Many have kept in touch through social networking, and soon Palm Beach Atlantic University alumni will return to campus to reconnect in person during Homecoming 2009.
Connecting Face to Face is the theme of this year's Homecoming week, which begins on Tuesday, Nov. 3, and runs through Saturday, Nov. 7. The week begins with an alumni chapel service at 11 a.m. Tuesday in the DeSantis Family Chapel. Steve Browning, '05, minister to students at First Baptist Church in Norfolk, Va., will be the guest speaker.
Among the week's highlights is the 27th annual Great American Bug Race, which begins at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 4, in the parking lot next to Rinker Hall. The race features cash prizes for the owners of the fastest bugs, which entrants can purchase for 50 cents. The entry fee is $1. The event also includes cookie bug decorating (all edible). In addition, specially designed T-shirts will be sold, with proceeds benefiting the PBA Science Club. The bug race is open to the public. Ecolab is a sponsor of this event.
On Thursday, Nov. 5, the MacArthur School of Leadership will host an alumni reception and award presentation from 6 to 8 p.m. in the DeSantis Family Chapel. The guest speaker will be David Hernandez, '91, chief executive officer of Liberty Power, headquartered in Fort Lauderdale.
The traditional alumni vs. student men's and women's basketball game begins at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6, in the Rubin Arena, followed by the Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Reception. This year's inductees are:
- Basketball player Willie Gibson Jr., '75, who has spent the past 35 years in physical education and coaching, most recently at Santaluces Community High School in suburban Lantana.
- Volleyball player Jackie Stanley, '04/'05 MBA, a business manager with Wireless to Go in Palm Beach Gardens. She formerly was budget manager and assistant women's volleyball coach at PBA, and she also has served as an administrator at an orphanage in Bolivia and as a budget analyst with Faith Lutheran Church in North Palm Beach.
On Saturday, Nov. 7, alumni will receive a tour of the Warren Library's new Lassiter Rotunda starting at 6 p.m. The week concludes with the annual homecoming dinner and alumni awards presentation at 7 p.m. on the plaza near the Warren Library.
- This year's Alumni Service Award recipients are Bridgette Francis, '97, a financial entrepreneur in her native Bahamas, and Delesa Hinkle Morris, '86, director of alumni and external affairs for the Academic Health Center at the University of Cincinnati Foundation.
- This year's recipient of the MacArthur School of Leadership Outstanding Alumni Award is Charlie Adams, '90, president of South Palm Construction Inc., the West Palm Beach-based company he co-founded in 1974.
- Receiving the Distinguished Alumni Award is Scott Whitaker, '91, chief operating officer of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO). He joined BIO in February 2005 as C.O.O. and manages all aspects of BIO's day-to-day operations. Prior to joining BIO, Scott served as Chief of Staff at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
- This year's recipients of the Young Alum Award are Jason Jamison, '03, Jeff Owen, Mike Donehey, '03, and Scott Sanders, '02, all members of the Dove Award-winning contemporary Christian band Tenth Avenue North. They will receive their awards at a later date.
For a complete list of Homecoming activities, click here.