Battlers from around the world tuned in as Alderson Broaddus University hosted its first-ever virtual Homecoming celebration. While the week-long schedule looked different from AB’s traditional in-person festivities, alumni, family, and friends were able to enjoy a variety of innovative virtual gatherings and live-streamed events.
“With more than 8,000 alumni, Homecoming is always a popular event on campus, and, despite the changes, this year’s Homecoming was no exception,” said Josh Allen, associate vice president of institutional advancement and director of alumni relations. Members of the alumni community tuned in as the Class of 1970 was inducted into the E.J. Willis Society, as speakers presented as part of the Dr. Robert V. Digman Lecture Series, and to relive their time on the mountaintop with the premiere of the virtual walking campus tour.
The virtual Homecoming celebration kicked-off with the Dr. Robert V. Digman Lecture Series. Wednesday, October 14, Faith Bevan began with her experiences as a student and concluded with a guided meditation. Bevan earned a Bachelor of Science degree in both physician assistant studies and sports medicine from Alderson Broaddus in 1997 and earned a Master of Science from AB in physician assistant studies, emergency medicine tract in 1999. In 2016, Faith was named by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) as Local Honored Hero Survivor for her work with LLS and the cancer community. Faith authored Chemo Saved My Life-Yoga Saves My Living, a guide to living the best life possible even amid adversity.
On Thursday, October 15, Battlers tuned in to a virtual presentation by Jessica Baldwin. Baldwin earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in applied voice from Alderson Broaddus in 2002. After earning her master’s degree in classical vocal performance and pedagogy, she dedicated herself to studying how the voice works in contemporary, commercial, and popular music styles. Baldwin has since appeared on American Public Television’s Songs at the Center in 2018, NPR’s Mountain Stage in 2013, was a quarterfinalist in the 2015 and 2017 American Traditions Competition, and won Best Cover Song in the 2015 and 2017 Ohio Music Awards.
The lecture series concluded on Friday with Vicki (Vandegrift) Alkire. Alkire earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology with an emphasis in social work from Alderson Broaddus in 1974. Currently, Vicki is the president and owner of Viable Alternatives, Inc., a care management organization that has offered professional guardianship, aging life care management, power of attorney, trustee, health care surrogate, and personal representative services since 1992. Throughout the years, she has served in multiple leadership roles on various state and national boards. Vicki was elected as the 2009 president of the National Guardianship Association and later as the 2013 president of the Center for Guardianship Certification Board of Trustees. Currently, Vicki serves as an advisor to the Aging Life Care® – Florida Chapter, Board of Directors.
Following Friday’s lecture with Alkire, Alderson Broaddus Class of 1970 celebrated their 50th-year reunion and induction into the E. J. Willis Society. The virtual reunion ended with a Class of 1970 slideshow and the premiere of the new walking campus tour. In place of AB’s annual Alumni Awards Banquet, the University paid tribute to its graduates’ success by bestowing honors to alumni virtually.
On Sunday morning, the annual Homecoming Worship Service led by Pastor Jon Villers, a 1989 AB graduate, took place at Philippi Baptist Church and online. “Although we could not celebrate in-person, this year’s virtual celebration showed the dedication and love our alumni have for their alma mater,” said Allen.
To watch a full recording of this year’s virtual homecoming events, please visit ab.edu/homecoming.
About Alderson Broaddus University
Alderson Broaddus University is an independent institution of higher learning, committed to serving the region as an academic, cultural, and religious resource, with programs based on a liberal arts foundation.
The mission of AB is to provide students with the highest quality education, striving to prepare students to succeed in their chosen disciplines and to fulfill their roles in a diverse society as well-rounded and responsible citizens.
Since its founding in 1871, AB has been a leader and innovator in higher education, with accolades in the health and natural sciences. Alderson Broaddus University stands out as one of the most innovative health education providers in Appalachia, pioneering the nation’s first baccalaureate physician assistant program of its kind in 1968, a post-baccalaureate physician assistant master’s degree program in 1993, and West Virginia’s first baccalaureate nursing program in 1945.
AB is located on a historic hilltop in Barbour County in Philippi, West Virginia. The University is rooted in historic and continuing relationships with the American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A. and the West Virginia Baptist Convention.
For more information about AB, visit www.ab.edu.