Homecoming

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Homecoming schedule cover 15It looks like the musical “Singin’ in the Rain” may set the tone for Homecoming’s weather this weekend.

After an abnormally dry September and October in Searcy, it looks like rain will come the one weekend at Harding we would prefer it not. The rain and even thunderstorms forecast Friday through Sunday are keeping Vice President for Alumni and Parent Relations Liz Howell busy getting as many events as possible moved indoors.

The show will go on with the main event today the Heritage Circle Banquet honoring the classes of ’65, ’60, ’55, ’50, ’45 and 40. It’s a joy to watch these older alumni return and recapture the memories from 50 or more years ago.

Friday’s schedule is filled with events including a come-and-go reception honoring Treva Pryor from 1-3 p.m. at the History House, featuring its exhibit remembering Dr. Neale Pryor. The evening includes the annual Black & Gold Banquet honoring Harding’s outstanding and distinguished alumni followed by the musical.

Saturday will be filled with reunions of all sorts. Tailgating will move indoors to the Ganus Athletic Center and the football game will go on at First Security Stadium. More reunions and the musical will conclude the weekend’s events.

The great thing about Homecoming is that rain can’t stop the best part of the weekend — reuniting with friends from the past.

We hope to see you here.

Tom Buterbaugh, editor/designer

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Homecoming weekend was packed with activities and events for thousands of students, parents and alumni. The staff of Harding magazine shares some of their favorite moments from the weekend:

“Going out to the annual Knights reunion softball game and watching as current and past members came together and acted like they had all known each other the whole time. Past members telling old stories and new members filling them in on the latest happenings. It was great to see that no matter the year, these guys were trying to put God first, others second and self last.”
-Tim Cox, graphic designer

“This weekend was all about seeing familiar faces and new spaces — I toured the new student publications office during the Reynolds’ open house and was able to see several old and new Comm friends. Working on the Bison staff was one of my favorite college experiences, so it was great to catch up with some of the people I spent hours with hovering over paper layouts, eating tremendous amounts of junk food with, and dealing with the craziness that low sleep levels and high blood sugar can bring out. I think it’s safe to say we were all a little jealous of the new office but still excited for the growth we’ve already seen take place at our alma mater.”
-Bethany Aspey, web content manager

“The best part of Homecoming occurred for me after the game at a family favorite, KJs Restaurant in Judsonia, where we celebrated my freshman daughter’s birthday. Being with my family and my children’s friends from Harding brings me joy as does supporting a local business whose owners have become friends to me. On the way out, the happy owner told me all the patrons at his completely filled restaurant were connected to Harding. I love seeing great town/gown relationships.”
-Tom Buterbaugh, assistant director of public relations

“A surprise telephone call after the football game from a boyhood friend was a highlight of Homecoming 2014 for me. A Harding alumnus, he had not been back to campus in more than 15 years before returning  Nov. 1. We spent hours reminiscing, including his sharing stories of my dad, some of which I had never heard.”
-David Crouch, director of public relations

“As social media manager for the University, my favorite part of Homecoming was seeing the positive and diverse content shared on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook from alumni, parents and students. I loved seeing so many people share common experiences, post photos from favorite places on campus, and express positive feelings about the University and everything for which it still stands.”
-Hannah Owens, director of news services

“My favorite memory of Homecoming weekend came from the football game.  I loved seeing the genuine surprise and joy as the name of the Homecoming Queen was announced. The smile on her face and that moment shared with her dad are just special.”

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“I also had a game moment, too. In the third quarter, SEOSU stopped us on the two-yard line, and their player who made the stop jumped up and started smack talking about how we didn’t score. One of our big linemen, and I wish I remembered which one it was, looked at the SEOSU player, smiled and said, ‘We’re goin in….oh yeah, we’re goin in.’ On the next play we did go in for six points. I love our football team, and I love watching them play for each other.”
-Jeff Montgomery, photographer

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Every once in a while, I will visit my high school during its annual homecoming football game. A flood of memories always surrounds me as I remember classes, teachers and experiences that I had there. Homecoming at Harding for me is a little different because I graduated and couldn’t stay away. I don’t know what it’s like to leave this place and come back to visit. But Homecoming is still my favorite time of the school year because of how this place connects us all together.

In addition to cheering on the Bison football team in their 2 p.m. game against Southeastern Oklahoma State University on Saturday and enjoying a performance of “Shrek The Musical,” visitors on campus and current students can choose from a wide range of activities to relive favorite college memories and create new ones with friends. Student groups like Pied Pipers, Good News Singers and Belles & Beaux will be performing, and there are a number of reunions scheduled for Saturday. For an updated schedule, visit http://www.harding.edu/homecoming/schedule.

We would love to see your homecoming photos and hear about some of your own memories and experiences, so please share them with us throughout the weekend using #HardingHomecoming. It’s a special time for Harding as we are in the midst of our 90th year, and we hope to see you on campus to join in the celebration.

Hannah Owens, director of news services

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It is officially Homecoming at Harding, and we have had an unwelcome visitor — rain. Temperatures in the 80s yesterday dropped into the 50s overnight as a cold front passed through bringing more than an inch of rain to Searcy.

However, the weather promises to be around 60 degrees and sunny tomorrow when the 19th-ranked Bisons take on Arkansas Tech University at 2 p.m. The 6-1 Bisons beat the then 10th-ranked and undefeated Ouachita Baptist University Tigers 34-14 last week.

I’ve heard from a very trusted source — my wife — that this year’s musical, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” is a wonderfully entertaining show. She was part of Wednesday’s matinee crowd from area schools with her second-grade class from Westside Elementary.

Tomorrow will be the official dedication of Legacy Park at 11:15 a.m. followed by an open house showcasing a few of the apartments. Beautiful as they are from the outside, I have heard equally glowing tales of the inside. Tomorrow is the opportunity to find out.

From the Black & Gold Banquet tonight honoring some of Harding’s outstanding alumni to tomorrow’s performances, tailgates and reunions, there is no lack of activity during Homecoming 2012. We hope to see you here!

Tom Buterbaugh, editor/designer

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