Homecoming 2019: Reunions, Performances, Alumni Recognition

“Whether it has been five years or 50 years, returning to campus is a special time for alumni to reconnect with people and a place that are central to so many wonderful memories.” — Bill Arnold

Alma College drum line. Alma College drum line.Alumni spanning seven decades will reconnect with faculty and friends, rekindle favorite memories, observe changes to campus and celebrate class reunions when they return Sept. 20-22 for Alma College’s annual homecoming celebration.

“There are very few experiences like homecoming weekend,” says Bill Arnold ’91, senior director of alumni and family engagement. “Campus comes alive as it is infused with the pride, loyalty and love alumni feel for the college. Whether it has been five years or 50 years, returning to campus is a special time for alumni to reconnect with people and a place that are central to so many wonderful memories.”

The festivities begin Friday, Sept. 20, with the Career Explo from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Hogan Center, Art Smith Arena. Alumni share their career experiences and advice with current students.

Friday’s schedule also includes a performance by the Alma College Percussion Ensemble and Pipe Band at 8 p.m. in the Remick Heritage Center, Presbyterian Hall. Tickets for the percussion concert are $15 for adults, $5 for senior citizens 62 and up, and free for Alma College staff, students and youth 18 and under. Seating is reserved. Call (989) 463-7304 for ticket information.

Scot Trot runner. Scot Trot runner.Activities on Saturday, Sept. 21, include an alumni memorial chapel service at 8:30 a.m., the 5K Scot Trot at 9 a.m., Golden Thistle Breakfast at 9:30 a.m. for alumni who graduated in 1969 (50 years) or earlier and the homecoming parade at 11 a.m. 

The Campus Community Lunch takes place from noon to 2 p.m., with the football game starting at 2 p.m. An enclosed alumni family area on the north side of the Dow Science Center features refreshments, kids’ activities and inflatables from 1 to 4 p.m.

In addition, the alumni classes of 2009, 1994 and 1969 will celebrate their 10-, 25- and 50-year reunions during homecoming weekend.

The 2019 alumni award recipients will be honored immediately preceding the homecoming choir concert at 7 p.m. Sept. 21 in the Remick Heritage Center, with admission free and open to the public.

Visit for the complete homecoming schedule.

Antje Newhagen Antje NewhagenDistinguished Alumni Award

Antje Newhagen, Class of 1967, has devoted her life to education, service, leadership, conservation and philanthropy. Originally from Germany, she was named an Alma College Trustee Emeritus after serving on the Board of Trustees from 2004-13. Her professional career included stints as a communications/marketing director and college professor. In 1999, she and her husband Paul established the Newhagen Endowed Scholarship at Alma College, which has supported more than 20 Alma students since its inception. In 2018, Antje and Paul offered a leadership gift for the new collaborative science and technology suite in the Dow Science Center.

Sabrina Gross Sabrina GrossGeorge ’20 and Bess Brown ’18 Hebert
Distinguished Service Alumni Award

Sabrina Gross, Class of 1979, promotes the Alma Ambassador program and serves as Alma’s lead Ambassador for Admissions. An active volunteer of her time and expertise, Gross spends countless hours communicating, strategizing, writing, calling and conversing with alumni and prospective students. In addition to her work for Admissions, she assists the Center for Student Opportunity’s efforts in career development through job referrals, speed interviews and hosting, alongside her husband Doug, current students traveling to Ann Arbor.

Brian Churchill Brian ChurchillSmith Distinguished Service Award

Brian “Cheech” Churchill, Class of 1980, has promoted Alma College behind the scenes for more than 35 years. He has coordinated several alumni reunions in conjunction with homecoming, including a multi-year reunion that brought more than 300 alumni to campus. He also was a member of the committee that helped design and raise funds for the new Zeta Sigma fraternity house. He has mentored numerous students and alumni in the greater Jackson, Mich., area.

Will Allen Will AllenYoung Alumni Award

William Allen, Class of 2008, earned master’s and doctoral degrees at the University of Oxford and has spent the last seven years as a leader in international migration research and fieldwork. Currently, he is a research officer with the Global Exchange on Migration and Diversity at Oxford, working on public messaging about migration and integration issues. Previously (2012-18), he worked with The Migration Observatory at Oxford, developing and leading research into media portrayals of migration.

Story published on August 27, 2019