Lakeland University Blog

Big crowd enjoys Homecoming weekend

Big crowd enjoys Homecoming weekend


Big crowd enjoys Homecoming weekend

A beautiful, warm fall day welcomed a huge crowd of alums and their families to campus this past weekend for a variety of events for Homecoming 2023.

Three individuals were honored Saturday morning along with members of the Class of 1973, who were was welcomed into the esteemed Emeritus Club, which includes alumni with a Mission House or Lakeland College graduation date of at least half-a-century ago.

Emily Rendall-Araujo '11 MBA '14 was named winner of the Outstanding Recent Young Alumni Award. She is director of senior services with the City of Sheboygan. She led the successful strategic planning and rebranding of the organization, transforming it from the Senior Activity Center of Sheboygan to the popular Uptown Social.

Wayne Wildman ’79 received the Service to the Community Award. He served as music director of the Manitowoc Symphony Orchestra for 29 years beginning in 1990 and won the 2020 Wesley Teply Community Service Award in the Arts, an award from the Lakeshore Wind Ensemble Association to recognize individuals who have substantially contributed to the arts in the greater Manitowoc area.

Vin Mannix received an Honorary Alumni Award. Mannix spent just one year at Lakeland, but the Florida journalist and 2018 Lakeland Hall of Fame Service Award recipient is an ambassador for Lakeland who has authored two books about Lakeland. “A Muskie Memoir” recounts the 1967 football season for the Gateway Champion Muskies, and “MOOSE,” honors the legacy of Duane Woltzen, beloved athletic director and basketball coach.

Click here to see photos from the event.

Alumni, faculty, staff and friends gathered in the Lauer Center Saturday to remember and celebrate the late Rev. David Lauer. It was an opportunity to visit with the family and hear tributes from Lakeland President Beth Borgen, Kip Bedore ’77, Mike Brunmeier ’73 and President Emeritus David Black. Lakeland Chaplain the Rev. Julie Mavity Maddalena offered a closing prayer. Click here to see photos from the event.

It was a homecoming trip back to campus for Black as well as President Emeritus Steve Gould and his wife, Susan, who served as longtime registrar.

The weekend got started Friday night with the induction of five standout athletes into the Lakeland Athletic Hall of Fame. Click here to see photos.

The class included:

  • Cleveland Clark ’86, football.
  • Kimani Chambers ’00, football.
  • Bryon Vandlen ’06, football.
  • Steve Plucinski ’06, baseball.
  • Sara (Roberts) Hall ’10, softball.

Clark was a standout cornerback and strong safety, earning NAIA honorable mention All-American honors in 1985. He’s one of just 16 All-Americans in Lakeland football history. He was a four-time All-Illini-Badger Football Conference honoree, graduated No. 2 in career interceptions (18), and his nine interceptions in 1985 is tied for the most in a single season and among the nation’s best as he led several defensive-minded teams.

Chambers re-wrote the rushing record book as the Muskies rolled up the points and yards during his career. He graduated as the program’s career rushing leader with 2,733 yards (he’s now third), and he was second in career scoring (266 points) and touchdowns (44). He was a key component on two IBFC championship teams, including the 10-0 finish in 1997.

Plucinski was a dominating pitcher that helped lead the Muskies to three conference championships, the 2002 NCAA Division III World Series and a fifth-place finish nationally. He’s a fixture on the career pitching record book with the top spots in career strikeouts and earned run average, second in innings pitched and shutouts, third in starts, fourth in wins and fifth in complete games.

Vandlen is among the football program’s most decorated offensive linemen that helped lead the Muskies to the program’s first NCAA Division III postseason playoff berth. He was a two-time IBFC Offensive Lineman of the Year, two-time first team All-IBFC and two-time Football Gazette North All-Region.

Hall has career records in five of the six softball program pitching categories: games started, wins, innings pitched, strikeouts and shutouts. A four-time First Team all-conference honoree, she is in the top five in five categories in the Northern Athletic Collegiate Conference record book.

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