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The Echo
Taylor University, Upland, IN
Thursday, May 30, 2024
The Echo
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A look back at Homecoming

Faculty discusses ‘Finish Strong’ Scholarship and Homecoming events

Homecoming had over 2,000 people in attendance: watching sports, shopping the loop and playing the first annual Taylor-Land hunt. Over the course of the weekend, families could complete the list of goals in order to win some prizes like t-shirts, mugs or bags. 

Sara Brookshire works in the office of alumni and parent relations as the Director of Parent relations and Strategic Events. Most of her weekend was spent behind the scenes or at alumni events.

“The intent was to do something that would encourage people to be at multi-levels of events, '' Brookshire said. “Because we have so many things going on that are geared towards the alumni, we want to include the parents as well.” 

In addition to the homecoming events, there were also alumni awards presented in chapel on Friday. The awards were given to distinguished alumnus: Hal Habecker, the distinguished young alumnus John Houlihan and the Roselyn Kerlin Women in Leadership Award, given to Loralee Songer. 

Although homecoming was a special time for alumni to celebrate, it was also an opportunity for students and parents to come together.

“Our ultimate goal is to make sure that we make the space for people to connect with either their student, if they’re visiting as a family member or other alumni,” Brookshire said. 

Homecoming is a time of year for every member of the family — whether they be a student, parent, or alumni. 

One way students are connected to alumni is through scholarships. This year, the class of 1972 presented the endowed scholarship, titled ‘Finish Strong’ with the help of Michael Mortensen, the director of scholarships. They also contributed to the new pergola on campus, situated between Samuel Morris Hall and Ayres Hall.

“We have over 650 annual endowed scholarships,” Mortensen said. “This one will go on in perpetuity until Jesus returns.”

The qualifications to receive this scholarship include a student whose parents are missionaries overseas, pastors or in a para-church organization that is evangelically focused. 

“[Financial difficulty] is probably one of the greatest needs that we have of our students that fit this category,” Mortensen said.

The preference is for the student to be a full-time sophomore, junior or senior, with a minimum GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale. And, most importantly, the student must have made a positive and exceptional difference at the University or in the community through selfless service to others. 

This scholarship was created by a committee from the class of 1972, who thought it important to have a scriptural base. The verse Philippians 3:13 carries the idea of not dwelling on the past, but pushing forward and finishing strong.