Whoever said “You can’t go home again” clearly needs to rethink it as nearly 500 alumni returned to their Sweet Alma Home last weekend to celebrate “Bergopoly” Alumni Weekend 2022. The weather was as spectacular as the reunions, smiles, hugs, laughter and reminiscing that was shared by everyone.
“Thank you for returning to your Sweet Alma Home and for bringing our summer campus to life!” said Ashley Helmstetter, assistant vice president for Alumni Engagement and HYPE® Career Ready. Ashley’s team, including Bob Youngblood ’70, intern Cassey Bolyard ’22 and a crew of student and alumni volunteers, appreciated the spirit of the ‘Berg family all weekend.
“Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your family, the Berg family, and even your classes,” she continued. “This was my 16th Alumni Weekend, and I am thankful for every moment and every person who has shared in these events with me.”
The celebrations began Friday with alumni from the 50th reunion class of 1972 participating in the 21st annual Medallion Club luncheon honoring the golden anniversary of their graduation from Heidelberg. That evening was the annual picnic on the Campus Center lawn, followed by an enjoyable performance by Harold’s Warehouse, a band on campus in the early 1970s.
As is tradition, Saturday kicked off with a dialog with members of the Senior Leadership Team, followed by the annual Remembrance Tree Dedication. President Rob Huntington and Board of Trustees Chair Kathy Geier ’78 read the names of the 400-plus alumni who have passed away in the past year at the site of a newly planted tree, near Saurwein Health & Wellness Center.
The Alumni Luncheon featured the return of the presentation of the 2022 alumni awards. This year’s recipients are:
• Brent Carson ’70, the Career Excellence Award
• Julie Arnold ’86, the Service Award
• The Wilson-Gerber Family, the Legacy Family Award
Rich Odell, Vicki Ohl and Bruce Pontius, who chaired the Class of ‘72’s reunion committee, presented President Rob Huntington with a check for $2,746,795. That amount represents collective reunion giving – cash, pledges and planned gifts – in honor of landmark reunion classes.
Also at the luncheon, President Huntington spoke about “the state of the university” and the stress, the demographic changes and the unforgiving market that higher education is facing today. He addressed Heidelberg’s risks and also the opportunities that will help the university thrive in the midst of the shift in the higher ed landscape.
“The biggest risk Heidelberg has is standing still,” he said. “We cannot become complacent, and we’re not going to be complacent. We’re going to attack.”
Heidelberg is exploring “transformative initiatives” in the areas of academic programming, athletics and student success, the president said.
He also recognized that the alumni returned for one common reason: “You love Heidelberg, and I’m lucky to be part of it.”
The celebrations continued after lunch with special receptions for events for Greek alumni, athletic alumni music and theatre alumni. Returning alumni also participated in campus tours before heading off to their reunion dinners Saturday evening. Entertainment was provided by Back Traxx featuring Bill Kazen ’72.
The weekend concluded with a worship service Sunday morning, organized and conducted by the Class of ’72 and the summer meeting of the Alumni Council.
View our Alumni Weekend photo gallery.