Southern’s Annual Homecoming Weekend kicks off today with Convocation at Collegedale Church and will continue with over a dozen festivities throughout the weekend. Although this event does not focus on students, there are various activities this weekend that students will be able to attend such as the Bietz Center for Student Life Construction Celebration and the 16th Annual Antique/Classic Car Show.
According to Ashley Fox, assistant director of Alumni Relations, this is part of the Alumni Relations Office’s effort to incorporate students into Homecoming Weekend more successfully this year.
At the celebration ceremony, students and alumni will have the opportunity to sign their names on the construction beams and leave their mark on the building before it is finished.
“It’ll be behind a wall, but it’s kind of cool because they can make their mark on this building and be a part of this building for generations to come,” Fox said. “So we really encourage students to come out for that.”
Another way that students can engage with Homecoming Weekend is through the revamped Antique/Classic Auto Show on Sunday from 12-3 p.m. led by School of Business professor Teshia Price.
Though the event has existed for many years, attendance and participation have diminished slowly over time. However, community members reached out to the school expressing their desire for the event to continue, and Price was tasked with the responsibility.
According to Price, the revamped show will include aspects that are supposed to appeal more to students and help Southern engage more with the community and not just alumni. Tasty Donuts, Fat Boy’s Roadside Eats, and Clumpies’ Ice Cream are some of the food vendors that will be present at the event. Price also mentioned that there will be a race car simulator along with music provided by the School of Music’s Jazz Ensemble.
“I recognize this as an opportunity to showcase our campus and who we are and what we have to offer the community,” Price said.
Price said there were over 50 people signed up to display their cars as of Tuesday afternoon, but they are hoping to fill the 75 available spots available at the Wood Hall parking lot.
Apart from these smaller-scale events, there are also a few larger events planned for the weekend. Southern’s male choir, Die Meistersingers, hosts a reunion concert every five years during Homecoming Weekend, where anyone who has been a past member is invited to sing with the group.
Bruce Coston, a 1989 alumnus who will be participating in the reunion, was first exposed to the group at a youth conference in Miami in 1976 as a high school sophomore. He believes there is something special about an all male choir.
“It’s a male chorus so the sound is very different than a typical [Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass] choir ” Bruce Coston said. “It was very, very powerful and I was just blown away when I first heard it so when I got to college, it was the group that I wanted to be in.”
Though the group usually performs more traditional Christian music, Cynthia Coston, 1989 alumnus and wife of Meistersinger Bruce Coston, believes that this concert can still provide something of value to college students.
“There is not necessarily an immediate draw for a current student to go watch a bunch of old people reliving the glory days.” Cynthia Coston said. “[But] there is something very enlightening and uplifting about watching and listening people perform or describe something that they are passionate about.”
The concert is set to take place on Saturday afternoon at 4p.m. at Collegedale
Besides these events, there are plenty of other activities that are geared more towards alumni, such as Saturday’s Golden Anniversary Reunion, which is intended for alumni who graduated 50 years ago in 1969. The reception will be hosted by 1969 Student Association President Ted Hamilton.