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President's Corner

A bi-weekly column from the Office of the President

Homecoming: Well Worth Reminiscing About

Oct. 11, 2004 3:29 PM
Homecoming was fantastic. Judging by the attendance, you are probably among the many who already know that!

Co-chairs Greta Trader and Ashley Swenson designed an action-packed week with something for everyone. The new Athletic Task Force added several more creative options. Val Moritz and the Advancement team had alumni hopping. Doug Peters and Dennis McCulloch made sure everything athletic went as it was supposed to.

Here are some of my personal highlights.

I still get chills every year when I see hordes of students on the Bill Osmon Fun Run and then the two winners flanking Bill Osmon himself. How many young people do you suppose Bill has impacted, not only by personal relationships but also by the power of his legacy at the university and the role model he continues to be for students today?

A brief program one evening introduces the candidates for homecoming king and queen, then crowns the finalists. The event might be too understated for some, but several things made it truly special. One is that it occured in beautiful Vangstad Auditorium. Another is that the auditorium was nearly full of enthusiastic students. Parents of many of the candidates also attended, and the beams of pride were radiant. Most special of all, the candidates dress up for the occasion. Wearing glittery sheaths and carefully adjusted ties, we saw some very good-looking if slightly jittery young men and women. It’s a side of them that we don’t get to see on a daily basis.

I encouraged you to go to the Mr. VCSU contest, but I didn’t see you there! It may be just as well, since some of the contestants were just a bit over the edge. But many of them put a great deal of effort into their wigs, outfits, and talent performances, and it was really a hoot. I’m pleased to report that our own John Jacobs is the new Mr. VCSU, and the only thing over the edge about him was his hilarious rapid-fire sports announcing of a truly mythical Vikings-Comet football game.

The athletic Hall of Fame banquet was another notable event, with three outstanding individuals and the 1988 football team being honored. Bob King is the classic and much-appreciated emcee for the event each year. Jennifer and Doug Peters made a special new contribution. They selected pictures, film clips, and news stories about each of the honorees and made a very professional 10-minute video so that we could all get a sense of these special athletic achievements.

We had 30 more people than expected at the brunch where we honored Distinguished Alumna Jeanette Schaack Holm and eight certificate of merit winners. It made a festive prelude to a great parade and a perfectly delightful football game.

The Athletic Task Force offered fun, alcohol-free events to promote responsible choices by students. Thanks to them, I had the grand opportunity to dunk AD Doug Peters in a tub of very cold water. I’m not much good at throwing baseballs, so I had to come up with a creative alternative. Some might call it cheating, but it worked.

It just doesn’t get any better than this. Thanks, everyone!
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