by Ben Konuch, Student Public Relations Writer
Reunions, celebrations and class events marked the 2023 homecoming weekend at Cedarville University, Oct. 6-7.
The weekend starts with the annual cardboard canoe race across Cedar Lake. As part of a class project, engineering students design and build a canoe out of cardboard and duct tape and race across Cedar Lake. If a team’s canoe sinks, the team of students receive a negative grade, but many canoes successfully float and provide a fun and exciting way to kick off the homecoming festivities. The team that successfully reaches the other side of the lake in the shortest amount of time is declared the winner.
“Homecoming is an incredible opportunity for our current students to see the community of alumni return to campus to reconnect and remember their own times here, and it’s great for our returning alumni to be able to see the changes and the ways God is working through Cedarville,” shared Diana Perkey, director of alumni engagement. “Whether you haven’t been back to Cedarville in four years of 40, it’s a fantastic opportunity to see the many ways God has blessed Cedarville through campus expansion and how that impacts our current students."
Other events during the two days included a special State of the University chapel message from Dr. Thomas White, president; the opening of the fall play, “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”; a jazz band concert; homecoming parade Saturday morning; and the traditional alumni honors dinner.
This year, Cedarville University honored Donna (Payne) VanLiere from the class of 1989 as the Alumna of the Year. In addition, Meredith (Wood) Docena from the class of 2014, was awarded Young Alumna of the Year and Chuck and Anita Petersen were named Honorary Alumni of the Year. In addition, two alumni athletes, Samantha (Maat) Modderman and Julia (Bradley) Schaap, both from the class of 2007 were inducted into Cedarville's Athletic Hall of Fame.
These awards recognized alumni who have taken the educational and spiritual growth they experienced at Cedarville and have used it to impact the world around them for the better, whether that be in a business, missional, mentoring or other context.
“We in alumni engagement have a saying called ‘Jackets for Life,’” explained Perkey. “Once you get to this campus, you’re not just a Cedarville Yellow Jacket for four years, you’re a Jacket for Life. That means you have a place in a community of multiple generations of alumni who are all there to stand beside you, and homecoming is a weekend to remember that.”
The homecoming weekend concluded with a special time of worship open to both students and alumni in the Dixon Ministry Center’s Jeremiah Chapel that seeks to encourage and unite members of all generations.
“The ultimate purpose of homecoming is to celebrate what God has done, is doing and will continue to do at Cedarville and what is happening in the lives of both current students and alumni,” said Perkey.
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 5,456 undergraduate, graduate, and dual enrolled high school students in more than 175 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is one of the largest private universities in Ohio, recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, high graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and the #4 national ranking by the Wall Street Journal for student engagement. For more information about the University, visit cedarville.edu.