This year’s homecoming weekend at Judson College, known as “J-Day: Send Forth Blessed Light 2015,” was held on campus the evening of Friday, April 10 and Saturday, April 11.
More than 400 alumnae, their guests and friends, as well as Judson faculty, staff and students, attended the annual reunion celebrations. Good weather and ebullient moods lifted the spirits of returning graduates.
Charlotte S. Clements ’77, Director of Development and Acting Alumnae Director, remarked, “It was wonderful to have so many Judson sisters on campus laughing, reminiscing and fellowshipping. We share a common thread in our lives that cannot unravel – Judson. When we have eight decades of “Judson Girls” all singing the same step-sing songs, it is truly a profound moment.”
The weekend’s celebrations began with Friday evening’s Golden Club Banquet in the Sara Hunt Christenberry Dining Hall. This event included the introduction and induction of the Golden Club Class of 1965, with remarks by Mary Bundy Ward, 1965 Class President. It also included the Charge to the Class of 2015, with a response by Katherine A. Cooper ’15, Honor Council President. This was followed by induction of the class of 2015 into the Judson College Alumnae Association (JCAA) by Laura Lee ’85, Director of Campus Ministries, and Dr. Chris Hokanson, Assistant Professor of English, Chair of the Humanities Division and Head of the English Department, both sponsors of the senior class.
Friday’s banquet celebration was also attended by former professor of history, Dr. Frederick Boehlke. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1958, and served Judson College for 12 years, from 1958 to 1970. After leaving Judson, he taught at Eastern University in Philadelphia for 55 years. Now a spry 89-year-old, Boehlke is much beloved at Judson and has attended the last two J-Day weekends. He now resides in Berwyn, Penn.
The focus of Saturday’s activities was the JCAA business meeting held in the Ramsay-McCrummen Chapel. During the meeting, alumnae and chapter award recipients were named. Recipient of the 2015 Outstanding Alumna Award was Caroline Anderson Reich ’82, MD and Ph.D., of Mountain Brook, Ala. The Outstanding Alumna Award is presented at the J-Day meeting to an alumna who has achieved local, state and/or national prominence in her chosen field. The nominee must have the qualities in her life that exemplify the Judson Code, so that through her chosen field and life, the nominee brings distinction to the college. Reich graduated from Judson with a degree in chemistry and mathematics and a desire to pursue a career in medicine. Reich completed her diagnostic radiology residency at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, where she served as Chief Resident in Radiology. She completed her neuroradiology fellowship at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Another notable alumna recognized at the JCAA meeting was Rhonda Caver Lewis ’74, recipient of the 2015 Alumnae Loyalty Award. This award is given annually to an alumna who has distinguished herself through her continuing expression of affection, commitment and service to Judson College and its programs; the recipient must also have the qualities in her life that exemplify the Judson Code. Lewis earned her BA degree from Judson in elementary education and sociology. She earned a Master’s degree from the University of West Alabama and an Education Specialist degree from the University of Montevallo. Today, Lewis is a hard working and dedicated member of Mignon Baptist Church in Sylacauga.
Judson’s Vice President and Dean of Students, Susan Jones ’02, received the Judson College Alumnae Association’s Past President Award for Staff Excellence, which was presented by the award committee chair, Frances Revel ‘69. Additionally, the Marion Chapter of the Judson College Alumnae Association received the Outstanding Chapter Award presented to Deanna Waltman ’10, Marion Chapter President, by Cel Bailey ’70.
In recognition of Dr. David E. Potts 25 years as college president, The David and Beth Potts Award for Outstanding Involvement in Community Service was established this J-Day; the first recipient of the award was Carla Kinard ’15. Other highlights of Saturday’s J-Day festivities included a Reunion Luncheon in the Christenberry Dining Hall; presentation of the 2015 J-Day Court; and Alumnae and Student Step-Sing in Jewett Hall.