HORIZONS: Fall 2017
A rainy Saturday couldn’t put a cloud over all of Homecoming 2017. The Memorial Student Center and the Floyd McDowell Commons accommodated a dedicated crowd as traditional outdoor events moved inside.
“The Power of Together” was strong throughout the entire weekend, beginning Friday with the culmination of a week of events celebrating the inauguration of President Patricia H. Draves as the university’s 18th president. Alumni in attendance were able to enjoy a reception and meet the new president after the ceremony.
Throughout the weekend, visitors enjoyed performances by the Graceland Choirs, Ergo and Friends, an art exhibition by Anne Simpkins ’82, and the Graceland Theatre’s homecoming performance of Lend Me a Tenor. The Unpredictables also played for a second year in a row on the Memorial Student Center stage for a large and energized crowd.
At the 18th annual Emeriti and Alumni Award Banquet, Dan ’61 and Beth Whittemore of Denver, Colorado, received the prestigious Distinguished Service Award, and Beth was also offcially received as an Honorary Alumni, along with Bob Kuehl of Kansas City, Missouri. Gretchen Booz ’55 of Grain Valley, Missouri, was honored with the Graceland Award of Recognition. The alumni board offered their own honors: John James from the Independence campus and Paula Anderson of Lamoni were presented with the annual Behind the Scenes Award, which goes to staff who work tirelessly each and every day on behalf of the university.
The Graceland men’s volleyball program was honored at this year’s homecoming as they celebrated 50 years of success, and legendary head coach Rod Schall ’50 was the guest of honor. Other student-athlete alumni showed off their talents in games versus current Graceland students. Alumni games were held for women’s and men’s basketball, baseball and softball, women’s and men’s soccer, as well as women’s and men’s volleyball. Also honored this year were dozens of alumni couples who met at Graceland and took part in a special recommitment ceremony led by Community of Christ President Stephen M. Veazey.