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Homecoming 2012: Old Traditions, New Experiences

November 07, 2012

By Melissa McCutchan

CIU Student Writer

“When you’re 18, you don’t think you’ll be 60 someday,” alumna Dana Brown Lederer (’72) fondly imparted at CIU’s annual homecoming banquet. “Now, it’s so nice to come back to this place of spiritual training. I see others and realize we’ve all been on our own spiritual journeys.”

CIU alumni returned to Monticello Road for homecoming weekend Nov. 1-3 and participated in traditional homecoming events, and a few new activities, including the first-ever Homecoming CIU intercollegiate athletic contest.    

Alumna of the Year

Thursday chapel brought the introduction of the Alumna of the Year: Dr. Kumiko Jean Takeuchi who graduated in 1978.

“I do not feel deserving of this honor,” Takeuchi said.  “I told the alumni office they still had time to change their minds!”

A video biography showed there was no mistake on the part of the Alumni Office.  After being orphaned at age 15, Takeuchi was led to Christ through InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at the College of William & Mary. She went on to receive a degree from CIU, among other institutions, and served 20 years in pharmaceutical research. She was involved in the identification and development of five clinical candidates at Eli Lilly, two of which have advanced in human clinical trials as potential therapeutic drugs.

“I am grateful to the Lord that He has given me tenacity and strength to engage in one of the most challenging and rewarding research efforts,” Takeuchi said. 

Hear Takeuchi's address at: http://podcast.ciu.edu/110112-kumiko-takeuchi-power-of-one?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ciupodcast+%28Columbia+International+University+Chapel+Podcasts%29 

“Speed Dating”

Thursday night brought a unique opportunity for students and alumni to meet using a “speed dating” concept. Alumni were matched with students for five-minute periods and asked to recall their favorite CIU memories; from favorite professors to pranks pulled on roommates.

“This school changed my life,” Robert Vetter (’58) reminisced at the speed dating event. “It established my Christian walk and taught me to study. I love coming back.”

Wisdom of the Ages

Drs. Jack Layman, Lindsey Hislop and Bill Larkin were featured in a Friday Chapel titled “It All Comes Down to This.” The professors imparted wisdom gathered over their many years of teaching at CIU. Layman and Hislop retired in May. Larkin will retire at the end of the current school year.

“How do you, in 10 minutes, take 38 years (of teaching) and distill it?” Larkin pondered.

But Hislop found a way to summarize it all by looking at the current students in the audience and then addressing the alumni with the words: "These students look different (than the ones a few years ago), but what I have found is that their hearts are the same."

“Life is a vapor”

At a Friday banquet, CIU’s fourth president and professor emeritus Dr. Johnny Miller addressed the attendees, exhorting them to keep in mind the brevity of human life.

“Life is a vapor,” Miller said.  “We wither. His Word doesn’t. It is the one unchangeable thing I can hold in my hand.”

Chili and Sports  

At the first-ever intercollegiate athletic event at homecoming, the men’s soccer team suffered a 5-0 loss, but watching soccer caused some alumni to do some reminiscing. David Mulholland (’91) recalled when CIU played soccer in the city league.

“Back when I played soccer (at CIU), we won the city league championship,” Mulholland said.  “It brings back good memories.”

The weekend concluded with two traditions: the annual Chili Cook-Off and the CIU Bowl football games, also known as the North-South Games.  

Before the flag football festivities began, spectators sampled many types of chili, both classic and creative. They were then asked to vote on their favorites. 

Genny McDole’s (Ben Lippen teacher) “Classical Classic” chili and Debbie Dinstel’s (‘01) “Brazilian Blast” tied for the classic chili category, while Peter Guinther (current student) won the creative category with his “Southern BBQ Chili ’n’ Ribs.”

When the final horn blew on the football games, the North women defeated the South women 14-0, while the South men overcame the North 26-14.

Mark your Calendar for the 90thAnniversary

The staff of CIU Alumni Ministries is looking forward to next year’s Homecoming celebration, as CIU’s celebrates its 90th anniversary. Keep an eye on www.ciu.edu/alumni for details.     

Check out 2012 Homecoming photos at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ciuimpact/