Published September 30, 2016

Scots On Broadway

Homecoming celebrates ‘the thread that runs through Monmouth’


Mother Nature rained on Monmouth College’s parade, canceling the annual Saturday morning Homecoming tradition, but otherwise Homecoming 2016 was a memorable celebration, with a strong turnout of alumni and friends on campus.

As Monmouth President Dr. Clarence R. Wyatt said at the Alumni Impact Awards, the weekend was a celebration of “the thread that runs through Monmouth College.”

The induction of scientist Karin Loya ’63 and MTV co-founder Dwight Tierney ’69 into the Hall of Achievement – the highest honor Monmouth College bestows upon its graduates – highlighted the Alumni Impact Awards ceremony on Friday night.

Other alumni award winners honored that evening included: retired college president William Simpson ’65, Distinguished Alumnus; emeritus professor Harlow Blum, Distinguished Service; University of Iowa professor Scott Shaw ’03, Young Alumnus; and the Brooks family, Family of the Year. Communication studies professor Lee McGaan ’69 was presented with the College’s Hatch Academic Excellence Award for Distinguished Teaching.

At Friday night’s ceremony, Wyatt noted the college’s recent rise in national rankings by Washington Monthly and U.S. News & World Report, but he said those are not the true indication of what makes Monmouth such an exciting place to learn and teach.

“Certainly when third parties say nice things about the institution, you want to embrace that, celebrate that,” he said. “But the real measure of the strength of this institution is represented by the people in this room, the people who have created such an extraordinary experience that is Monmouth College.”

McGaan, who has taught at Monmouth since 1986, credited his communication studies colleagues with helping him excel in the classroom.

“I work with fabulous colleagues. … If you want to hang out with them, then you better be good,” he said. “They made me be better, and they taught me to be a better teacher. … These are excellent, excellent people.”

Fellow 1969 alumnus Tierney said that for him, “it all started here” at Monmouth.

Tierney noted that “four years is such a small period of time,” but he said that time “changes everything, it creates who you are.”

“It helped me find my ways to success,” he said.

Also on Friday, an alumni gathering in downtown Monmouth proved to be a huge success, with The Brooks Brothers-Very Live Band entertaining a large and festive crowd. As the band’s R&B music played, fireworks could be heard in the distance from the annual Spirit Shout, where seniors Alec Dutko was crowned king and Abby Hubbard was crowned queen.

Saturday’s events included two more award ceremonies.

Inducted into the M Club Hall of Fame were former coach and athletic director Terry Glasgow, soccer standout Amy Horneck Jewett ’06 and softball ace Shelly Orwig Mabee ’03.

“Athletics continue to be a big part of the experience for many students at Monmouth’s campus,” said Athletics Director Roger Haynes ’82.

Haynes said that today more than 35 percent of Monmouth students participate on at least one of the College’s 24 varsity teams. He said that a big reason many of those teams compete at the highest level is because of Glasgow, Jewett and Mabee.

“A great deal of momentum for our sports currently at Monmouth can be directly traced to the three three individuals who are being inducted today into the Monmouth College Athletic Hall of Fame,” Haynes said.

The College also hosted its second annual Fraternity and Sorority Alumni Hall of Fame induction ceremony, with inductees including Melinda Fry ’03, Benjamin Hickerson ’05, the late Mary MacDill Knapheide ’35 and the late Isabel Bickett Marshall ’36. The hall of fame is sponsored by the Delta Lambda Chapter of Order of Omega.

As President Wyatt reminded the more than 100 guests who attended the ceremony, Monmouth is the birthplace of the women’s fraternity movement. The college is known for the Monmouth Duo because both Pi Beta Phi, the first U.S. women’s fraternity, and Kappa Kappa Gamma were founded at the College.

“That legacy of empowering women continues today, and you see it in the women who are being inducted today – the long trail of excellence and commitment to service,” President Wyatt said. “And the same is true for our men’s fraternities.”

President Wyatt said that the values expressed in the Order of Omega – recognize, encourage, inspire, unite, bring together and create – also permeate the rest of the Monmouth campus.

“These are words that apply not just to Greek life on this campus, they involve every aspect of our lives on this campus,” he said. “These are watchwords for the experience that we all seek to create on this campus. … The Greek organizations are really a highlight of these values that are fundamental to the entire Monmouth experience.”

One of the new hall of fame members said that Monmouth’s Greek life helped her discover what has become a lifelong passion.

“I guess you that could say that a fire for service was ignited within me,” said Fry, who is a Pi Beta Phi alumna. “I was inspired by the rich history of my sorority, and I deeply respected the culture of service and philanthropy that it instilled.”

Monmouth and Pi Beta Phi “both cultivated leadership potential within me that has helped me enrich the lives of my students, my special-needs horseback riders as well as several others through my community service,” said Fry, who is a local school teacher and is active with Rainbow Riders, a therapeutic horseback-riding center for children and adults with special needs.

Gifts from the Homecoming reunion classes were announced at halftime of Saturday’s Fighting Scots convincing 57-14 football win over Cornell College, which improved Monmouth’s record to 5-0 at the halfway point of the season.

The eight milestone reunion classes – 1976, ’81, ’86, ’91, ’96, 2001, ’06 and ’11 – combined to give more than $330,000 to their alma mater. The leader was the Class of 1981, which donated $100,010.

“This is just part of the way our alumni give back to help make the experience for our current students and those students to come even more special,” Wyatt said.

Out of all of the reunion classes, the Class of 1986 had the highest participation percentage at more than 20 percent, and ’86 also had the highest attendance at 24 percent.

Also in action at home was the Monmouth volleyball team, which opened Midwest Conference play with a 3-1 victory over Beloit in Glennie Gym.

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