Homecoming is that time of year when the crisp fall air arrives, the leaves change, and Gracelanders come home and come together to celebrate and share in tradition. This year, alumni and friends came “Back to the Future” to take part in a homecoming with a theme to remember. Despite mud puddles, soaked grounds and gloomy skies, students and alumni alike gathered to celebrate the spirit of the annual custom. This year’s celebration is surely one full of memories and fun to add to a long history of tradition.
The 2018 festivities began with Thursday’s opening of the homecoming production, Ghost the Musical.With an unbelievable performance by the theatre department and its cast and crew, the stage was set.
Friday was packed with the Alumni and Friends Golf Tournament and putting contest…
… and the 34th edition of the famed student air band battle followed by a root beer float party to end the night.
ALUMNI AWARD WINNERS
Distinguished Service Award
The Distinguished Service Award is given to alumni at least 10 years removed from graduation and still living who have made an outstanding contribution to community, whether local or international. Gary McLean checks all those boxes. He has been a leader in the field of human resource development (HRD), elevating its practical concepts in 56 countries across the world. McLean has also pioneered concepts and helped develop policies to diminish corruption in Thailand, Korea and Taiwan; worked to combat human trafficking in Southeast Asia; and gender equality has been a major focus of his lifetime scholarship
Honorary Alumni Award
The Honorary Alumni Award recognizes people who did not attend Graceland but whose record of service and commitment to the university is outstanding. Kathy Robinson dreamed of attending Graceland, but the nursing program was not quite ready, so she received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Central Missouri State University. She has since given a lifetime of service to her church, country and the world. A fifth-generation member of Community of Christ, Robinson served on its Standing High Council and the boards of Outreach International and the Nurses Association, and she continues to serve on the board of the church Health Ministries Association and the Graceland School of Nursing Advisory Board.
Graceland Award of Recognition
The Graceland Award of Recognition salutes those who have supported Graceland and its programs in an exceptional way. Don Hickman graduated from Graceland with a passion to work with young people. From emotionally handicapped elementary students to high school students from rough backgrounds who were in need of his guidance as a father figure, Hickman has been a mentor to youth in Iowa and Florida, funneling more than 200 central Florida high schoolers to Graceland over the years.