A Time of CelebrationHomecoming and High School Days Weekend
Homecoming – High School Days weekend on the YC campus was a mixture of seasons as the autumn temperatures gave way to a blanket of snow on Saturday morning. But that didn't stop a full slate of activities that left everyone happily exhausted.
High school juniors and seniors had the opportunity to attend college classes and chapel on Friday morning. YC alumnus Sean Algaier of NBC's hit show The Biggest Loser gave a powerful presentation to a packed auditorium. His message about loving yourself before trying to love your neighbor was filled with humor and several references to his time on "the ranch". Algaier has transformed from his opening weight on the show at 444 pounds to 284 and hopes to reach his goal of 200 lbs within a year. Watch an exclusive NewsTimes video.
That afternoon, alumni and guests participated in the 13th Annual Homecoming Golf Tournament held at the York Country Club. It was the best of the weekend's weather as eight teams enjoyed their time on the links. Over $1,400 was awarded in flags and prizes through the support of alumni sponsors: David Lynn ’74, Grimes brothers (Dave ’76, Mark ’78, and Scott ’80), and Roger Deal ’90. The winning score of -13 under par was turned in by the class of '84: Tom Bennett, Noel Lawrence, Jim Stickels, and Steddon Sikes. Second place went once again to the Grimes family: Dave’76, Damon '07, Dan ’08, and Matt '12.
Gurganus Hall was filled with outbursts of laughter as guests enjoyed the comedic tale of The Imaginary Invalid put on by the YC Theatre Department. Closing out Friday’s schedule was a reception for alumni and a campus-wide worship led by Algaier and Willie Sanchez. High schoolers who could stay awake watched a late showing of the movie UP.
Saturday started out with Rick Eldred ’71 and Steve Eckman ’71 providing the Alumni Chapel program, followed by the Concert Choir’s inspiring performance. President Eckman then honored three YC grads with the 2009 alumni awards: Dr. Dottie Schulz ('58) - Servant Leader Award, Richard James ('97) - Young Alumnus of the Year, and Tim McNeese ('73) - Alumnus of the Year.
The Dale and Raylene Larsen Commons was dedicated in honor of YC's 14th president and first lady. Members of the Larsen family were on hand for the presentation at chapel and took part in the unveiling of the courtyard name. Dr. Larsen served as YC president from 1960-1978, the longest tenure in the college's history. During his presidency, McCloud Hall, Levitt Library, Thomas Hall, and the Freeman Center were built. Prior to his service as president, Dr. Larsen was instrumental in negotiations for the school's reopening in 1956.
Homecoming Royalty was crowned during halftime of the men's soccer game with Amber Soderholm, senior History/English major, receiving the honors as YC Queen and Caleb Rush, senior Business Communications major, dubbed King. Other members of the Homecoming Court were senior candidates (l-r): Renee Willard, Mark Smesrud, Sarah Stoutzenberger, Mason Lee, Sonia Rohda, Langston Frison, Lea Childress, and Bo Blackman. Representing the other classes in the court were Juniors – Aubrey Sanchez and Heath Schmalzried, Sophomores – Carrie Berger and Saul Perez, and Freshmen – Hailey Siebold and Jeremy Burgener.
High school guests were treated to a pizza party by the Admissions Office and YC's own Deal or No Deal before they braved the cold for a bonfire devotional to close out the evening. Gatherings of reunion classes went late into the night as classmates shared memories and filled each other in on recent happenings in their lives. The weekend proved once again to be a fun weekend getaway for YC's future students and a great homecoming for all those who have tasted “The York Experience.”