NPU Homecoming Celebrates Alumni, Young and Old

Post a Comment » Written on October 7th, 2009     
Filed under: News
CHICAGO (October 7, 2009) – North Park University Homecoming festivities, which concluded Sunday, displayed the school’s diversity, academics, history, future—and ability to adapt to changing conditions.

The Homecoming theme this year was “Make Big Plans” in honor of the 100th anniversary of architect Daniel Burnham whose ambitious ideas for urban design were ahead of his time.

Homecoming organizers had to change some of their big plans as rain came down several of the nine days of festivities that included a Latin Fiesta, athletic contests, alumni gatherings, educational offerings, and the Homecoming banquet.

A ceremony to rename the University President’s residence, dedicating it as the Hawkinson House in honor of Eric and Lydia Hawkinson, Zenos and Barbara Hawkinson, and Jim and Alyce Hawkinson, had to be moved at the last minute to North Park Covenant Church. The move didn’t dampen the number or enthusiasm of the friends and family who paid tribute to the Hawkinsons and their decades of service to the North Park community. To read a previous news story on the Hawkinson House, click here.

An even bigger task was moving the block party into the gymnasium and finding ways to publicize the last-minute change in venue. Despite the move, the event, which featured food, music, and games for the university community as well as the community at large, was well attended.

The university honored Kathryn Edin-Nelson, a leading poverty researcher and professor at Harvard University, with the Distinguished Alumna award, and Josh Church, a producer and co-producer of several Hollywood films with the Up and Coming Alumnus award.

Former NFL coach Mike Holmgren attended Homecoming with his wife, Kathy, who returned for her 40th reunion. Holmgren spoke to the football team before their contest against Wheaton College. Despite the rain that came down the entire game, Holmgren mingled with fans during halftime.

All of the Holmgrens’ children are graduates of the school, and the Holmgren Athletic Complex is named in his honor.

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