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Homecoming Weekend Rainy But Heartwarming

October 6th, 2011

By Carissa Davis. Pictures by Art Cox.

CONTACT:  David Halbrook
Patrick Henry College
(540) 441-8722
OfficeOfCommunications@phc.edu

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Students brave the steady rain to show their spirit during Saturday alumni/student soccer games.

Defying rainy, cold weather, students took a break from studies to dress up, rock out, and show some class spirit this past weekend, making PHC Homecoming 2011 what many thought was the best homecoming yet. And in the end, the senior class accrued enough points to win the yearly spirit competition.

“Everyone had fun seeing the Alumni come back to their old stomping grounds, and we enjoyed participating in events, dressing up, creating class camaraderie, and taking the weekend to embrace school spirit,” said freshman Megan Fabling.

Festivities kicked off on Wednesday night with each class competing in contests to create the best banner and to build a zany cake -- on the head of a classmate.

“Judging by the participation of students, Homecoming was a huge success,” said Olivia Linde, senior. “We had a great crowd for banner-making as well as the cake contest, even though the weather was uncooperative.”

 Laughter and paint abounded as students worked on the running track to design the best class banner incorporating school spirit and class theme. In the end, the seniors (preps) won with their slogan “PREPare for glory.”

On Thursday, the juniors stepped up to the competition and defeated the other classes in the dodge ball competition. Also on Thursday evening, the students had a chance to sit in on an interview with Senator Mark Obenshain, candidate for lieutenant governor of Virginia.

Friday began with a relaxed dress code and a chapel message from 2004 alumnus Danny Davis, who currently works in local Loudoun County government. The students then took advantage of a chance to interact with PHC graduates through alumni panels on topics such as preparing for law school, film opportunities and life after graduation.

Alumni Levi Swank ('10) and Joseph Alm ('10) help present a panel on law school.

“There was a wide variety of alumni -- some were going to grad school, some had worked oversees, some were involved in service and some were working in their field,” said Mary Sue Daoud (junior). “They offered different but supplementary viewpoints, and gave me helpful names of contacts overseas.”

On Friday evening, students and alumni shared fellowship and talent through the traditional Coffee House talent show. Performers sang or played folk melodies, popular tunes and original compositions. John Vinci (’06) entertained the audience with “Greensleeves” performed with a saw and a bow, and the PHC Men’s a capella group sang “Loch Lomond.”

“It was hands-down the best Coffee House we've had,” said Chandler Karadsheh (junior), organizer of the Coffee House with alumna Becca Chin-Yee (’10). “The performers were talented, funny, and all-around entertaining. It featured both alumni and current students, allowing each to experience a taste of old and new PHC.”

After the Coffee House, the students headed outside for the “Chalk and Awe” party. They enjoyed cider and cookies while drawing with chalk, enjoying impromptu music and playing football. “We all just got together to laugh and sing and have a good relaxing time of fellowship,” said Olivia Linde, senior.

“Getting out there and jamming was probably the most fun I've had on campus,” said Marshall Sweers, freshman. “It was just a blast.”

Saturday dawned cold and rainy, but students still enthusiastically participated in events. Many students dressed up as their class “stereotype” -- preps, jocks, nerds, hipsters -- in order to earn spirit points. They faced off in a tug of war in the rain.

“The rain made everything even more fun,” said Fabling. “What is more epic than a class vs. class tug of war? A tug of war in the mud and freezing rain, of course!”

Celebrating a tug-of-war victory.

Even with the rain, the men’s and women’s Sentinels soccer teams played their hardest against the alumni. “The weather was uncooperative, but everyone was so supportive and upbeat. I think it really showcased the good attitudes and positive outlook we have here,” Linde said. At halftime, the classes rivaled to perform the best class cheer.

Homecoming festivities culminated on Saturday evening with a benefit concert featuring the violin-rock band REILLY. Students, alumni and the community gathered in the BHC gym to hear good music and learn about modern-day slavery. The proceeds of the concert will go to support International Justice Mission, a Christian human-rights agency dedicated to rescuing those oppressed by slavery.

“The concert was fantastic -- the music was talented, and it was great to know it was for a good cause,” said Belle Schuler, freshman.

“It was a really good way to close out the weekend,” said Evelyn Iversen, freshman. “The classes came together without any competition. I really enjoyed it and had a lot of fun.”

Homecoming was a great time of reflection and fellowship with both current and past students.

“I was fighting waves of nostalgia the whole weekend, thinking back to my freshman year,” Linde said. “But now that it's over, I'm starting to look forward to the Homecoming that I will attend as an alumna next year!”

“It was really great to see how everyone came together for things like dodge ball and our epic cheer,” said Lauren Johnson, sophomore. “By far, the best part of the whole weekend was seeing the renewed sense of class identity and spirit we had.”

View gallery below.