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RU Alumni Celebrate, Revel in Sunshine at Centennial Homecoming 2010

RADFORD – Radford University alumni and friends gathered on campus this past weekend to celebrate the university’s Centennial Homecoming 2010. This time sunshine, not snow, dominated the weather.

Two weeks after a snow storm postponed the original festivities on Feb. 5-7, participants experienced a rare treat of warm weather, though some snow still lingered on the ground.

Polar PlungeThose unseasonably warm temperatures were especially welcomed by participants in the inaugural Highlander Polar Plunge, where nearly 100 people gathered at Radford’s Bisset Park to splash in the New River.

The Polar Plunge event was not just for fun. It gave RU students, alumni, friends and the entire campus community an opportunity to make a contribution of service as part of the university's Centennial Service Challenge. The event raised over $3,000 for Special Olympics.

(Please see RU Homecoming Photos for more images of Homecoming Weekend activities. Photos also available on Flickr.)

Alumni Teaching DayHomecoming festivities began on Friday with the second annual Alumni Teaching Day, which gave RU’s many successful alumni an opportunity to give back to their alma mater by speaking about their experiences and expertise with current RU students. Later that day, basketball and Greek alumni enjoyed socials, and the former university athletes once again took to the court for men’s and women’s games.

(At left, RU alumnus Tom Gallaher speaks to a group of students.)

Centennial Homecoming also included a brunch on Saturday in which President Penelope W. Kyle informed those in attendance about the exciting initiatives and plans for the university’s future. Legacy campus tours also were offered that day.

Pre-game excitement was created by numerous activities, including a two-hour tailgate party at Dedmon. RU alumnus DJ Shock provided plenty of tunes for his fellow RU alumni and friends. Radford students also held pre-game festivities of their own with a bonfire and a DJ.

Homecoming CourtThe RU men’s basketball team generated a mountain of Homecoming excitement Saturday night as the Highlanders rolled past UNC Wilmington 76-68 in an ESPN BracketBusters game in the Dedmon Center. During halftime, Jonathan Haskins, representing the Student Government Association, and Lara Cariker, representing Lambda Alpha Epsilon, were announced as the 2010 Radford University Highlander King and Queen.

(In the photo above, RU President Penelope W. Kyle, center, with the current and former RU Highlander King and Queen.)

RU’s Student Government Association also sponsored a pep rally and student tailgate party before the RU women’s basketball game earlier on Saturday afternoon. The women lost a close 84-78 decision to Charleston Southern.

Strehle familyHomecoming-goers had opportunities to participate in numerous other events, including countless reunions, alumni basketball games, a step show sponsored by the National Pan-Hellenic Council and an Evening at the Bonnie, which offered free bowling, billiards, music and refreshments in the Bonnie Hurlburt Student Center.

(In the photo above, RU alumni Mary and Don Strehle with daughters LeeAnne, a Radford sophomore, and Laura.)

The weekend concluded on Sunday with a gospel sing and commemoration. The event celebrated the African American influence on and around campus through the years and the Lovely Mount/First Baptist Church, which stood for over 60 years until the land was purchased for expansion of Peters Hall.

“Centennial Homecoming brought many alumni back to campus for various events,” RU Alumni Relations Director Laura Turk said. “It was a wonderful opportunity to renew friendships, celebrate Highlander spirit and recognize alumni contributions.”

The Radford University Centennial Celebration will continue throughout the year. For more information, please visit www.radford.edu/centennial.

Feb. 22, 2010
Contact: Chad Osborne (caosborne@radford.edu; 540-831-7761)

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