Homecoming 2016: A Family Reunion
By Janai Tedder
CIU Student Writer
Generations of voices echoed in Shortess Chapel as Columbia International University’s alumni, students and faculty celebrated the opening of Homecoming 2016 on Nov. 4-5. Alumni journeyed back to CIU to take a trip down memory lane and participate in events such as the Crowder and Tedashii concert, the CIU Bowl, the Rambunctious Run, the President’s Banquet and class reunions.
President Bill Jones kicked off the weekend at the Friday Chapel by introducing CIU’s Alumnus of the Year, Paul Tripp (‘72). Tripp is a pastor, author, conference speaker and president of Paul Tripp Ministries. He desires to help people understand how the gospel speaks hope into everything people experience in our broken world. Tripp encouraged the Chapel audience by reminding them of the power of God’s grace and continued that theme into his address at the President’s Banquet where alumni also honored the life of former CIU President Robertson McQuilkin who died in June. His wife, Deb, spoke saying the things she misses the most about him are his early morning hymn sings and prayers, and his godly way of life.
Alumni and students then crowded into Shortess Chapel to hear contemporary Christian music artists Crowder and Tedashii in concert. CIU was the final night of their nationwide American Prodigal Tour.
“The Crowder concert was definitely my favorite part of the weekend,” sophomore Abby Martin said.
The following Saturday morning, families, students, young and old gathered to participate in the Rambunctious Run or the Shofar Shuffle. CIU Hebrews professor Dr. Bryan Beyer sounded the shofar to start the race while athletes from women’s soccer and cross country encouraged participants along the course.
Afternoon activities included lunch on the Quad, kite-flying, a bounce house, men’s basketball home opener and The CIU Players performance of “The Matchmaker.”
“I’ve really enjoyed reconnecting with my friends,” Robert Hale, graduate of 1986 said about the weekend. “It’s really neat to see the campus and athletic programs expanding.”
That evening, despite the dropping temperature, the CIU family filled the stands at the Ben Lippen football field to watch the CIU Bowl, the annual men and women’s flag football games.
For the women, it was the gold shirted alumni versus the blue shirted students. It was a seesaw battle with the alumni tying the game in the last minute. The teams went into overtime with the alumni coming out on top 48-42.
Only students participated in the men’s game but the competition was just as fierce. The blue and gold were neck and neck the whole game but an interception in the last minute allowed the blue team to win 20-18.
Meanwhile, fans kept warm by sampling the entries in CIU’s chili cook-off. Junior Micah-Ann Stephenson won with her tasty creamy white chili.
The weekend included something for every CIU family member; each of them on a path impacted by their time at CIU.
“I miss the atmosphere the most,” Phyllis Barnes, graduate of 1956 said. “It’s always nice to come back here as an older person and be a part of the family again.”
View photos from Homecoming 2016 at the CIU Alumni Relations Facebook page.