On Thursday, October 17, the Academic Center mall hummed with activity as staff welcomed PCC alumni and their families to campus. Although alumni could check in throughout the following couple days, several arrived on Thursday to participate in as many of the Alumni Homecoming activities as possible.
From attending chapels and going on behind-the-scenes tours to reconnecting during meals and enjoying the annual Concert on the Green, alumni discovered their way around campus once again. “Because many of the Homecoming activities were family friendly, we were able to enjoy time together,” said Kari Wainwright (’99). “We especially enjoyed the planetarium shows, the dolphin cruise, and even the energetic orchestra concert.”
For the Rademachers, one of the best parts of the Homecoming events was simply spending time as a family in the Sports Center. “My kids had a blast,” said Sharon Rademacher (’04, M.B.A. ’08). “Jameson did the water slides for the first time, and he thought it was the best thing ever.” Their children also enjoyed bowling, mini golf, air hockey, and rock climbing.
The weekend brought a variety of events, allowing alumni to reminisce with old friends while also making new ones. During the Concert on the Green, which took place in the Dale Horton Auditorium because of weather, guests along with students and staff listened to the PCCymphony play songs centered on an adventure theme covering land, sea, and space. After spending time at the Sports Center, grabbing a coffee from the Common Grounds, and visiting The Palms, alumni went to the Alumni Reception on Friday night in MacKenzie Great Hall where they ate and fellowshipped with others while their children played with virtual reality headsets.
On Saturday, activities included a dolphin cruise, a trip to the Naval Air Museum, planetarium shows, and brunch and dinner with President and Mrs. Shoemaker. At the dinner, alumni appreciated hearing a brief word from Dr. Jim Schettler, former pastor of Campus Church. “Combine fun memories, scrumptious food, and exciting events—and you’ve got an amazing reunion!” said Kari.
While this year’s Alumni Homecoming has come to a close, alumni, like Sharon, enjoyed their time on campus, catching the spirit of student life by spending time with a group of friends. “Last year we sat at a table with people we had never met before but live here in Pensacola,” she said. “Now, we are still friends with them. I also ran into people I graduated with that I am Facebook friends with but when we reconnected here, we just picked right back where we left off.”
Even after all this time, returning to PCC’s campus, while nostalgic, is still a great place to make new memories.