Homecoming Recap 2015
Cumberland University’s “A Haunted Homecoming 2015” week was filled with new events for the community, a well-attended reunion for the classes of 1964-68, intertwined with popular CU Homecoming traditions. Here are some highlights:
A new event, “Ghosts and Goblets,” on Tuesday night attracted more than 100 people who were treated to a ghost tour of campus by Assistant Professor of history, Dr. Natalie Inman, as well as a whiskey tasting accompanied by delectable finger foods. The event was organized in memory of Monty Pope and proceeds benefitted the Pope Scholarship for History and International Students. An announcement of funds raised will be made soon.
The Fall Fun Fest tradition delighted community children, parents and pets on who were dressed in their Halloween best on Thursday evening. Children went trick-or-treating at activity and game booths sponsored by student groups, sororities, fraternities and sports teams. A new Glow Walk was added to the event, which was sponsored by the Wilson County Health Council.
The “Coat and Tie” dinner in Phillips Dining Hall on Thursday evening for the 1964-68 reunion brought together old friends who reminisced about the days when Dr. Ernest Stockton required CU students to “dress” for dinner. This was the first time many had seen each other in years, and the first time many had been back to campus. A huge thanks to Mark Riggins ’66, CU trustee, who worked tirelessly to organize this reunion, which turned out to be one of, if not the most successful alumni reunions CU has had in modern times.
Women’s basketball coach Jeremy Lewis conducted Friday’s light basketball practice with the 1966 basketball team and current CU men’s and women’s teams. Dressed out in specially-designed throwback uniforms, the players from 1966 took part in the warmups and drills, keeping up with the current players in an impressive fashion. Cheerleaders from 1966, Lynda Miller and Linda Brown Odenbaugh, recreated their cheers to the delight of the participants and crowd.
The induction of the 2015 class into the CU Sports Hall of Fame took place on Friday night. Congratulations to the 1966 men’s basketball team, including cheerleaders and Coach Van Washer, along with Ashley Putman Serbin, a softball player who earned All-TCAC honors as a junior and senior for the Bulldogs, helping CU to the conference title in 1997, the first regular season conference championship in school history, and the program’s first-ever appearance in the Region XI Tournament that same season. Baird Chapel was packed with a record-breaking 160 guests, who got to know the 1966 team through introductions and commentary by Mark Riggins ‘66. Two team members who have passed away, David Skinner and Kenny Brooks, were represented by family members. Wayne Starks ’66, new CU trustee, announced a scholarship named after Skinner, Brooks, and Coach Van Washer. Thanks to CU alumnus, Pastor John Hunn of Immanuel Baptist Church, who always does a great job as emcee. Riggins had the student-athletes in attendance stand on stage and promise not to “wait 50 years to see each other again,” like many of the members of the 1966 team did.
A well-attended “Party on the Patio,” at the Catron Alumni House on Friday night after the Sports Hall of Fame dinner. At least 100 alumni and friends enjoyed sitting by the fire, listening to music, having drinks and munchies, and most importantly, making new friends and catching up with old.
A brunch for the 1964-68 reunion attendees and their guests at the Winstead Paine Bone House Saturday morning provided another opportunity for alumni to chat and share stories of their days at Cumberland College of Tennessee. A common remark heard from the alumni was how much that time was one of the best of their lives. Dr. Jim Kerley ’66, spoke to CU students at a Connect event on Thursday, revealing how the caring, helpful environment at Cumberland “lit his fire,” which fueled his successful career in sports psychology.
Homecoming Queen Peyton Hosale and King Tanner Hurst were crowned.
An 88-yard kickoff return Saturday by CU wide receiver Michael Green made an exciting start to the football game against Bethel University, though CU ultimately lost 42-28. Bethel rallied to make up a 14-point deficit in the exciting, evenly-matched game.