(February 13, 2009)

Contact: Rick DelaHaya, Centenary News Services, 318.869.5073

Centenary Kicks Off Homecoming With Morning Call and Dedication Ceremony

SHREVEPORT, La.—With the ringing of the bell from the original college campus in Jackson, La., Centenary kicked off its annual Homecoming week events, Thursday, Feb. 12.

Built around this year's theme of I Heart Centenary, Homecoming began with the President's Call, an annual tradition that honors long-serving members of the staff and faculty. These awards include service awards, Outstanding Teacher Award, the President's Excellence Award, and the Charlton Lyons Summer Research Award.

"As is tradition during Homecoming, we gather to honor the best of our Ladies and Gentlemen, those who serve the College so well, and those who will make Centenary strong in our next century here," said Dr. Ken Schwab, President of the College.

Starting with the service awards, staff and faculty were recognized for their years with the College. They included:

  • 10 years: Zeke Aull, Dr. Susan Brayford, Chris Derrick, Diane Dufilho, Janet Ingram, Dr. Mark Schlatter, and Juan Thomas
  • 15 years: Marcia Alexander and Dr. Mark Gruettner
  • 20 years: Dr. David Bieler, Dr. David Havird and Dr. Betsy Rankin
  • 25 years: Bruce Allen and Dr. Jeff Hendricks

President Schwab then revealed two prestigious honors at the College; the Outstanding Teacher Award and the President's Excellence Award for 2009.

"All our faculty deserve our praise but every year, students, staff and faculty vote for that professor with proven commitment to Centenary and to a life of scholarship," said Schwab.

Dr. Julia Thorn, Associate Professor of Music and the Director of Camerata, Cantare and Chorale received the award, and according to comments made by nominators, "...never settles for less that what we can give, is an inspiration to all around her, brings out the best, and is one of the most knowledgeable in her field."

The President's Excellence Award honors a Centenary staff member with exemplary loyalty and service to the College and this year went to a couple who have been at the College since 1989. Golda and Dr. Gary Young, both from the Office of the Registrar received the award for 2009. The award also went to another recipient because of all the strong nominations and excellent work of another staff member. Jerry Whittington, electrician at the College for the past seven years, was recognized for his "can do" attitude, dependability and dedication, added Schwab.

The final award was the Charlton H. Summers Research Award and went to Dr. Ken Aizawa, Charles T. Beard Professor of Philosophy, who plans to use the financial award to continue his research on the relationship of the mind and body.

Immediately following the award presentation, members of the community and from the campus gathered around Riggs' Memorial Plaza for the official dedication of the new Leadership Fountains and engraved brick patio. Initiated by the Frost School of Business Leadership class in 2001 and 2003, the project was adopted by the Office of Alumni Relations as a way to incorporate it into a fundraising effort to support both the building of the fountains and scholarships. By "Paving the Way," hundreds of supporters purchased engraved bricks that helped with the construction and the Campaign for Scholars. "Today we acknowledge the commitment of all of you gathered here today," said Schwab. "We thank you and honor you all."

Time Capsule: Do Not Open Until 2059

To end Morning Call, Dr. Schwab introduced the location in the Plaza where a new time capsule will be buried and opened 50 years from now. The former capsule was opened last year during the Centennial Celebration and contained water logged items since it was not properly sealed.

"This capsule will be opened in the year 2059 and contain approximately 15 items, some of which will be a secret so as to surprise the Centenary community," Schwab said. "The physics department will vacuum pack everything and the vault will be buried above ground so hopefully we will not have the same problem we did with the last capsule."

Some of the items to be placed in the capsule include a copy of the front page of the New York Times coverage of the inauguration of President Barack Obama, pages from the Harry Potter literacy series, an i-Pod shuffle and a cell phone.

"I will not be there to open it up in 50 years," said Schwab jokingly, "but I hope the student here today will be able to make it."

About Centenary College of Louisiana

Centenary College is a private, four-year arts and sciences college affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Founded in 1825, it is the oldest chartered liberal arts college west of the Mississippi River and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Centenary is one of 16 colleges and universities constituting the Associated Colleges of the South and is regularly rated as one of the top colleges in the South. In 2008 Centenary College celebrates 100 years in Shreveport and Bossier City.