Homecoming/Family Weekend 2021
Judson University celebrated Homecoming and Family Weekend from Sept. 30 to October 2, 2021.

On Thursday, Sept. 30, Network Night featured entrepreneur Dave Raymond, founder of Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce. Raymond talked about his Chicago roots, the inspiration for creating this BBA sauce, and how he and others worked to launch it into a national BBQ mainstay.

Friday’s Chapel began with Dr. Rob Currie singing the Psalms, something that Dr. Currie does each year with his students to help them remember these life-guiding palms. Then a worship team of graduates from DCWPA led worship and prayer for Chapel. Alumni of the Year Honoree and Iowa Chief Justice Susan Christensen ’88 shared her story of being at Judson as a married student with children. She said Judson was foundational during her journey as a student, a grad student, a successful lawyer, and as a judge. She also shared her journey as a mom to five children, one of whom has cerebral palsy, and grandmother.

Frida closed with the Alumni Awards Banquet in the Reed Room as Judson honored Iowa Chief Justice Susan Christensen ’88 with the Alumni of the Year Award and recognized Lynn Long ’84, Rev. Kenneth Morgan ’64 and Nancy (DeRolf) Morgan ’67, and Tim Schofield ‘14 with the Distinguished Alumni Awards. Randy ’69 and Mary Gauger's family, which includes Christy (Gauger) Duguid ’94, Branden ’16 and Anna (Loeppky) Benskin ’16, and Emma Loeppky ’21, was honored with the Family Legacy Award. The Banquet is available on Judson’s Facebook page.

Saturday began with the Fun Run, which alumnus Matt DeBall won once again. Judson moved into the Fitness Center to unveil a new banner honoring the significant athletic accomplishments of Six-time Race Walk National Champion Anali Cisneros ’20. The morning held several exhibition games on campus and a women’s volleyball game where the Eagles defeated Governors State 3-0. Judson Men’s and Women’s Soccer Teams played in Crystal Lake and defeated Indiana University-Northwest, with final scores of 13-0 men and 9-1 women. (Way to go, Eagles!)

Saturday afternoon, Judson hosted the 2021 Athletic Hall of Fame Luncheon and inducted the class of 2021, which included Ed Allen (Soccer/Basketball/Track & Field, 1971), Nicole Dimiceli (Softball 2011), and Karen Swanson (Women’s Volleyball Coach, 1992-1996). The Hall of Fame luncheon is available on Judson’s Facebook page.

Immediately following the luncheon, the university celebrated the life of Dr. Stuart Ryder with a memorial that had been delayed due to events last spring. The Judson Choir sang and several alumni remembered Doc’s rich contributions to the academic, athletic, and community life at Judson. This Celebration of the Life for Doc Ryder is available on Judson’s Facebook page.

In the afternoon, several groups hosted Open House events around campus, including residence life halls. Three faculty hosted book signings and the DCWPA hosted a silent auction of Doc Ryder’s memorabilia and showed its new documentary.

Saturday’s Homecoming and Family Weekend activities culminated in tailgate events that were moved into the Fitness Center due to rain and the Judson Eagles’ first Homecoming Football game against Olivet Nazarene University (19-58). During halftime, Judson again recognized the Alumni and Hall of Fame Honorees who remained for the game and the Student Homecoming Court.

Photos by Abigail Herman, Kaylie Malenius, Audra Menges, Alex Toth, and Mary Dulabaum; courtesy of Judson University.
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