By Joan C. McKinney, director, Office of University Communications
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Although there weren’t thousands of people on Campbellsville University’s campus for her 2020 Homecoming, the university’s first virtual one was a success, according to Ashley Fox, director of alumni relations.
“Even though we couldn’t gather on campus for this year’s Homecoming, I could still feel the connection to the CU family through our virtual events,” she said.
Videos and contests were the “norm” for the “Play Paws Rewind” virtual Homecoming with posts from the university appearing in feeds and being seen over 75,000 times.
“We had so many tune in to watch the videos that were put together, and from the comments that were made, you could tell alumni were reminiscing over their time spent here,” Fox said.
She said there was “a little friendly competition on the social media platforms” that made for a fun way to interact with other students, alumni and faculty/staff/coaches from a distance.
Fox said the one video that got the most views was the live virtual tour of campus on Facebook led by Joey Hartlage, assistant director of on-campus enrollment, and shot by Alex Meade, television program and production director at WLCU-TV.
The video reached 6,407 people.
“I think there were a lot of alumni out there who haven’t been back in a while and really enjoyed seeing all the progress being made,” Fox said.
Those watching were able to ask questions and make comments along the way. “I loved seeing all the different memories being shared and classmates reconnecting through Facebook,” Fox said.
“We hope things return to normal next year,” she said, “but I think this year’s virtual format may have set a precedent for future Homecomings. We found that it was a great way to involve those who can’t always make the time to come back to campus in person.
“One alumna in particular reached out to me and was so excited she was able to participate this year as she had just moved to Mississippi from Kentucky. It gave her a way to reconnect with her alma mater from a distance.”
Jane Wheatley, a 1995 Campbellsville College graduate who serves on the university’s Board of Trustees, was the grand marshal for the virtual parade. She welcomed those watching for the parade video.
The Class of 1970 was honored with an historial video of their time on campus. Some class members sent videos they had made and sent in. Fox said there will be a ceremony of some type for the class, who now are members of the Golden Heritage Club, those alumni who graduated 50 years and earlier.
Since there was no live football game, Fighting Tiger Football debuted a video at 2:01 p.m. Finley Time showing various highlights from previous games and also interviews with those who had been involved with the late Coach Ron Finley. His widow, Phyllis Finley, also was on the video.
Darryl Peavler, director of athletic alumni, said, “What an honor to work with Alex Meade and WLCU on creating the ‘Look Back at Fighting Tiger Football’ video. This program has impacted hundreds or even thousands of lives through the years.”
He sent a special thank you to Phyllis Finley, Mike Mason, Herb Wiseman, Eric Graves and Jim Hardy for taking part in the video.
“We had well over 3,500 views with countless shares on social media. Everyone be on the lookout for future videos!,” Peavler said.
“To all the Fight Tiger alumni out there, I consider it an honor and a privilege to share this family with you.”
Homecoming Queen was Sammy Rogers of Lawrenceburg, Ky., representing Fellowship of Christian Athletes; first runner-up was Daetona Stasheen of Columbus, Ohio, representing Baptist Campus Ministry; and second runner-up was Faith Wilson of Louisville, Ky., representing the Archery Team. Freshman Attendant was Kaitlynn Gover of Somerset, Ky. Savannah Gregory, 2019 Homecoming Queen, crowned the queen and presented red roses to the winners.
Other candidates were Chosalin Morales of Florence, Ky., Office of University Communications; Samantha Fulton of Beaver Dam, Ky., Education Club; and Reagan Davidson of Paducah, Ky., University Chorale.
Campbellsville University’s Student Government Association was in charge of the contest with Cathryn Jones as 2020-21 president.
There were 30 entries in the Virtual Car Show with Steven Mattingly as the Overall Winner with a 1971 Dodge Demon. Other winners were: Public – first place, Kinzley Barrett, 1970 Volkswagen Baja Bug; second, Samantha Finley, 2005 Harley Davidson Road Glide with screaming Eagle pipes; and third, Dennis Draper, 1986 Pontiac Fiero;
CU Student Category – first, Tina Perkins-Draper, 1963 AMC Rambler American; second, Jakob Keith, 2018 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport; and third, Larry Strange, 1955 Ford F100 truck; and CU Faculty/Staff/Coaches Class – Stan McKinney, 2015 Mustang.
Virtual Race winners were: 5K – Franklin Thomas, male; and Amy Scott, female; 10K –Michael Blackburn, male, and Twyla Crain; and 13.1 – Joey Hartlage, male, and Ashley Fox, female.
Scavenger Hunt winners were: Autumn Turner, Student Instagram winner; and Katie Carpenter, Alumni/Facebook winner; and Trivia Game winners were: Jason England, Facebook, and Parker Davis, Instagram.
Videos from the Homecoming celebration can be found on Campbellsville University’s Facebook, https://bit.ly/3msI7bU, and YouTube, https://bit.ly/2Jc9MPX.
Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 13,500 students offering over 100 programs of study including Ph.D., master, baccalaureate, associate, pre-professional and certification programs. The website for complete information is www.campbellsville.edu.