Alderson Broaddus University has experienced many firsts this academic year - including its name change and the opening of its new performance stadium - but the firsts haven't come to an end yet.
Events today through Sunday will provide more milestones in the school's history as students and alumni celebrate the very first Alderson Broaddus University Homecoming.
It also will be ABU's first homecoming with a football game. Although it is still a university first, it is the 142nd homecoming in the history of the institution, which was formerly known as Alderson-Broaddus College.
"A lot of organizations are getting excited for homecoming week," Aurora Winwood, a sophomore homecoming court member said. "We have our weeklong events, like the football homecoming game where we're crowning the king and queen. I think students are really excited for it. I'm definitely excited for it."
The homecoming parade will begin 11 a.m. Saturday on Main Street in Philippi. Annette Fetty-Santilli, one of the coordinators for this year's homecoming events, said the parade is expected to be much larger than in past years.
"We just want everybody to feel a part of AB," Communications Director Ashley Mittlemeier said. Mittlemeier encouraged alumni and students to invite friends and family, bring a chair to the parade and sprawl out on a blanket at the evening game.
The football game against Malone University takes place at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the new performance stadium. Stadium seating is $5 and upper deck seating is $10. Call Carla Rogers at 304-457-6262 to reserve a seat and share historical memories with ABU. Guests may also pay $15 for the Picnic Game Day Package, which includes a general admission ticket and a picnic ticket.
The Lady Battlers will take on Cedarville University in a women's volleyball game at 6 p.m. Friday at the Rex Pyles Arena. The Lady Battlers will be busy once again Saturday as they battle the Central State University volleyball team at noon at the Rex Pyles Arena.
A men's soccer game will begin at 7 p.m. Friday at the stadium. The women's soccer team will play at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the stadium.
Dr. Robert V. Digman will be presenting a Distinguished Alumni Lecture Series at noon today through Friday in the Campus Center dining room. Each presentation will be given by an accomplished alumni of ABU. Lunch is available for $5.61.
A craft show from noon to 6 p.m. Friday at the Philippi City Building on Main Street will kick off the weekend events, and will continue Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon. There also will be a silent auction in the Campus Center lobby from 1-5 p.m. Friday. It will continue Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The canned food drive at the lobby is sponsored by the Mission Team.
Sorority open houses for Kappa Delta and Lambda Sigma Phi are from 3 to 5 p.m. followed by the Alumni and Friends Gathering from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Burbick Hall Lobby. A bonfire and pep rally at 9:30 p.m. will light up the former soccer field.
The admissions office will host an open house and give campus tours from 9 a.m. to noon; they will begin on the first floor of Burbick Hall. Alumni may take this opportunity to tour the campus and see all of the recent renovations and changes.
An evening concert will take place for $7, payable at the door, at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Wilcox Chapel. It features the jazz band, men's and women's quartets and The West Virginians. The Young Alumni event will follow that night at 10 p.m. at Taj Moe Hall on Main Street in Philippi.
Events continue into Sunday with a 10 a.m. chapel service at Wilcox Chapel with Rev. Dr. Olivia Graham of Greensburg, Pa., class of 1973, officiating.
This year's homecoming honors the classes of 1943, 1948, 1953, 1958, 1963, 1968, 1973, 1978, 1983, 1988, 1993, 1998, 2003 and 2008. The 2013 Lord and Lady of Homecoming are David and M. Ann Eddy, class of 1960. Earning the Alumni Achievement award this year is Pam McClain, class of 1985. The Distinguished Alumni Award this year goes to David Bess, class of 1975.
The Outstanding Young Alumni Award goes to Joe Kmetz, class of 2004. Receiving the Hu C. and Avanelle Myers Award is Mary Vacala, class of 1988. The awards recipients will be honored at an awards banquet from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the Campus Center dining room.