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June 25, 2018

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View photos from Old-Fashioned Hymn Sing here

Asbury University’s Reunion 2018 was a weekend of happy tears, laughter, reuniting hugs and reminiscing. But, it was also a weekend of reflecting on boldness and its role in the Christian walk.

This weekend, Reunion 2018 brought nearly 1,000 alumni back to Asbury University’s campus with class years between 1943 to 2021 represented.

The weekend began Thursday afternoon with registration in Kinlaw Library. Alumni took tours of the Archives, Joe Pitts Center for Public Policy, Windsor Manor Guesthouse main floor and Equine Center throughout the weekend.

Friday morning, the first of three weekend chapel services prompted alumni to live lives of boldness, keeping with the Reunion 2018 theme. Dr. Phil Thornton ’68 presented a message entitled “Be bold when…” which explored times that God calls us to live out our faith in confidence.

“Class of 1968, we may be old, but we can still be bold,” Thornton joked, addressing the Sentinel Class during the message.

At a Friday afternoon University Business Meeting with Asbury University President Dr. Sandra C. Gray, alumni got an update on everything that’s happening on campus along with an introduction to the newest Alumni Board members and a Q&A time with Dr. Gray.

Banner-year Reunion luncheons provided times for classmates to reconnect; for some it was the first time they’d seen their classmates since graduation. There was laughter and overflowing joy to be had by all in between the retelling of stories about late-night study sessions in the dorms and sophomore musical rehearsals.

Saturday afternoon, a screening of the narrative feature film “Homeless” was held in the Miller Center. The film was created by Clay ’08 and Tiffany Walz ’08 Hassler and recounts the tale of a teenage boy living in a shelter. Also, on Saturday afternoon, a seminar on financial planning presented helpful tips on living a life of financial peace and freedom.

In keeping with tradition, the Old-Fashioned Hymn Sing, popcorn social and ice cream social were alumni favorites. But, alumni weren’t the only ones who had fun during Reunion Weekend. The Reunion Youth Program provided lots of exciting games and activities for toddlers, teens and everyone in between.

Will Adams ’08 was excited to be back on campus, reunited with classmates and hanging out in places like the student center, which he and some others from his class played an integral part in re-opening. During his time at Asbury, he studied media communication, co-directed the sophomore musical and was the class sponsor for the Fearless Class of 2011. Currently, he works on the media team at Frazer Church in Montgomery, Ala.  

Adams reflected on how Asbury has given him a lifelong spiritual support system that he can lean on in order to better live a life of boldness.

“With Asbury, it’s, of course, academically a strong school,” Adams said. “But you can find academic strength almost anywhere. I remember when I came for my visit weekend, somebody was talking about comparing this to Paul’s seven years in Antioch as an opportunity to grow spiritually. And for me, it’s knowing that whatever challenges I face out and about, I have a community, a great cloud of witnesses that surrounds me throughout the whole world that I can tap into as a network of support for prayer, for getting reenergized, whatever it is. It’s more the community than it is the education that makes Asbury unique and the fact that it doesn’t end after school.”

Getting to reunite with his classmates made Adams’ 10-year Reunion incredibly special.

“Just last night we were getting together with some of our classmates and it’s really great to just sit down and almost immediately pick up where you left off,” Adams said. “It feels like it did sitting around these places our senior year.” 

Vice President for Institutional Advancement & Strategic Partnerships Dr. Mark Troyer brought alumni up to date on the Ignited Campaign during a Saturday night program on “Living Boldly.” The panel discussion on boldness was hosted by Dr. Gray and included retired congressman Joe Pitts ’61, Dr. Sherry Wilson ’77 Powers, Dr. Bill ’78 and Diane Nelson ’83 Ury and Allison Shuey ’05 Buzard.

Alumni have found themselves enacting boldness in vast and varied career paths since walking across the graduation stage at Asbury. But, from this year’s Reunion, it was evident that no matter how far Asburians wander for the cause of Christ, they’ll always be welcomed home with open arms back to Asbury’s Wilmore campus.