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More than 330 alumni, friends, and family returned to the Lakeland College campus for Homecoming weekend, October 9-10. Chilly winds and a wet snow (that fortunately ceased before kickoff of the football game) did not deter loyal fans from enjoying a tailgate lunch under the tent in the Laun Center parking lot and cheering the Muskies on to a 14-9 win over Wisconsin Lutheran. In addition to the victory on the football field, there was plenty of laughter and good cheer in the air as old friends reconnected, which is after all, what Homecoming is all about. Click here to see a photo gallery of the weekend.
A new feature of Homecoming this year was the gathering of the Emeritus Club at a luncheon on Friday to induct new members into this illustrious group. The Emeritus Club is comprised of those alumni who have celebrated 50 years or more as Lakeland graduates. Class representatives Naomi (Krueger) Elzinga `59 and Ken DeSombre `59 welcomed 38 people at the luncheon and eight new 50-year members were inducted into the group. The earliest class represented at the luncheon was Ruben Grosshuesch `43 and the individual who came from farthest away was Naomi (Krueger) Elzinga `59, who came from Waco, Tex.
Later in the afternoon on Friday, the four reunion classes (1959, 1969, 1984, and 1999) enjoyed a lovely champagne reception at the home of President and Mrs. Gould. As the guests mingled and reminisced, they were treated to beautiful piano music provided by Elisabeth Daniels, a Lakeland College music major.
On Friday evening 75 people gathered in the Laun Center for the Athletic Hall of Fame banquet. Two former Lakeland football standouts, John Lemke `91 and Ted Szymanski `92, were inducted as the 135th and 136th members. Lakeland president Stephen Gould was honored as a recipient of the Athletic Hall of Fame Service Award, and members of the 1986 Illini-Badger Football Conference championship football team were also recognized. Special recognition was given to Floyd Henschel `60 for his dedication to the athletics program and Hall of Fame board, and to athletic director Jane Bouche to mark her 20th year at Lakeland.
There were some other improvements made to Homecoming based on feedback from last year. The morning service of worship and remembrance was held on Saturday morning, allowing more individuals to attend. Another new feature was the Memory Lounge in the Laun Center, a place where friends could gather to talk, view yearbooks and enjoy a display of artifacts from Lakeland's history including photographs, theater posters, vintage athletic uniforms and other memorabilia that provoked conversations and stories.
The chilly temperatures did not deter the festivities at the pre-game tailgate and the Parade of Classes at halftime. Saturday evening brought together a record 112 people for the All-Alumni Banquet and Awards. At the reception before the dinner, the crowd was serenaded by the marimba sounds of students Megumi Shindo and Dartanian Taylor. Three alumni received awards at this event: Will Mathes `61, Service to the Community Award; Joel Schuler `80, Service to the College Award; and Allen Wangemann `55, The President's Richard C. Preuhs `65 Award.
At Homecoming 2010, classmates from 1960, 1970, 1985 and 2000 will be honored and will celebrate their reunions. Mark your calendars for October 8 and 9, 2010, and plan to come home! If you have ideas or would like to help organize the event, please contact Charmaine Jankowski, Assistant Director of Alumni Relations, at email@example.com or at 920-565-1404.