Homecoming “wonderland” enchants alumni and guests

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Over the past weekend, the Pfeiffer family gathered on campus for Homecoming 2017, with over 500 alumni and guests attending events on Friday evening and all day Saturday. The “Falcons in Wonderland,” theme transformed campus and created an exciting celebration of Pfeiffer’s traditions, as well as its future.

Homecoming weekend began on Friday night with the third annual Black and Gold Gala, which featured class reunions for alumni celebrating milestone anniversaries, a silent auction and the kickoff for the Russell Match Challenge, which will provide a dollar for dollar match for gifts given to Pfeiffer University. The match, which totals $40,000, will be provided for gifts that are more than the donor’s largest gift last year and a minimum of $50. The match is provided by Dr. Kenneth (’88) & Ann Queen (’87) Russell.

A full day of events and dedications took place on Saturday, which started with the Annual Alumni Gathering. Alumni awards were presented to the 2017 winners which included Dawn Harwood Allen ’81 receiving the Distinguished Alumni Award, and Alejandra Buchanan Miller ’03 and Dr. Marissa Shuffler Porter ’04 receiving the Presidential Merit Awards. Tomy Aldridge ’75, president of the Alumni Association, presented the “Beyond Boundaries” award, given to a staff member who goes above and beyond for Pfeiffer. Recipients Emily Carella, director of undergraduate admissions, and her son, Zach, who brings the Freddie the Falcon mascot to life at university and athletic events, were recognized for their dedication to the University.

Immediately following the alumni gathering, Pfeiffer University dedicated two new capital projects on the Misenheimer campus. Emily Prudden Park adds seating and landscaping around the statue of Emily Prudden located in Boone Circle, and is provided through generous gifts from Ben (’68) and Carol Williams and Richard (’54) and Peggy Sloan. The park features commemorative plaques recognizing individuals who have given estate gifts in excess of $100,000 to Pfeiffer University.

The second dedication of the day took place at the newly renovated Garfield and Delight Merner Center, which is now the Welcome Center for the university. The building houses the Admissions and Financial Aid Offices and serves as the first point of contact for prospective students and campus guests. The renovation was made possible by the Class of 1968.

Excitement surrounded Merner Terrace in the early afternoon for the annual parade, led by the legendary former Pfeiffer baseball coach Joe Ferebee. The parade also included the Pfeiffer Cheer and Dance team, SGA representation and delegates from each class of the Homecoming Court.

Pfeiffer athletics dominated their opponents in the afternoon. The men’s and women’s soccer teams  scored victories in regular season play, with the men’s team defeating LaGrange 4-0 and the women’s team overwhelming Regent 10-0. Alumni games for men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s lacrosse, softball and baseball were also held.

On Saturday evening, the Sports Hall of Fame banquet took place as Pfeiffer athletics inducted Terrence Baxter ’01 (basketball), Rick Blackwood ’70 (baseball), Eliot Campbell ’72 (tennis), Mike Downs ’83 (baseball/basketball), Shannon Reid ’03 (basketball) and the 2004 baseball team and retired the women's basketball jersey of Hall of Famer Nancy Scoggins Janas ’81. Alumni and friends danced the night away following the banquet at the Homecoming After-Party, which concluded the weekend festivities.

Pfeiffer University thanks the 2017 Homecoming sponsors that made the weekend possible. They are Uwharrie Bank, Bear Insurance, Grubb Properties, Wendy’s Embroidered Specialties, Southern Touch of Charlotte, Stanly News & Press, JT Russell and Sons, visitStanly.com, First Bank, Dynamic Campus Solutions, Stokes Construction, BlackBoard, Marsh & McLennan Agency, Bank of North Carolina, the Village of Misenheimer, ReMax Town and Country, Union Power Cooperative, Garmon Mechanical Services, Beane Swaringen & Co., Andrew Chiropractic & Acupuncture Clinic, Chris & Pat Bramlett, Charlotte Van & Storage, MacGrafix, Norwood Dental, Novalinxs, Open Broadband, Ricoh, Russ (’75) & Susan Ingram (’76) Sharples, Tarheel Auto, Steve Carpenter ’92, Friendly Chevrolet and Serv-Pro of Union, Anson and Stanly counties.