Homecoming: Where your story began

October 3rd, 2016 | SMWC

Katelyn '13 & Will Rhoads

Homecoming 2016 delivered experiences reminiscent of tradition while incorporating new and fresh activities for alums and students.

“This year we wanted our alums to relive some of their college experiences,” explained Susan Turner, senior director of advancement and alumni relations.

With the theme of “Where your story began,” alums participated in a diverse array of activities including an equine clinic, a softball game and a choral and band concert.

Equine alums came back to ride with Sara Schulz, department chair of equine studies, and to hone their skills during the equine clinic.

“We all came to homecoming because we want the experience of riding with and learning from Sara again,” said Mary Dickson ’03 from Okeechobee, Florida.

Sirrea Hayes Whittaker
Sirrea Hayes Whittaker '07, '10G

The homecoming celebration attracted the most alums in the event's history. With good weather and lots of comradery, just over 300 people were in attendance.  The day’s festivities felt like a big block party with SMWC soccer, softball and volleyball games, equine demonstrations, choral and band concerts, kid zone, art studio visits, a beer garden, and the Woodsie Dance Marathon.

Graduates expressed a sense of returning home and reconnecting with friends.

“I came to homecoming to see everyone and some of the changes on campus,” said Haylie Davenport ’16 from Indianapolis, Ind. “It has been great being back here and getting plenty of hugs from my Woodsie friends.”

Katelyn Duke Rhoads’13 from Marshall, Ill. explained, “I love The Woods! I haven’t been back since graduation. So today is really exciting for me because I am able to show my husband, Will, ‘where my story began’.”

L/R Braxton McIntyre, Jaret Morlan, President King, Sam Grimes, Brooklyn Fagg, Ryan O
L/R Braxton McIntyre, Jaret Morlan, President King, Sam Grimes, Brooklyn Fagg, Ryan O'Donohue, Daniel Harris and Justin Wilson. Not pictured: Lisa Scott and Caleb Sprigg

For students, the week began with the lighting of the towers of Le Fer Hall. The towers glowed with Pomeroy blue every night leading up to homecoming, which many anticipate will become a new Woods tradition. The celebration included live music and  a food truck. Additionally, students showcased their skills by decorating the doors of Ler Fer. Students also participated in the Homecoming Cup, a series of athletic competition each day. Students came out to cheer on their favorite teams.

While the day was packed with plenty of events, most alums cannot deny what they feel when they arrive back on campus.

“It is so peaceful here,” describes Sirrea Hayes Whittaker '07, '10G from Indianapolis, Ind. “When I am here, I am strengthened and I can battle the world again.”

View Homecoming Highlight Photos