Homecoming is a celebrated event at Oklahoma Christian University, especially for the former students that return.
Homecoming is a time to welcome back former students and to encourage current students to celebrate the school’s existence.
Aubrie Ross, the Director of Alumni Relations, said alumni are an important part of Homecoming.
“[Homecoming] is a way for alumni to reconnect [with each other], to stay connected to the school and for us to show our gratitude to our alumni for spending time with us,” Ross said.
Ross said Oklahoma Christian strives to make sure alumni feel welcome and at home as they return to their alma mater.
Oklahoma Christian honors alumni is an annual spotlighting of a graduated class which Ross described as a “decade class.”
“This year, our 2010 class is being honored,” Ross said. “They’ll have their own reunion gathering, and we’ll be announcing them throughout the week so our current students can also recognize them.”
Ross also said Oklahoma Christian annually recognizes the university’s 50th anniversary class of the current year. For 2021, the university celebrates the class of 1971.
“[The 50th anniversary class] has a special program that is put on just for them,” Ross said, “They are also recognized and highlighted throughout the week and at all our events. We also provide a space for them to get back together as a group.”
The class of 1971 will be honored specifically on Friday, Nov. 5 during the 11 a.m. Great Songs Chapel.
The classes of 1971 and 2010 have designated reunion times for their specific class. This time includes a luncheon on both Friday and Saturday afternoons.
Oklahoma Christian is also honoring one distinguished alumnus from each of the college’s departments. These alumni will be recognized and awarded during an alumni banquet at 5:30 p.m. Friday evening.
“We invite any alums, all our faculty, staff and students to attend,” Ross said. “[The banquet] is specifically to highlight our alumni and to honor and award those distinguished alums during that evening.”
Ross said there are twenty alumni being honored across all the campus departments. Oklahoma Christian also honors one alumnus or alumna who has shown excellence within their field in any department.
“This year, our distinguished alum is Allison Garrett,” Ross said. “She’s had an amazing career, and she’s now going to be the chancellor for higher education for the state of Oklahoma.”
Katie Martinez, the Student Leadership Coordinator, graduated from Oklahoma Christian in 2010. She said she has enjoyed the Homecoming both as a student and alumna.
“I loved seeing the creativity of each club coming out through floats and structures,” Martinez said. “Also, for us extroverts, it’s a week of activities with your friends – an extrovert’s dream!”
Martinez said her favorite part about Homecoming as a student was the alumni breakfast.
“It was a great opportunity to see old friends that had previously graduated in a relaxed setting,” Martinez said.
Kylie Sanders, who attended Oklahoma Christian from 2006 to 2008, said her favorite part of Homecoming was working on the Gamma Rho float.
“We had workdays and the bonding was so fun,” Sanders said. “I loved the parade, as well as when I was Reba.”
Ross said she was looking forward to this year’s Homecoming, especially for the alumni.
“What I’m looking forward to specifically is everyone having the opportunity to be together on campus again,” Ross said. “I’m also looking forward to seeing the energy, connection and reconnection that is made between our alumni and current students.”
This weekend’s Homecoming festivities consist of events for both alumni and current students such as the aforementioned alumni banquet as well as the Homecoming musical of “Willy Wonka.”