This weekend, Pfeiffer University celebrated Homecoming with nearly 500 alumni, students, faculty members and staff, who attended events on Friday evening and all day Saturday. This year’s theme, “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!” honored the accomplishments and lives of everyone who is part of the Pfeiffer family.
On Friday, the second annual Black and Gold Gala featured class reunions for alumni celebrating milestone anniversaries, live music by Franklin Street Band, and dancing, which was kicked off by alums who met their spouses at Pfeiffer. Guests bid on and took home items from a silent auction that offered featured vacations, Charlotte Panthers tickets and merchandise, handmade works of fine art and much more. Highlights of a live auction were four framed photographs of beloved campus landmarks taken by current Pfeiffer students, who were on hand to see their works sold to alumni. These four items alone raised $1,450 for the university.
On Saturday morning at the Annual Alumni Gathering, President Colleen Perry Keith provided an update on university news. She shared details about the introduction of new academic programs, notably, occupational therapy and physician assistant, progress on the university’s transition from NCAA Division II to Division III athletics, and information regarding the sale of the Charlotte campus and move to a new Queen City address in mid-2017.
She presented the 2016 Outstanding Alumni Award to Rev. David Melton ’76, minister to the congregation, Dunwoody UMC, Dunwoody, Ga., citing his consistent efforts over the years to recruit new students to Pfeiffer as the primary reason for honoring him. In his remarks, Rev. Melton encouraged fellow alumni to be active in their support for Pfeiffer. Also honored was George Singleton ’68, who received the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award. Mr. Singleton’s 22-year career with the U.S. Air Force, most notably as a member of the prestigious Singing Sergeants—among a host of impressive accomplishments—and related artistic endeavors stood out as inherent reasons for the honor. Mr. Singleton, who was the first black student to live on Pfeiffer’s campus, shared the story of his arrival at Pfeiffer and the campus activities he participated in that he believes helped cultivate his talent and natural curiosity.
Tomy Aldridge ’75, president of the Alumni Association, presented a new award to be given to a staff member who goes “Beyond Boundaries” for Pfeiffer, giving the inaugural award to Amy Bunting, director of alumni relations and special events. He also announced the results of two milestone reunion class fundraising efforts. The class of 1976, in honor of its 40th anniversary, will donate two benches to be installed in front of G.A. Pfeiffer Library; and the class of 1966, celebrating its 50th class reunion, has raised $78,000 toward a goal of $100,000 targeted to be complete by June 30, 2017.
Immediately following the singing of the “Pfeiffer University Alma Mater” by a chorus made up of current students and alumni, Pfeiffer honored Jerry and Shirley Boone for their many contributions to Pfeiffer with the dedication of Boone Circle, the street that loops from Hwy. 52 just beyond Henry Pfeiffer Chapel in front of the Administration Building. Rev. Dana McKim ’82, minister to the university, led the prayerful ceremony that officially named the roadway; Dr. Boone commented that the circle designation aligned with the Boone’s feeling that with his service in 2014-15 as interim president near the end of his career, they had come “full circle” from his previous term as dean of student affairs from 1969-82.
A parade, led by Les “Snake” Roberts, former chief of security, and his motorcycle, included cheerleaders, SGA representation and delegates from each class to the Homecoming Court. This was followed by annual favorite Lunch on the Lawn, with live entertainment by Fields of Grey. At the Pfeiffer Junior College and Pfeiffer Panthers luncheon, 14 alumni from the classes of 1949-59 visited and reminisced.
Of course, athletics is a key component of any Homecoming celebration. Alumni games for men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s lacrosse, softball, a baseball scrimmage and Black and Gold women’s and men’s basketball games got Falcons of all ages on the field and court. In NCAA Division II competition, the women’s volleyball team lost to Emmanuel 3-0; soccer against Erskine fared better with the women’s team winning 4-0 and the defending national champion men’s team winning 5-0. Falcons fans watched the action from the Falcon Zone while catching up with old friends and teammates. On Saturday evening, the Falcon Club recognized Bill Mullinex for his pioneering influence on the Falcons’ booster organization.
Pfeiffer University thanks the Homecoming sponsors that made the weekend possible They are Uwharrie Bank, Bear Insurance, Wendy’s EMP Specialties, Southern Touch of Charlotte, Stanly News & Press, JT Russell and Sons, visitStanly.com, First Bank, Stokes Construction, BlackBoard, Marsh & McLennan Agency, Dave Odem’s Friendly Chevrolet, Beane Swaringen & Co., Grubb Properties, ALCOA and Serv-Pro.