Bobcats from across generations enjoy 2022 Spring Homecoming festivities

Students and alumni alike came out to Swank Park in droves Friday, April 1 to kick off Spring Homecoming 2022. After the celebration was postponed in the fall, it was clear that the campus community was ready to come together in celebration of this college they call home.

The smell of barbecue and the sounds of pop tunes drifted through the air as Bobcats past and present snaked through the park in a long line between cornhole boards, firepits, and spikeball nets to enjoy the community meal that kicked off a weekend full of fun, games, and food for the campus community.

Bobcats roasted marshmallows and made s’mores around the firepits as President Lee King welcomed alumni back to campus and shared some celebratory words to open the weekend.

After the block party, alumni were invited to continue the celebration with drinks and mingling at Banner Elk Café and Lodge. However, the fun didn’t stop that evening; alumni came together the next morning for a special alumni brunch in the Frankie Ramsey Needham alumni house.

The alumni house, which previously served as a home for Lees-McRae presidents, came to life with laughter and the smell of coffee as Bobcat alumni from across generations recounted stories from years past over pancakes, sausage, and scrambled eggs.

Executive Director of Institutional Advancement and Alumni Relations Katie Talbert sat over old yearbooks with alumnus Ed Plowman ’65,  discussing his time on the Lees-McRae cross-country team, while sisters Betsy (Hall) Walker ’93 and Katie Hall ’88 and ’90 reflected on the impact their family has left on the college and vice versa.

The sisters’ father is former faculty member Lewis Hall, an extremely impactful Bobcat, who, among many other things, was one of the founders of the Order of the Tower.

“I think he held pretty much every position at one point or another except for president,” Walker said, reflecting on her father’s decades-long involvement with the school. “Not many people stay in one place for 40 years anymore.”

Students from Students Today Alumni Tomorrow (STAT) attended the brunch as well, speaking with alumni about the transition they will soon make following graduation. This exchange of information across time and generations is what Homecoming is all about and is one of the main purposes of the alumni house.

The brunch served as great fuel for the long day of sporting events that followed. Tailgating opened on Tate Field at the Dickerson Athletic Complex that morning, and Bobcats enjoyed food trucks and fellowship as they watched the softball, women’s and men’s lacrosse, and men’s volleyball teams play in their homecoming games. Tailgating Bobcats cheered as Lees-McRae women’s lacrosse beat out Chowan in a close match.

The weekend of festivities finished with the 15th annual F3T Fly Fishing Film Tour. This celebration of all things fishing brought students, faculty, staff, and community members together to view the best short films about the world of fishing from all over the country.

After a long day of cheering for current Bobcats on the field, alumni gathered again at Blind Elk Tap Room to enjoy one of the newest establishments in Banner Elk, serving as a great way to say goodbye to Homecoming 2022 and reflect on how the town and the college is growing.

By Maya JarrellApril 04, 2022
Campus Life