Homecoming 2013: ‘Sweet Home Alma College’

Old favorites such as the 5K run, parade, football game and class reunions return along with open houses that celebrate new facilities. The Alumni Awards are presented at the choir concert on Saturday evening.

For Alma College alumni, home is where the heart is.

“Alumni feel the comforting ties of home each time they return to Alma,” says Lou Ecken, director of alumni engagement. “All alumni are welcomed back warmly as we celebrate our ‘Sweet Home Alma College’ homecoming theme from Oct. 4-6.”

Old favorites such as the 5K run, parade, football game and class reunions return along with open houses that celebrate new facilities.

“Alumni and friends will be able to see the beautiful and functional renovations to Hamilton Commons and the new Center for Student Opportunity,” says Ecken. “In my role, I often hear alumni share memories of their favorite faculty members and roommates, of working at ‘SAGA,’ of meeting a spouse, and making lifelong friends.

“It’s such a wonderful honor to be able to witness those memories and share the new changes on campus,” she says.

The homecoming parade begins at 11 a.m.The homecoming parade begins at 11 a.m.

The festivities begin Friday, Oct. 4, with the annual Career Explo from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Stone Recreation Center. Alumni share their career experiences and advice with current students.

Friday’s schedule also includes pizza night from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Tyler-VanDusen Rotunda and a performance by the Alma College Percussion Ensemble at 8 p.m. in the Remick Heritage Center. Tickets for the percussion concert are $10 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.

The Scots take on Olivet in the football game.The Scots take on Olivet in the football game.

Activities on Saturday, Oct. 5, include the Matt Reinke 5K Scot Trot at 9 a.m.; a legacy brunch for alumni with high school-aged siblings, children or grandchildren in the Remick Heritage Center lobby from 10 to 11 a.m.; and an alumni memorial service in Dunning Memorial Chapel at 10:30 a.m.

The homecoming parade begins at 11 a.m. with the alumni picnic on the chapel lawn from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the football game at 1:30 p.m. and numerous departmental receptions. In addition, the 50-year class of 1963 and 25-year class of 1988 will celebrate reunions during homecoming weekend.

The Alumni Awards and Choir Concert begins at 7 p.m. in the Remick Heritage Center, with admission free and open to the public.


Gary DorrienGary Dorrien

Distinguished Alumni Award

The author of 16 books and more than 275 articles on topics that range across the fields of ethics, social theory, theology, philosophy, politics and history, Gary Dorrien, class of 1974, has been described as “the preeminent social ethicist in North American today” and “a superstar interpreter of modern religious thought.” This year’s recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award, Dorrien is the Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Social Ethics at Union Theological Seminary and Professor of Religion at Columbia University. Among his recent books are The Obama Question: A Progressive Perspective.


Gary StanoGary Stano

George Hebert Lifetime Service Award

Livonia podiatrist Gary Stano, class of 1983, has been a loyal alumnus since the day he graduated. A past member of the alumni board and frequent visitor to campus, Stano serves as an advisor for the SAE fraternity and helped organize an SAE reunion that brought back more than 100 alumni from across several decades. The Hebert Service Award recognizes alumni for their loyalty and service to Alma College and the Alumni Association.


Matthew KriegMatthew KriegYoung Alumnus Award

Matthew Krieg, class of 2004, fulfilled a dream to own his own business when he opened Pizza One on Superior Street in Alma in 2010. “Owning Pizza One has provided a good opportunity for me to stay involved with Alma,” says Krieg, this year’s recipient of the Young Alumnus Award. “We try to help the students as much as possible, by donating pizzas for different events or helping college groups with fundraisers or programs they are hosting. I am able to meet a lot of new students at the college each year through these events as well as when they come in to Pizza One to get pizza.”


Erika Powers AppeltErika Powers AppeltSmith Distinguished Service Award

Erika Powers Appelt, class of 1991, a Chicago attorney who specializes in environmental law, takes an active role in her alma mater. A former member of the alumni board, she recently joined the Chicago-area President’s Advisory Council and was appointed to the Alma College Board of Trustees. “Erika assists with the Chicago In-City Interview trip each year,” says Bob Murray, advancement officer. “She and her husband, Jeff ’91, also host a scholarship dinner to raise money for Chicago area students to attend Alma College.”

Story published on September 25, 2013