More than 1,000 alumni and friends descended upon Gettysburg College to engage in celebrations and festivities across campus as part of Homecoming and BOLD Reunion Weekend on Oct. 14-16. Campus organizations stood at the ready with showcases and exhibits displaying the hard work of students and staff, while a range of receptions and gatherings welcomed alumni back to their alma mater.
Celebrations included the Black Student Union’s (BSU) 50th Anniversary, Class of 2017’s 5th year reunion, Class of 2012’s 10th year reunion, and gatherings for additional Burgians of the Last Decade (BOLD). The weekend was also rife with campus spirt in support of past and present alumni from the world of athletics with several home events and alumni competitions.
Check out some of the highlights below from an exciting Homecoming Weekend!
BSU celebrates 50 years
As profiled in the latest issue of GETTYSBURG College Magazine, the Black Student Union (BSU) is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Alumni spanning six decades returned to campus to engage with current students in a variety of events, including a networking brunch and a series of panels discussing the past and future of the BSU. The Office of Multicultural Engagement (OME) held a cookout at the Mosaic House on Friday night and alumni challenged current students to some friendly outdoor games and activities on Saturday. Capping an incredible weekend was the 50th Anniversary Celebration Gala inside the Atrium, where President Bob Iuliano presented the 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award to the family of Buddy Glover ’71. Glover, who passed away in 2021, laid the groundwork for the founding of the BSU in 1972.
Hall of Athletic Honor Induction Ceremony
The Hall of Athletic Honor added six new inductees and recognized the 2011 women’s lacrosse national championship team as a Team of Distinction. With the ceremony postponed two years, Jessica Seedorf Zay ’01, Judy Langan ’85, Robert Lewis ’86, Tommy Pearce ’01, Missy West Alder ’01, and former head swim coach Mike Rawleigh finally received their due in front of a crowd of nearly 250 people in the College Union Building (CUB) Ballroom. The women’s lacrosse team, which claimed the institution’s first NCAA Division III team championship in 2011, was recognized as the fifth Team of Distinction. Both individual inductees and the lacrosse team were honored at halftime of the football game on Saturday.
BOLD alumni return
The Classes of 2012 and 2017 celebrated their 10-year and five-year reunions, respectively. The Class of 2012 met for a social in the Atrium on Friday before a reception on the patio of the Science Center on Saturday, during which President Iuliano and Physics Prof. Kurt Andresen offered greetings and insights. The Class of 2017 held a casual social event in town on Friday before taking a class photo at the tailgate lunch prior to the football game. The two classes were part of a large contingent of BOLD alumni that returned to campus.
Happy birthday, Ike!
The Eisenhower Institute (EI) held a birthday celebration for its namesake and former President Dwight D. Eisenhower on Friday, Oct. 14. Students, alumni, and friends joined EI staff for cake and refreshments in the Junction in the CUB in honor of Ike’s 132nd birthday. The Dwight D. Eisenhower Society also commemorated General Eisenhower’s birthday with a wreath ceremony at the Eisenhower statue located at the Office of Admissions.
Campus was bustling with activity from every corner with home sporting events in cross country, football, field hockey, and volleyball. The Aubrey Shenk Invitational, named in honor of long-time coach Aubrey Shenk, featured more than 350 competitors from 36 teams. The Gettysburg women finished third overall, while the men placed ninth. Football faced No. 21 Susquehanna University in front of a crowd of nearly 2,200 at Shirk Field at Musselman Stadium, followed by field hockey then taking on Centennial Conference rival Washington College on the turf. The volleyball team swept past Washington 3-0 inside Bream Gym. Additionally, the weekend featured competitive alumni games for baseball and women’s lacrosse.
Celebrating with retirees
More than 400 alumni, parents, and students attended a pair of retirement celebrations featuring long-time athletic coaches and staff members Carol Cantele, Barb Jordan, Kelly Jones, and John Campo. Cantele and Jordan mingled with lacrosse and field hockey players from over four decades inside the CUB Ballroom with Jones attending as a special guest. Campo was honored in a similar fashion for his 37 years at the helm of the baseball program with a gathering on the patio outside the Jaeger Center.
Connecting across campus
Offices and departments across campus opened their doors to the throngs of alumni visiting campus. On Friday, receptions and networking events were hosted by sociology, English, mathematics, chemistry, and economics departments. The Center for Career Engagement (CCE) hosted an open house to give visitors a glimpse of the tools and resources available for students to utilize as they build their careers at Gettysburg. On Saturday, Sigma Nu, Alpha Delta Pi, and Alpha Phi Omega headlined gatherings among Greek organizations before the weekend festivities ended with the all-campus party in The Attic.
Exhibits on display
Musselman Library and Schmucker Art Gallery showcased several exhibits throughout Homecoming Weekend. Located on the library’s main floor are a pair of exhibits called Light and Shadow: American Women Behind the Lens, 1850-2020, and Graces and Repose: Capturing the Culture of Late 19th Century Japan. The main stair tower contains a series of lithographs by artist Paul Van Hoeydonck from 1982 called Cosmic Creations Looking Up. Located on the lower level printing station, Change Happens Here features a series of posters that focus on parts of the Gettysburg College story that have been minimized or neglected altogether in previous histories, particularly with respect to underrepresented groups, issues, and activisms. Finally, Special Collections contains an exhibit detailing the history of women’s education at the College entitled Educating Women at Gettysburg College: Progress and Pushback.
The art gallery features two exhibits for public consumption over the next several weeks. Confuse the Issues: Art, Text, and Identity features text-based works by prominent contemporary artists of color who demonstrate the power of language. This exhibit will be available until Dec. 10. Decameron Row, In Memoriam features videos created by more than 100 artists during the COVID-19 pandemic and includes video reflections on the artwork by Gettysburg College students. The display will be available until Nov. 12.
By Corey Jewart