There are many Kentucky Wesleyan traditions to get students excited, and Fall Homecoming Week is one of them. Alumni far and wide return to visit with old friends. They tour the campus and recall where they used to live, their favorite classes, professors, and the great times they had before setting out to leave their imprint on the world. As I’m writing this article, I can’t help but think what Homecoming, as an Alumni, will mean to me.
This past week, Wesleyan celebrated the Class of ‘66, inducted new members into the Hall of Fame, greeted the families of visiting students, and celebrated all of what makes Wesleyan unique. This is my final semester at Wesleyan, and I too will soon be included as a class with a reunion.
Like many alumni, I have family connections to Wesleyan. My brother, uncle, grandfather, great uncle, and great grandfather are all Wesleyan graduates. My grandparents live in Owensboro, and while I was hanging out at their house, I noticed that my grandmother was checking out the Kentucky Wesleyan Facebook page, viewing the photos and upcoming events regarding Wesleyan. They began reminiscing about Wesleyan Homecomings of the past.
For my granddad, returning Alumni gave him the chance to share memories of Wesleyan when it was in Winchester, Ky. His father was a Wesleyan graduate and a professor when it was located in Winchester. Homecoming at Wesleyan gave my granddad a reconnection to his childhood ties to the Old Wesleyan, as well as reconnect with friends and teammates to the Wesleyan of adulthood.
With graduation fast approaching, what will the Wesleyan Homecomings of the future mean to me? One thing I believe I have in common with all who have graduated from Wesleyan is a quality education and a degree that I worked hard to earn. All of my professors have challenged me, provoked me to think critically, and given me real world experiences through class projects and presentations. I’ve attempted to play a college sport and, just like in real life, I’ve learned we all aren’t ‘starters.’ But perseverance has taught me the importance of being there for your ‘team’ and the importance of being prepared because you never know when it’s your time to see action on the pitch.
As I write this, I’m actually a little sad to bid Wesleyan farewell. Although I believe a few with the school are probably eager to ‘wish me well’ and see me leave ASAP. (My granddad has reassured me that this is a family trait.) Over the past several semesters at Wesleyan, I’ve matured and been given the opportunity to see the world through a new lens. I’ve had the chance to mix, mingle, and clash with new ideas and cultures that are very different from where I grew up in South Carolina.
My experience at Wesleyan has forced me to reevaluate my view of the world and gain the confidence to be part of local and global communities. The Wesleyan Way is not a mere slogan or clever marketing tool. It’s an experience that is life changing. It’s an experience that gives you the confidence to make your way in an ever changing world. It’s an experience that allows you establish life-long friendships and gives new meaning to the word ‘family.’
Homecomings in the future at Kentucky Wesleyan College, for me, will mean reconnecting with my KWC family and reminding me how the Wesleyan Way has changed my life forever by binding me to thousands of other alumni. Of course I’ll tour campus, seek out professors, and reminisce about all the antics, but I’ll also be reminded of the legacy Wesleyan has given to the local and global communities, and as an alum, that I’m part of that legacy.