NEWLY ELECTED MEMBERS OF BLUEFIELD COLLEGE’S ALUMNI ASSOCIATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS (FROM LEFT) SAMMY POINDEXTER (’86) OF DUBLIN, VIRGINIA; SARA ENGLISH RUTHERFORD (’96) OF WINSTON-SALEM, NORTH CAROLINA; MATT MOORE (’13) OF MAX MEADOWS, VIRGINIA; REV. BRENT BROWN (’78) OF BLUEFIELD, WEST VIRGINIA; TIM MANN (’88) OF GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA; ROBERT RATCLIFFE (’09) OF CHRISTIANSBURG, VIRGINIA; AND TOM CHILDRESS (‘66) OF POCAHONTAS, VIRGINIA. NEW BOARD MEMBER NOT PICTURED: COURTNEY ROBERTSON TUCKER (’10) OF GRETNA, VIRGINIA.
NEWLY ELECTED ALUMNI ASSOCIATION BOARD MEMBER DEREK KITTS (’14) (RIGHT) OF CHRISTIANSBURG, VIRGINIA.
BLUEFIELD COLLEGE STUDENT MALIK BARLOW (FAR LEFT), WINNER OF THE HOMECOMING SCHOLARSHIP CHALLENGE.
MEMBERS OF THE BLUEFIELD COLLEGE CHRISTIAN STUDIES DEPARTMENT, WINNERS OF THE HOMECOMING TAILGATE CHALLENGE.
Alumni Director Josh Grubb welcomed the BC graduates back to campus. “We hope your time this weekend is filled with joy and good memories of your experiences here,” he told a group of 1966 grads who helped kick off the festivities with a Golden Graduate Society Dinner on day one. Three members from the class of 1966 were inducted this year, including Tom Childress of Pocahontas, Virginia, Vicki Tinsley Haymes of Waynesboro, Virginia, and Richard B. Jones of Bluefield, Virginia. Forty-three alumni and friends in all returned to watch the golden graduates be inducted into the prestigious group, created in 2009 to honor and preserve the legacy of alumni from the Golden Anniversary era.
Seven other alumni helped kick off the weekend by participating in a Homecoming Ram-2-Ram Alumni Career Seminar, which featured former students sharing their advice with current students on how to prepare for life after college. The alumni — Zach Smith (’08) an attorney from Pearisburg, Virginia; Lauren Pillow (’13), a hazardous waste inspector from Lynchburg, Virginia; Jamie Parsell Null (’02), a freelance writer and executive director of the Mercer County Convention and Visitors Bureau from Princeton, West Virginia; Lesley Gray Clark (’08), a high school counselor from Madison Heights, Virginia; Jennifer Mitchell (’08), an administrator for family ministry at Hope Church in Richmond, Virginia; Sara English Rutherford (’96), a senior consultant for Aon Hewitt in Winston-Salem, North Carolina; and Katie Warren Waugh (’11), a counselor at Forsyth Technical Community College in Statesville, North Carolina — spoke about the quality of their BC education, the value of internships, what they enjoy most and least about their work, challenges on the job, and Christianity in the workplace.
Day one of Homecoming concluded with a women’s soccer match, a BC Theatre presentation of You Can’t Take It With You, and a pep rally, featuring games, cornhole, music, the introduction of the Rams football team, motivational speeches, and the first-ever Homecoming Scholarship Challenge in which students competed for scholarship dollars in a football throwing accuracy contest. This year’s Scholarship Challenge winner: Malik Barlow, a freshman football player from Columbus, Ohio.
Day two of Homecoming 2016 began with the annual Alumni Association Meeting and the election of nine new alumni to the Association’s Board of Directors, including Sammy Poindexter (’86) of Dublin, Virginia; Sara English Rutherford (’96) of Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Matt Moore (’13) of Max Meadows, Virginia; Rev. Brent Brown (’78) of Bluefield, West Virginia; Tim Mann (’88) of Greensboro, North Carolina; Robert Ratcliffe (’09) of Christiansburg, Virginia; Tom Childress (‘66) of Pocahontas, Virginia; Derek Kitts (’14) of Christiansburg, Virginia; and Courtney Robertson Tucker (’10) of Gretna, Virginia.
The Alumni Association also recognized outgoing Board members Sharon Knick (’72) of Buena Vista, Virginia, and Isabel Agnew Lovitt (‘71) of Pilot, Virginia, along with Jennifer Mitchell (’08) of Richmond, Virginia, who completed her term as Board president.
Day two of Homecoming weekend also included the traditional Scholarship Auction, a lively, entertaining affair that saw alumni bid on dozens of donated items. Under the direction of local auctioneer Eric Crawford of Twin City Auctions, alumni and friends offered up live bids and purchased vacations, arts and crafts, retail gifts, restaurant giveaways, sports memorabilia, tickets to performing arts and sporting events, passes to outdoor excursions, and other quality merchandise to the tune of $8,300 — all for the BC Fund for Scholarships.
After the auction, alumni took part in campus tours, some seeing for the first time BC’s new Bluestone Commons apartment complex and a recently renovated Harman Chapel, among other facilities. Later in the day, alumni made their way to Mitchell Stadium for tailgating and Rams football, a new mainstay event for Homecoming. The tailgating fun included music, cornhole, food and, of course, the Fourth Annual Homecoming Tailgate Challenge, sponsored by Walmart of Bluefield. The winner of this year’s coveted championship banner as the best Homecoming tailgate: BC’s Christian Studies Department.
After tailgating, alumni and friends watched the Rams football team secure a Homecoming victory, 21-7, over Cincinnati Christian University. During the game, current BC students crowned the 2016 Homecoming Court. Seniors Whitney Browning of Bluefield, West Virginia, and Gabe Spencer of Riner, Virginia, were selected by BC students as Homecoming Queen and King, respectively. Students also chose Jacquelyn Chick as Junior Princess, Kyle Findlay as Junior Prince, Ally Carter as Sophomore Princess, Dagoberto De Jesus Acevedo as Sophomore Prince, Sarah Westfall as Freshman Princess, and Andre Cardamone as Freshman Prince.
During the evening of day two, alumni and friends took part in the annual Alumni Awards Dinner where five of BC’s most distinguished graduates were honored with alumni awards, including Rev. Rodney “Rod” Hale (’60) of Richmond, Virginia, who received the Primitivo Delgado Christian Service Award; Sheriff Brian Hieatt (’99) of Tazewell, Virginia, who was named Alumnus of the Year; Justin Hamm (’01) of Bluefield, West Virginia, who was named Young Alumnus of the Year; Fred Phillips (’88) of Richlands, Virginia, who was inducted into the BC Athletic Hall of Fame; and Rev. Jack Marcom (’62) of Fredericksburg, Virginia, who was inducted into the BC Hall of Distinguished Graduates.
Day two finished with a fireworks show and the traditional Homecoming Dance where winners of the Homecoming Court were recognized again. The overall three-day Homecoming weekend concluded with a Campus/Community Worship Service, featuring music and worship provided by the newly planted campus church, Highlands Fellowship. A special Sunday lunch followed worship in the BC dining hall. Homecoming 2017 has been set for the weekend of October 21.