Young Harris College Hosts Successful Alumni Weekend
“Your YHC Roots” was the theme of the weekend as hundreds of Young Harris College alumni, their families and friends traveled to the Enchanted Valley this spring for Alumni Weekend 2014. The celebration included fun activities and endless opportunities for students, faculty, staff, and alumni to interact and share the Young Harris spirit.
“What I like most about Alumni Weekend is that no matter how many years separate our alumni classes, we all love being together,” said Alumni Board Secretary Tommy Drake, ’82, of Blairsville. “Our common bond is our love for YHC—and our love for each other.”
Alumni Weekend kicked off with an ice cream social on Friday afternoon that took place at the Byron Herbert Reece Farm and Heritage Center. Recently designated part of the Southern Literary Trail, the farm serves as a virtual showcase of Appalachian farm life in the first half of the 20th century when the Reece family tilled the land as subsistence farmers.
The weekend also included several new events. On Friday, the Office of Alumni Services partnered with the Office of Mentoring and Career Leadership to host a casual networking lunch that allowed students to receive guidance from alumni for the college-to-work transition.
“Both alumni and students were eager to participate in this event, which allowed them to bond through discussion of career interests,” said Mentor and Career Leadership Program Coordinator Jaime Miller. “Many alumni took the opportunity to share advice and words of wisdom rooted in their personal career journey, while others encouraged current students to consider their places of employment for internships and positions after college.”
Also on Friday, alumni had the chance to chat over coffee with esteemed educator, author and alumnus Ken Robbins, ’64, Ph.D., and YHC Emeritus Associate Professor of English Janice Moore. Robbins most recently served as director of the School of the Performing Arts at Louisiana Tech University and has received several awards for his writing.
The highlight of Friday evening was the Half Century Club Dinner followed by the Alumni Awards Ceremony at the Recreation and Fitness Center. Alumni from across all generations gathered to reminisce and honor a group of outstanding alumni and friends. Members of the Class of 1964 were also recognized as special guests of the evening in commemoration of their 50th reunion.
Saturday’s festivities kicked off the with the annual SPAT/Dorcas breakfast, a morning coffee with President Cathy Cox and retired and emeriti faculty and staff at the Campus Gate Art Gallery, and a College Update presented by Murray and President Cox.
Alumni then enjoyed the beautiful weather outside on the plaza at the Alumni GreenFest that included children’s activities and table displays from YHC students promoting various clubs and Greek organizations. Many alumni also attended a memorable service in Susan B. Harris Chapel.
Alumni had the opportunity to enjoy cultural events on campus including shows at O. Wayne Rollins Planetarium, the Senior Thesis Exhibition at the Campus Gate Art Gallery and Theatre Young Harris’s season finale of the revolutionary rock opera “Rent.”
On Saturday, alumni got a sneak peek of the first floor of the new $41 million, 125,000-square-foot Rollins Campus Center. There was also an acoustic jam session for alumni on the lawn as the All-Class Social sponsored by the Young Alumni Council kicked off in Myers Student Center.
The weekend’s festivities wrapped up Sunday morning with a worship service at Sharp Memorial United Methodist Church led by YHC trustee and alumnus Dr. Don Harp, ’61.
Alumni toured the Byron Herbert Reece Farm and Heritage Center during Alumni Weekend.
Alumni mentored current students at a special networking lunch.
Alumni Weekend participants enjoyed a traditional chapel service and time of remembrance.
The Class of 1964 celebrated their 50th reunion during the 2014 Alumni Weekend.