Homecoming 2014 Celebration

by Office of Marketing | Oct 30, 2014
Homecoming 1980s Grads
Homecoming at the University of Valley Forge (UVF) is always an exciting time. During the week of Oct. 20-25, many alumni were welcomed back to reunite with old friends, peers and professors. The entire campus celebrated their reunion with a series of campus events full of UVF spirit. 
The week kicked off on Monday, Oct. 20, with a compelling message in chapel from Rev. Joseph Terreri '06. Terreri is currently the senior pastor of Spring Valley Community Church in Pottstown, Pa. During his time at UVF, he studied and received a bachelor's degree in youth ministry.
The days that followed were filled with various alumni speakers, campus events, and competitions to showcase Patriot pride. Brice Karper ’12 spoke in chapel on Tuesday. The student body and faculty had earnestly prayed for and supported Karper last year after hearing of his tragic car accident. When Karper returned to speak about God’s faithfulness throughout his time of recovery, many were encouraged by the joy of hearing his inspiring testimony and seeing him in good health. Karper thanked the UVF body for their many prayers and letters that were sent to him during his recovery.  
Every year, three outstanding alumni are honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award. On Thursday, during chapel, President Meyer presented Rev. Tino Cione '86 with one of these awards. Cione is a senior pastor at a multi-cultural ministry in the Washington, D.C., area that is comprised of over 35 nationalities.

On Friday, talented alumni led worship for the official homecoming chapel service. Lee '01 and Christine (Dondzila) '02 Rogers, the co-presidents of the Alumni Association, presented Distinguished Alumni Awards to James Darlack '99 and Rev. Jeffrey Ferguson '77 during the service. 
Darlack graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biblical Studies and a Bachelor's degree in Religious Education. Darlack is the Associate Director and Reference Librarian at the Goddard Library of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He is also a member of the 2014 Creating the Leaders of Tomorrow Cohort for the American Theological Library Association.   
Ferguson graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Bible. A few years after graduation, he returned to UVF to serve as Dean of Students in 1986. Ferguson has faithfully served as Lead Pastor at First Assembly of God in Harrisonburg, Va. since 1988.

After chapel, alumni enjoyed a tour of the campus, having lunch together and reminiscing with past roommates and professors over coffee. The Class of 1964 was especially overjoyed to celebrate its 50th reunion over dinner that night. In the evening, students and staff met at the gym, fondly referred to as "The Pit," to watch the annual men’s basketball Alumni vs. Patriots game. Both teams went toe-to-toe and although the score was close, the Patriots walked off the court as homecoming champions.  
It has been a well-known tradition at UVF to honor the homecoming court after the Alumni vs. Patriots basketball game. However, this year the Student Government Association (SGA) voted to create a new tradition. Instead of the usual homecoming crowning of the king and queen, the faculty department chairs and staff department directors selected three male and three female seniors who exemplified outstanding leadership and service in their time at UVF. Following the nominations, the student body voted for who they wanted to receive the Ashcroft Award: an award named after Dr. J. Robert Ashcroft, who served as president of UVF from 1982-1985. 

This year, the nominees for the Ashcroft Award were Josh Keller, Benjamin Miller, Nicholas Seders, Michaela Ball, Kayleigh Smith and Emilee Slingerland. To the crowd’s delight, pastoral ministry major, Benjamin Miller and intercultural studies major, Michaela Ball received the award. 
SGA hosted a number of festivities for the student body throughout the week including a pep rally featuring various student performances, a movie night, flag football and a volleyball and board game night. Students also participated in themed dress day competitions to showcase their Patriot pride.

The homecoming celebration at UVF came to a close on Friday night with a festive gathering complete with s’mores, fellowship and warm moments shared around a bonfire. It was truly a special week for alumni, current students and faculty.