by Sara Foss
Photos by Art Cox and Michelle Stevens
Patrick Henry College
SEE PHOTO GALLERY OF HOMECOMING ACTIVITIES BELOW.
Strolling the Patrick Henry College campus during Homecoming 2012 last weekend were men in kilts, girls wearing sheets converted into makeshift togas, fellows in tri-cornered hats, and others sporting, (what?) red communist armbands.
The freshman class portraying the Bolshevik Revolution
This year’s Homecoming theme was the Age of Revolutions, and while there was plenty of revelry to go around, PHC does it a bit differently than most other colleges and universities, foregoing parades and football games for more, say, historic fare. There is, of course, cotton candy, caramel apples, and a plethora of competitive activities, the winner of each scoring points for their class. And since each class was assigned a theme, those portraying themes with the most gusto scored points. Freshmen were the Bolsheviks, sophomores the Colonial Americans, juniors the Scottish, and seniors the Romans.
Homecoming weekend kicked off Wednesday night with a banner painting competition, celebrating the College, integrating their class theme, and, most importantly, welcoming home returning alumni. A campus-wide manhunt followed.
Thursday’s annual dodge ball competition, a favorite part of Homecoming for many students, preceded the true start of Homecoming at Friday’s chapel service. Dr. Steven McCollum, PHC Professor of Music, marched into our town hall in full Scottish regalia excepting a sporran, accompanied by junior Jonathan Chambers playing the bagpipes and also wearing a kilt.
Members of the class of 2002
The chapel message was delivered by alumnus Justin Knepper, of PHC’s inaugural graduating class (see web story). Students and faculty gleefully spotted a few additional familiar faces in the audience and more trickled in throughout the day.
Many arrived for the “alumni roundtables,” in which alumni of various disciplines, such as government, education and journalism/communications sat on panels to answer questions posed by current students.
By evening, the Barbara Hodel Center was packed with alumni and their families. Students on a scavenger hunt swarmed the lobby, trying to identify the oldest male alumni, a former White House intern, as well as the founders of various PHC clubs and traditions.
The evening culminated in the Barbara Hodel Center Coffeehouse for the traditional student-alumni talent show—for points, of course. Alumnae Rebecca Beach (’11) and Tia Stockton (’10), original founders of PHC coffee shop nights, returned and recruited a few students to perform, while Stockton’s husband Tyler, a senior, continued his own tradition of reading a short story. This year’s selection was Sir Roland and the Knights of the Silver Shield.
Saturday morning saw each class sending its champions, many decked out in elaborate face paint, to compete in men’s and women’s tug-of-war, a contest that was followed by students versus alumni tag football; and then came the main event—the Lady Sentinel’s soccer team versus Frederick Community College.
Half-time’s “class cheer” competition showcased increasingly elaborate and raucous arrangements, with skits and choreography set to popular music, wild chants and cries set to ancient classics, with festivities escalating into rousing sword fights and squirt gun executions.
The final results of the homecoming competition were announced in Monday’s chapel service, with victory once again claimed by the senior class. Freshman came in second, with juniors third, and sophomores fourth.
Homecoming ended Saturday evening with the Mission Abolition concert, put on by the campus chapter of the International Justice Mission. The concert featured a few student groups, including sophomore Christina Fortini and her brother, and sophomores Jonathan Boes and Mike Montoya. They were followed by local acts Hiz Neway and Forever is Forever, in what turned out to be the latter’s final performance. Admission to the concert was free with donations going to IJM.
For a gallery of the Homecoming activities, please see below.