Activities boost spirit

Posted Oct. 20, 2006

By the numbers painted on their chests, Jeff Nielsen and Roger Acevedo encourage defensive back Vance Tate (No. 22) and running back Michael Worrel (No. 20) against Occidental at the football game. Despite the efforts of the fans, La Verne lost to the Tigers, 49-14.

Current students and alumni alike were out in force last weekend for the University of La Verne’s annual Homecoming festivities.

Three formal receptions at the Fairplex Sheraton Suites Hotel started the weekend by honoring alumni from various academic programs.

The communications department, college of education, and college of business administration put together a night full of food, drinks and laughter for their alumni and followed by a night of dancing.

The communications department held its 30th anniversary Friday night as about 100 people filled the small patio.

Alumni were greeted by current students and handed a gift bag. Along the perimeter of the patio were pictures dating back to the 1970s.

KULV also put together a book to show the change in image and equipment.

“The communications department has evolved in so many ways; a lot more students, equipment, the move to the Arts and Communications Building about six years ago made us grow. I am glad that ULV has supported us,” said Mike Laponis, professor of communications.

The ULV chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists held a silent auction to help raise money to attend a conference in Hawaii in the spring.

Here, alumni were able to bid on items including lunch with ULV President Stephen Morgan and a portable grill.

On the other side of the lobby, the college of education honored Peggy Redman, professor of education, for the Distinguished Professor Award and the La Fetra Endowed Chair for excellence in teaching and service.

A penciled portrait with a banner signed by all faculty and friends greeted guests as they walked into the Chardonnay Room.

“I have found the place that matters to me – faculty and staff of education and leadership,” Redman said.

On Saturday, alumni and current students were invited to the ULV Fair.

Here all clubs and organizations lined Third Street to show school pride.

The theme for this year’s homecoming was “It’s a Small World.” Each club and organization represented a country.

As you walked through the arch of orange and green balloons you were surrounded by booths filled with games, candy and some even had goldfish.

Sigma Kappa represented France by offering strawberry crepes to taste and grape juice.

Across the way, the United Hermanos Club represented four different countries to show their diversity of members.

Australia, Italy, Mexico and Japan were depicted with fun games of Frisbee golf, boccie ball, a piñata and origami.

Student clubs were not the only ones showing ULV pride.

The alumni governing board held a booth to show that, “Once a ULV student, always a ULV student.”

“The La Verne community will never forget you once you have attended here,” said Sara Boyer, class of 1967.

For the kid in all of us, the theater arts program had numerous costumes for people to dress up in and to take pictures.

After trying on a costume, people were entered into a drawing to win tickets to the play “Good Women of Setzuan.”

Not only were these booths filled with fun and games – money was involved as well.

Judges chose the best looking booth for a cash prize.

Iota Delta won $200 for first place for its Brazilian-themed booth and Phi Sigma Sigma won $75 for second place for its Egyptian theme.

As the service opened at the La Verne Church of the Brethren, Edith Ott, from the class of 1956, welcomed all who attended and particularly former and current students and faculty of the University.

Ott was then followed by Church Directions Director Julia Wheeler, who welcomed all those representing the ULV community.

“I want to welcome all the Leopards,” Wheeler said. “Not the lepers, as my mother Myra said some time ago.”

The service proceeded as the combined alumni and current ULV choirs sang “Here in this Place,” as others attending the service sang along.

The service continued with minister Susan Boyer addressing the congregation and choirs performing the hymns “Lord, You Sometimes Speak in Wonders” and “How Firm a Foundation.”

“From where I was sitting it was surround sound,” Boyer said upon concluding the service. “It was absolutely fabulous for [the choirs] to be here.”

It appeared as if the entire congregation felt the same way.

“It was good. It was heart-riveting,” longtime church-goer and current student Benjamin Sankey said.

There was a good number of alumni among the near-capacity crowd. Some were regular members of the local congregation, while others were just in town for Homecoming.

“[The crowd] builds every year,” Boyer said. “It was nice to have an alumna at the organ as well, she was fabulous.”

“I thought [the performance] was great,” choral director Stephen Gothold said. “[The University] has had a friendly relationship with the church and I’ve had a positive experience bringing the choir here.”

As for the students in the choir, a handful of them let junior photojournalism major Jon Smith describe their performance.

“It was great singing with the alumni choir,” Smith said. “I think we did swell.”

The ULV choir will perform show tunes and pop songs at 7 p.m. Sunday and again at 9 p.m. at the Jane Dibbell Cabaret Theatre.

Allison Farole can be reached at

Kevin Zeni can be reached at

During halftime at the football game, Mercy-Faith Kimbwala and Virginia Ng cheer for Gabby De La Cruz who finds the balloon in her box to signify her election as the Homecoming Queen. Kevin Schatz joined De La Cruz to be crowned King at the Homecoming game.

Alumna Dana McJunkin has her caricature drawn during the Homecoming festivities. McJunkin graduated in 2006 and is enrolled in the teaching credential program.

Helping to keep the plaza clean Heather Nishioka wipes down the hand rails before the dedication of the Johnson Family Plaza. Nishioka graduated from University of La Verne in 2004 and is currently working in University Relations.

Nadine Johnson closes the Frank and Nadine Johnson Family Plaza dedication with the water fountain running in the background. The Johnson family was one of five donors who gave more than a $1 million to the Campus Center Project. Johnson was joined by her sons Kirk, Steve and Scott.

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Activities boost spirit

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