OU Homecoming 2014Posted by Paula Paine on November 11, 2014 in "alumni banquet", "Class Reunions", Homecoming, "Homecoming 2014", Reunion, "Your OU" Homecoming – doesn’t that have a nice ring to it? The idea of coming home to Ottawa University - where you belonged; where you grew as a young adult; where you had faculty and staff who nurtured you and classmates who became lifelong friends. OU - where you were given the freedom to explore who you are and what you wanted to become; to engage in activities of all kinds and take advantage of opportunities that the real world would later not afford. It was a golden place for a golden time. And Homecoming serves to bring you back to that place and time, if but for a moment, while also allowing you to become a part of the OU history that continues to be written.
Homecoming 2014 proved to be exactly that. On October 17-19, alumni from multiple eras enjoyed reconnecting with their classmates, trying out the new dining and concession facilities in the Gibson Student Center, and participating in a number of Homecoming activities scheduled especially for them.
On Friday night, Oct. 17, the classes of 1954, 1964, 1969, 1979, 1989, and those who graduated more than 50 years ago all held class dinners around town, in homes, or on campus.
The annual Alumni Awards Banquet was held on Saturday in the Mabee Center. Honorees were Sharon (Mueller) Farral ’60 (Distinguished Service Award); Eldon Rader (Honorary Alumni Membership); Trish Dowd Kelne and Travler Chair (Esther Ruth Award); and Patricia (Lane) Volland ’64 (Outstanding Achievement Award). Read more about the recipients here.
Also during the evening, the Alumni Choir performed and the Class of ’64 made the largest class gift in OU history, presenting a check for $162,000 for the Gangwish Library and Gibson Student Center. The Class of ’54 gave an additional $25,000 toward the facility.
While some alumni participated in the annual 5K run, softball, basketball and baseball alumni took on current athletes in scrimmages over the weekend that no doubt left many happy to leave their glory days behind.
Alumni and families visiting for the fall family weekend were able to take advantage of campus tours, the second annual Otter Race in City Park, the Family Fun Zone, and multiple athletic events as part of the weekend’s activities. The Braves and Lady Braves took on Sterling College, with Braves Football eking out a nail-biting 42-41 victory; Women’s Soccer besting the Warriors 3-0; and Men’s Soccer going two overtime periods to post a 3-3 tie. Following a long OU tradition, new Homecoming King Garrett Galanski and Queen Kaitlyn Thornburg were crowned during the football game.
Throughout Homecoming week, students were not at a loss for things to do, with activities that included a tie-dye party, photo booth, Rivalry Game Show, movie nights, bonfire, and fireworks. Fall Family Weekend festivities were held the same weekend as Homecoming, as well, with more than 100 people registering to attend.
Both for those who “came home” to their alma mater over the weekend and those who currently call OU home, the Ottawa Spirit served to unite them all in a spirit of celebration throughout the Homecoming festivities.