Ohio Wesleyan’s Homecoming & Family Weekend drew more than 800 Bishops and friends to campus and saw football and men’s and women’s soccer victories! View more photos. (Photo by James DeCamp)

A Bishop Bonanza

Homecoming & Family Weekend Brings the OWU Community Together

By Ericka Kurtz

More than 800 alumni, families, and friends joined Ohio Wesleyan University students, faculty, and staff to celebrate Homecoming & Family Weekend Oct. 6-7.

Special events began on the evening of Oct. 5 with an Emerging Leaders Reception for student leaders to connect with the Alumni Board members. There also was an Endowed Chair Ceremony where the following OWU faculty members were installed as faculty chairs:

  • Mark Allison, Ph.D., Charles M. Weis Professorship in English
  • Ashley Biser, Ph.D., Charles W. Fairbanks Endowed Chair in Politics & Government
  • Phokeng Dailey, Ph.D., Warren C. Fairbanks Endowed Chair in Communication
  • Sarah Kaka, Ph.D., Ralph and Ella Schaaf Rodefer Chair in Education
  • Zack Long, Ph.D., Ben T. Spencer Professorship in English
  • Julide Yazar, Ph.D., James B. Heisler Chair in Economics
This year’s All-Bishop Parade leading to the homecoming football game was a first for OWU President Matt vandenBerg (gray vest), his wife, Melissa, and their children, Jackson and Sylvia. View more photos. (Photo by Paul Vernon)

The weekend officially kicked off on Friday with a Team OWU Golf Outing at Mill Creek Golf Course. Additional Friday events included Pints with Profs, an opportunity for alumni to reconnect with favorite OWU faculty and staff, and a Black Alumni Network Meet & Greet. Friday’s signature event was Bishop Fest, an all-community celebration of Bishops including food, friendship, and festivities.

A Family & Doughnuts meet-and-greet with the Battling Bishop himself kicked off Saturday morning as well as a Parents Leadership Council (PLC) meeting. A favorite moment of the weekend was the All-Bishop Parade. Led by the Marching Bishops, participants processed down the JAYwalk to Selby Stadium. The parade included OWU cheerleaders, football players, and alumni from various class years.

The “W” Association held its Hall of Fame Induction and Team of Distinction Ceremony on Saturday morning. Ten new members were inducted into the Hall of Fame. Inductees were recognized during halftime of the football game, where the Battling Bishops handed Kenyon a 48-7 loss.

A Battling Bishops Tailgate and Affinity Huddles were held in the Selby Stadium parking lot prior to the football game where Bishops enjoyed food trucks, music, and fun. President Matt vandenBerg, his wife, Melissa, and their children, Jackson and Sylvia, enjoyed their first OWU Homecoming tailgate as well as the parade. A tailgate also was held at the Jay Martin Soccer Complex for the men’s and women’s soccer double-header. Both teams blanked Oberlin. The women’s team won 3-0 and the men’s team won 2-0.

A highlight of Homecoming & Family Weekend was the 50th Anniversary Concert by the Gospel Lyres. View more photos. (Photo by Paul Vernon)

Homecoming & Family Weekend also celebrated Fraternity & Sorority Life by presenting the David Hamilton Smith Greek Alumni Awards to Traci Kennedy Brockfield ’01, Delta Zeta, and Aaron Granger ’93, Alpha Phi Alpha. Several other affinity group gatherings were held during the weekend including, the Chi Phi 150th Anniversary Dinner, Swimming & Diving meet and dinner, and various fraternity and sorority open houses.

A highlight of Saturday evening was the Gospel Lyres 50th Anniversary Concert held in Gray Chapel, followed by a Black Alumni Network Dinner & Panel Discussion.

Check out our photo albums for more pictures from Homecoming & Family Weekend 2023!