From April 11–14, 2019, Southwestern Adventist University welcomed nearly a thousand alumni to the University's campus for its annual homecoming event. The four-day celebration began with a Thursday night banquet which included alumni from around the world, graduates spanning eight decades, and honoring five alumni for their contributions to society.
Brian Sicher (’84), a podiatrist from Amarillo, Texas, was named Alum of the Year. Young Alum of the Year was awarded to Stephanie (Rudisaile) Wilczynski ('14), who works at Andrews University in Michigan while pursuing her PhD in curriculum and instruction. Andrew Woolley (’69), recently retired professor of English at Southwestern Adventist University, and Carla Baker (’69), women’s ministries director for the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists, were added to the Alumni Hall of Fame. Volunteer of the Year was presented to Joyce Shaw (’64), a long-time member of the community.
“Everyone was so friendly at Alumni Homecoming Weekend,” shared Wilczynski. “I truly felt like part of the family as I was greeted by many professors and friends I hadn't seen in a long time.”
The weekend featured a variety of guest speakers, young alumni programming, honor class gatherings and alumni vs. student athletic events, as well as musical performances by One Desire, The Company and the University Singers.
One Desire, formed in 1997 under the direction of Juanita (Goodlow) Browder, represents over 30 different countries and languages and sings a wide range of music from gospel to sacred hymns. Members came from as far away as South Korea and Micronesia to participate in two reunion concerts.
The Saturday evening concert was a collaboration between One Desire and a reunion of The Company, a student recruiting group formed in 1991 that traveled to churches, schools and camp meetings using their musical talents to promote Southwestern Adventist University.
Through fundraising functions held during the weekend, alumni joined together to raise $16,000 for university scholarships through the 22nd annual Golf Classic Tournament. In addition, the Keene About Runnin’ 5K and the Student Missions Benefit Breakfast raised funds and awareness for Kinesiology and Student Missions, respectively.
“I am always grateful when alumni make the journey home to Southwestern Adventist University,” said Vonda Seals, director of Alumni Relations. “This weekend was a time to reminisce and reconnect at a place that holds a special place in all of our hearts.”
For more information about the 125th anniversary alumni homecoming weekend or to find out when the alumni team will be in your area, visit SWAU.edu/alumni. To further support the University's scholarship opportunities, please call 817-202-6233 or email email@example.com. Photos from the event are available here.