the donors gave. The donors’ grace was matched by the gracious words of Bill and Rilla when they humbly acknowledged the moment and expressed their gratitude to the staff, faculty and colleagues who served with them. Throughout the day and weekend the new building was praised and admired by scores of people who toured it, by the news media coverage and during the many other events of Homecoming. There are many stories to tell, but I encourage you to personally visit the new building to see what all the “buzz” is about. This new building represents God’s faithfulness and his ability to use people in advancing his mission. He did that through the leadership of the Crothers and it is represented in the beauty and totality of this amazing new facility on our campus.
On Saturday afternoon we dedicated the Dorothy Whittingham Nursing Simulation Lab, which is a significant part of the Crothers Science & Nursing Center. I was amazed by the number of alumni at the dedication – how many had been impacted by the life of one visionary leader. To have known Dorothy would have been a gift. The stories told revealed her belief in students, her strong leadership and her commitment to advancing transformational education in the lives of those she educated at Roberts.
I could go on and on about homecoming but will leave you with a short video that captured some of the events.