Homecoming A Wonderful Time For Central

Homecoming 2017 was a colorful, joyous, whirlwind weekend for students and alumni of Central Methodist University. Beginning Friday night and ending Sunday afternoon, those in attendance enjoyed socials, special events, a parade, and a football game, among other activities.

Friday afternoon was the first organized event, the 40th anniversary of the establishment of CMU Hall of Sponsors (HOS), which involved the induction of three new HOS endowments.

A celebration was held on the south lawn of Brannock Hall to unveil HOS Awards in honor of the late Robert and Suzanne Kountz, from Fayette; David and Lee Stewart, a member of the famous Class of 1959 at Central; and Sherman and Naomi Roberts, honored by their daughter Celia Roberts Barnhard and husband Dr. Howard J. Barnhard.

Following the HOS honors, alumni meandered downtown to the Old Jail where there was a social gathering for all alumni, catered by Fresh Ideas and decorated by the Advancement Office with photos, jackets, t-shirts, and yearbooks from past years, and supported by a three-piece band.

Overlapping that activity was a full CMU pep rally on the east side of the Howard County Courthouse Square, and a chance to go ghost hunting across the campus.

Saturday was the main day, of course, full of fun activities including many townspeople in the mix. The day kicked off with the second annual 5k run/walk that began on the Fayette Square at 8 a.m.

Shortly after, a parade wound its way around the Square, including the CMU Marching Eagles Band and the Alumni Band gathering, playing on a float (and later jamming in the Classic Hall band room); an alumni performance along the parade route of previous CMU Eaglettes; and floats, including the Zeta Psi Lambda float, which earned the sorority the top group of Spirit Week, as announced at the football game.

After class photos and lunch on Inman Plaza, or tailgating in the parking area by the field – a first for CMU, people made their way to the football game. Central played the Evangel Crusaders, unfortunately losing by a score of 41-28, but showing some bright moments of effort.

During the game, nationally ranked athletes from last year were honored, including Drew Gandy from Fayette, the NAIA national champion in the decathlon, and other CMU track and field national qualifiers; the women’s basketball team, who ranked third in the Heart of America Athletic Conference, 20th in the NAIA, and finished in the Sweet 16; and the CMU Dance Team, who finished fourth in the Heart of America Dance Championships, qualified for the NAIA championships, and finished in the top 10 in the nation.

The game’s halftime was stellar, as always. The band performed first, then paused for the coronations, and followed up with the second half of their program.

The Homecoming Court was presented and crowned by last year’s Queen Danielle Franklin and King Adam Weiland.

This year’s Homecoming Queen was Elizabeth Novak, a senior educational studies major from Galt, Mo., and the King was Adrian Sias, a senior criminal justice major from Wichita Falls, Texas. From the underclasses, the Princess was Emma Corbett, a sophomore sports management major from Wentzville, Mo., and the Prince Levi Lammers, a sophomore biology major from Savannah, Mo.

The rest of the Court included freshman attendants, Katelyn Watts, an elementary education major from Louisiana, Mo., and Nehemiah Colyer, a pre-declared major from Saint Louis; sophomore attendant Austin Sims, a special education major from Fenton, Mo.; junior attendant Saundra Perkins, elementary education major from New Franklin, Mo.; and senior attendants Abby Addleman, a double major in religion and church leadership, and communications studies from Cape Girardeau, Mo.;

Samantha Bond, an educational studies major from Madison, Kan.; Kaylee Kemery, an interdisciplinary studies major from Runaway Bay, Texas; Ethan Mann, a music education major from Pacific, Mo.; Calvin Gorczyca,a business major from Chesterfield; and Caleb Willis, a sports management major from Marshall, Mo.

The crown bearers were Jillian Flaspohler, 12, and Christopher Flaspohler, 9, children of Carrie Strodtman, CMU assistant professor and information services librarian.

The expected after-game activities included gathering of fraternity and sorority alumni for socials, a presidential honorary gathering for the 1854 Society at his house, and the always anticipated Phi Mu Alpha singing under the tower – a lovely follow-up to their singing of the National Anthem prior to the game.

Downtown activities carried on, sponsored by the restaurants of Fayette, late into the evening for wining and dining in the lovely fall weather.

For those who stayed into Sunday, the Chorale sang at Linn Memorial Church in the morning, including “Beautiful Savior,” which included choir alumni, and a faculty recital, presented by the Swinney Conservatory, which polished off the perfect Homecoming weekend.

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