by Rebecca Sneed
The 2015 Homecoming, held October 2-4, was another great success this year. Lauren Youse, director of alumni services and development said, “I’m so pleased with the alumni turnout at Homecoming this year. Alumni of all ages came to campus to play in alumni games, attend banquets and luncheons, and reunite with their classmates.”
The 50 Year Club luncheon on Friday saw approximately thirty graduates from 1965 and earlier. Eleven graduates from the 1965 class were given a medallion and inducted into the club. After the luncheon, the alumni toured the campus, visiting their old dorms and exploring new buildings.
Later that night, everyone dressed in their best for the Homecoming Banquet in the Mabee Sports Complex. The ceiling was tented in blue and comic book superhero decorations decked the tables. Guests enjoyed an Italian-themed dinner with chicken Alfredo, manicotti, and other delicious sides. Following dinner, plastic superhero action figures stood watch over the ice cream sundae bar as students and alumni enjoyed the dessert buffet.
A new event took stage this year as the fun evening continued in the Roland Fine Arts Center. Four members of the HLGU Staff competed in a lip sync battle. With the winner being determined by cheers from the audience, nobody lost.
Shelby Blanchard was crowned the 2015-2016 Homecoming Queen during the Homecoming coronation, and Reid Echelmeier was named Homecoming King. Shelby is a psychology major from Kansas City, and Reid is a secondary education English major from Higginsville, MO.
Other candidates were seniors Kendra Derryberry of Springfield, MO, Natalie Jeffries of Higginsville, MO, Selina Yamout of Tyre, Lebanon, Austin Groshong of Silex, MO, Wyatt Stephens of Galena, MO, and Michael Wright of St. Clair, MO.
This year’s Outstanding Service Alumni Award was presented to Scott Ashton. Ashton, born in Edmond, Oklahoma, received his bachelor’s degree in secondary education, social studies from Hannibal-LaGrange in 1997.
Following graduation, Scott served as the head baseball coach at HLGU from 1997 to 2001. In 2001 he accepted a position as an area representative for Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). Today he serves as the Missouri state director of FCA. He has directed more than 20 FCA camps and events and has served as the basketball and baseball chaplain for the University of Missouri.
Scott has had significant ministry training through FCA. He is a graduate of their Leaders of Excellence program and is a certified presenter of 3Dimensional Coaching.
Scott and his wife Susan live in Columbia, MO and have been married for 18 years. Together they have five children: Gavin, Conner, Chase, Madelyn, and Landon. The Ashtons attend The Crossing where Scott leads worship for children and co-leads a small group. He is also an active participant in All Pro Dad starting “Donuts with Dads” in Columbia schools. Scott enjoys Jesus, his family, and travel.
Entertainment for the evening was provided by Comic Magician Tim Gabrielson. Gabrielson performed for the homecoming entertainment in 2012, and he once again inspired the audience to live well and keep it funny.
Other homecoming events included the Alumni Golf Classic, the Scarlet and Blue Scramble, alumni athletic events, and men’s and women’s soccer games.
Though the Lady Trojans were unable to pull through against Lindenwood-Belleville, the men’s soccer team was victorious and won the game 3-2. With the victory, Coach David Erskine received his 200th career win at HLGU. Coach Erskine started the men’s and women’s soccer programs at HLGU in 1998 and is now in his 18th season. He is on the NAIA men’s soccer winningest active coaches list and is tied for 22nd overall.
Homecoming events wrapped up on Sunday morning with a worship service on campus led by HLGU’s Praise Song and a message given by Dr. Anthony Allen, HLGU President. Special music was performed by HLGU’s Chamber Choir.
Next year, Homecoming is scheduled for Friday, September 30 through Sunday October 2.