Homecoming Saturday activities at Elon

Alumni enjoyed a variety of Homecoming activities Saturday, Sept. 17, including the presentation of alumni awards, pre-game tailgating parties and a 34-19 win for the Phoenix football team over Presbyterian. Details...

Alums gathered in Whitley Auditorium for a campus update and the presentation of alumni awards. Shelly Hazel ’78 received the Distinguished Service to Elon Award, Gerry Oxford ’69 earned the Distinguished Alumnus Award, and Dusty Tonkin ’95 was named Young Alumnus of the Year.

At spots across campus, alums enjoyed their own tailgating parties and menus. Brandon Mason ’04, Ross Gravely ’02 G’05, and Barry Collins ’02 arrived at the Harper Center parking lot before 7 a.m. to begin cooking two pork shoulders and “20 of the biggest hot dogs you’ve ever seen,” said Gravely. The group expected more than 20 people to share in the feast, “plus some passers-by,” said Mason.

Rodney Sweet ’93 and Drew Wiley ’94 were unloading several grills, paper plates and other supplies near in the Harper lot for the African-American Alumni tailgate party. Sweet’s menu included fried turkey, fish, chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs and baked beans-enough for 125 people. “This has been our traditional spot for the past few years,” said Sweet. “It’s a nice day so we’re expecting a good crowd.”

More than 8,100 people were in attendance at Rhodes Stadium to see the Phoenix defeat Presbyterian College, 34-19. After trailing 9-7 at halftime, the Phoenix scored 20 unanswered points in the second half for the win. Running back Reggie Hall had a career-high 136 yards rushing and 3 touchdowns in the win.

Following the game, alumni enjoyed the sounds of the band Dakkota, which includes several Elon alums, at the first Phoenix Phest at Rhodes Stadium. The event included food and drink and games for children. Copies of the new book “ELON Under the Oaks,” which includes spectacular photographs from the Elon campus, were on sale.

Homecoming activities conclude Sunday, Sept. 18 with a Gospel Choir reunion and a worship service honoring deceased alumni at the Elon Community Church.