by Lam Ho
Photos by Kimberly Williams
The 2014 Homecoming and Fall Party weekend centered around two evenings to enjoy dinner parties, music, and friendships — old and new. With the return of former students, the campus turned into memory lane for those who connect themselves to the University of the South. A “Welcome Home” sign was, to many alumni, the first greeting and precedent for the weekend.
More than 2,000 Sewanee alumni and guests registered for their return, and class years ending in 4 and 9 attended special events. On Friday, November 7, alumni began their Homecoming weekend by attending classes and lectures, including exhibitions in Archives and Special Collections by Joe Winkelman (C’64) and George Dean Johnson (C’64); a talk by Bill Allison (C’67) called “An Innocent Man’s Life in Prison: the Anatomy of a Wrongful Conviction”; and an art exhibition by Greg Pond (C’95). The schedule was available to all alumni and guests on the Sewanee Gateway.
That night, The Sugar Hill Gang, best known for their 1999 hit “Jump on it!” performed on the Spencer Lawn to kick off the major Homecoming events. The musical performances across campus brought alumni and students from all years together to bond over what Sewanee has to offer. A group leading the “Save Rebel’s Rest” initiative also advertised passionately this weekend, passing out buttons for supporters and putting a sign in front of Rebel’s Rest to express their desire to reconstruct the damaged building.
On Saturday, the Sewanee Tigers, led by Davante Jones (C’16) and Barrett Goodson (C’15), won 31-26. That night, Chamillionare ended the Homecoming festivities with another rap performance on the ATO lawn. Although he expressed that he saw Sewanee as a “weird” place, he did offer a performance that attracted a large and enthusiastic crowd, which lingered until past midnight. Rafael Woldeab (C’14) says, “It’s weird being back.” As the concert crowd on ATO’s lawn pushed forward toward the stage, where Chamillionare performed, he added, “I definitely feel different as an alum at an event like this.”
Finally, the weekend ended on Sunday with a 9:30 a.m. memorial service for alumni, faculty, staff, and community members at St. Augustine’s Stone. With academic opportunities, art exhibitions, and concerts galore, Homecoming/Fall Party weekend was an even balance between wild festivities and sentimental moments.