Brescia University and Kentucky Wesleyan College are preparing to welcome alumni and fans for their homecoming festivities that will take place this weekend, which some events beginning Thursday, Sept. 19.
Brescia will kick off its annual celebrations 6 p.m. Thursday with its Return to the Arch alumni speaking series in Taylor Lecture Hall in the Brescia science building. The lecture will feature Dori Howard, a 2006 BU graduate. Howard moved to Liverpool, England in 2010 to pursue a master’s degree in the Beatles, Popular Music, and Society, the first and only degree of its kind. She is one of fewer than 75 people in the world to hold this degree, according to a press release issued by BU.
Then at 6 p.m. Friday, the annual distinguished alumni cocktail hour will begin at The Moore Center, followed by the 6:30 p.m. distinguished alumni banquet in The Moore Center. The 2019 distinguished alumni who will be honored this year are Candance Castlen Brake, Earl Hayden, and Greg Higdon. Advance tickets $45 each are required for the banquet.
Perhaps one of the most iconic aspects of the Brescia homecoming events is the chariot races that occur on Saturday. The day begins at 10 a.m. when chariot race tailgating is opened up on Seventh Street at Brescia University Alumni Hall. Then at 11 a.m., the chariot races begin, after which the crowning of the homecoming court will take place. Lunch will be in O’Bryan’s Dining Hall, and at 1:30 p.m. campus tours begin for alumni.
At 2:30 p.m. there will be a presentation for the class of 1969, and at 6 p.m. there will be a 50-year class reunion for the class of 1969.
The weekend events complete with a 10 a.m. Mass at Immaculate Heart of Mary Chapel, with brunch following in O’Bryan’s Dining Hall.
Jake Davis, director of alumni relations, said Brescia’s homecoming happenings are somewhat different than other schools because they do not have a football team, hence the annual chariot races that have taken place since the 1960s.
“Homecoming for us is just bringing the family together,” he said, remarking than many who attend Brescia feel like it has a family atmosphere. “It’s all about bringing that family back home to Brescia and to Owensboro.”
Kentucky Wesleyan College’s 2019 homecoming surrounds its 3 p.m. Saturday football game against Southwestern Baptist, but begins with its 6 p.m. Friday Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Dinner that will take place at the Owensboro Convention Center.
During that ceremony, Brandon Brooks, Richard “Dick” Gallagher, Evelyn Raines and Brian Seider will be inducted into the Hall of Fame Class of 2019.
The 2019 Alumni Hall of Fame and Awards Celebration will begin at 10 a.m. with a brunch reception Saturday at the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum, followed by the 11 a.m. ceremony in the Woodward Theatre.
2019 alumni awards and winners include: Outstanding Alumnus, Joel Utley; Alumni Achievement Award, Julie Gurwell; Outstanding Young Graduate Award, Morgan (Whitney) Pierstorff; Alumni Service Award, Thomas Major; Gus E. Paris Distinguished Service Award, Ron James; and Honorary Alumnus, Hon. Phillip J. Shepherd; Col. Timothy Payment; the Rev. Charles T. Rogers, Sr.; and Dr. J. Charles ’62 and Margaret (Heltsley) Schertzinger.
Other homecoming activities include the Class of 1969’s 50th class reunion, Campus Ministries’ build-a-bed service project, a golf scramble at the Pearl Club, the Wesleyan Singers’ annual concert; the Panther Tailgate; and more. To see a full schedule of these events, visit kwc.edu.
Eddie Kenny, KWC vice president of advancement, said he other KWC administrators and students are looking forward to a special weekend of “revisiting past memories and creating new ones.”
“We invite all of Owensboro to join the celebration and enjoy homecoming at Kentucky Wesleyan,” he said.