Michael Dukes, Director of Development and Alumni at Belhaven University, has directed Belhaven’s Homecoming for four years. He speaks with Inside Belhaven about “Back to Belhaven,” Homecoming 2010:
Q: What are the main events of Belhaven’s Homecoming Weekend?
A: There are what I would consider three pinnacle events:
One is on Friday night, the Sports Hall of Fame Banquet, where 4-7 of that year’s athletic standouts are inducted into the Hall of Fame. Coaches, families, and former teammates will come back for that event.
The second of these events is the Alumni Awards Luncheon. This is an opportunity to acknowledge alumni specifically for what they have done in their chosen fields since leaving Belhaven. This is generally a meaningful time for those individuals recognized by their alma mater.
The third event is the football game. You have to keep in mind that for decade upon decade Belhaven didn’t have football. A number of alumni are used to homecoming being in mid-to-late November and centered around basketball. But the way Belhaven Homecoming has developed with the addition of football, it’s become what you traditionally think of for a Southern homecoming – everybody charging up and going to the big game.
Q: Are there any new aspects or events this year?
A: The newest aspect is that homecoming is a month earlier this year. A lot of colleges and universities do October homecoming, and most high schools do. This will be an interesting experiment.
Also, we will host parents of current Belhaven students during the weekend. They will have a special continental breakfast with Dr. Parrott on Saturday. We hope this will become a unique event that lasts for years to come.
Lastly, this is only our second year for the Basketball Mini-camp. Coach Kelsey and his staff have very successful summer camps, and this will be the boiled-down version of one of those; alumni can chat while their kids are involved in a fun activity.
Q: In a sentence, what is Belhaven’s goal for Homecoming weekend?
A: The goal for Homecoming is always to be welcoming and accommodating to all Belhaven alumni and friends.
I don’t want to say, “If you’re part of this class, Homecoming’s only for you this year.” Because of this, we’ve dropped trying to come up with a new theme every year. Three years ago I decided Homecoming’s going to be “Back to Belhaven” every year. We want to be inclusive of ALL alumni. While there may not be a large group of people who are from your class or even your era, there will still be plenty of things you can do.
“Back to Belhaven” is the first Friday and Saturday of October. Come reconnect with classmates and campus and be a part of your school’s celebration!