Another Alumni Weekend has come and gone. For each of the 400-plus alumni who returned to campus June 21-23, there are an equal number of reasons why “There’s No Place Like Heidelberg.”
That was the theme for this year’s celebration, a weekend packed with activities designed to allow alumni to reconnect and reminisce about their college days.
A record-setting class who entered the Heidelberg Heritage Society kicked off the weekend with their annual dinner Thursday. Members of the Board of Trustees, on campus for their summer meeting, joined Heritage Society guests – those who have designated Heidelberg in their estate plans -- for dinner, fellowship and recognition. A total of 23 new members were “pinned” to signify their entry into the Heritage Society, pushing total membership 220.
Trustees joined the campus community and alumni Friday morning for the dedication of the Owen Academic & Career Support Center. The center was named in honor of Terry and Edda (Izzo) Owen, who provided a major gift to endow its services to students.
On Friday, Dr. Doug McConnell and a group of students performed a medley of “Wizard of Oz” tunes for the members of the Medallion Club. Each of the past 13 years, alumni who are celebrating (or have celebrated) the 50th anniversary of their graduation are inducted into the Medallion Club. This year’s honored guests were the members of the Class of 1963.
Throughout the day on Friday and again Saturday, returning alumni had the opportunity to participate in a series of Classes Without Quizzes – presentations from members of the Class of ’63 on a variety of topics. Alumni presenters and their topics included “Life as a Judge,” Richard Warren; “How to Carve a Duck,” Jim Drake; “Country Doctor,” Nancy Blaine Clark; “How to Own a Business,” Gerald Eighmy; and “So You Think You Want to Own a Racehorse,” Ron and Kay (Buss) Grothaus.
The annual Remembrance Tree Planting Ceremony was held Saturday morning. This year’s tree, a Burr Oak was planted in front of Adams Hall in memory of the 14 friends and 206 alumni, including the Rev. Dr. Robert B. Frey, ’38, and Dr. Margaret “Peg” Williams, ’80, who died in the past year.
Reunion classes converged on Greenfield Street for the annual Parade of Classes, leading up to the luncheon inside Seiberling Gymnasium. Once there, the more than 400 alumni, family and friends who attended the celebration were treated to a fast-paced and entertaining year-in-review video.
President Huntington updated the alumni on Heidelberg’s current enrollment status, fund-raising initiatives including progress on the $75 million the Academic Comprehensive Campaign for Excellence, academic programs and co-curricular offerings.
Another highlight of the luncheon was presentation of this year’s alumni awards. This year’s recipients epitomize the Alumni Weekend theme for the foundation their Heidelberg educations provided toward their contributions to their professions, their communities and their alma mater in the years since their graduation.
This year’s winners are:
- Dr. Meridith “Mimi” Treen, ’81 – Alumni Career Excellence Award
- Bob Youngblood, ’70 – Service Award
- Dr. Kenneth Davison, ’46 – Outstanding Alumni Award
- Vitz-Gorrell-King Family and Castanien-Quellhorst Family – Legacy Family Awards
To celebrate their golden anniversary, the Class of ’63 presented the results of their reunion giving initiative in the amount of $5.5 million – the largest ever in the 13-year history of the reunion giving program. The total represents gifts, pledges and planned gifts toward donor-selected items within ACCE.
As has become tradition, the luncheon concluded with a fine presentation by the Alumni Choir. Reunion classes celebrated with dinners on campus and in Tiffin Saturday night, and the weekend ended on a high note with a worship service, organized by the Class of ’63, and a meeting of the Alumni Council.