Alumni Weekend 2021
Maranatha’s Alumni Weekend is a highlight for many as they gather to see old friends, reminisce, enjoy good food, and be encouraged in the Lord. This past weekend was no different.
Alumni Dinner | Friday, August 27, 6 p.m.
Over 200 alumni gathered in Maranatha’s Dining Complex to reconnect with friends over a meal. Many eras of Maranatha’s history were represented that evening as grads from 50 years ago were joined by grads from a year ago and many years in between.
Before the meal was served, Mr. Peter Wright, the Alumni Director, led the alumni in singing the Maranatha Hymn. Dr. Marty Marriott, President of Maranatha, then addressed the alumni detailing for them the change in leadership that led Dr. Matt Davis to become Maranatha’s first CEO.
After all were served an appetizing meal, the clink of silverware slowed, and the wait staff had cleared several tables, the Praisemen were announced and delighted the alumni with several songs from their summer tour.
A highlight of Alumni Weekend is honoring nominated alumni for their faithfulness to the Lord. This year, the Athletic Department honored a new member of the Hall of Fame: Sara Beernink Johnson.
In her acceptance speech, Johnson gave an overview of how she came to Maranatha (then Maranatha Baptist Bible College), the coaches and professors who mentored her, and the ladies she played with on Maranatha’s volleyball team. Johnson also gave God glory as she spoke of where she currently serves in her local church and school.
She closed with, “We serve a loving God who only gives good gifts. I would like to say, thank you for this nomination. Thank you to all of you who have had an influence in our lives and in the lives of our children. Thank you, Maranatha, for being here for me, for my husband, for my daughters, and my three sons-in-law. Ephesians 3:20-21, ‘Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.’”
At the conclusion of the dinner, the alumni gathered around the new fire pit and enjoyed a spread of desserts. This fire pit is part 1 of 2 in the Alumni National Project. The second part will be a pavilion near the soccer field.
As the night came to a close, many prepared to return the next day as the weekend festivities weren’t over yet.
Class of 1971 Breakfast | Saturday, August 28, 8:15 a.m.
The Class of 1971 gathered early Saturday morning to enjoy a breakfast of celebration in honor of their 50 years since graduation. They enjoyed reminiscing about the way things were when they were in school whether it was at Maranatha or in Watertown.
After breakfast, several walked around campus remembering where their room was in Old Main or Century House (now classrooms and offices) and spent time looking at the “new” buildings.
Alumni Games | Saturday, August 28, 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m.
The Alumni v. Varsity games began with Women’s Volleyball at 10 a.m.
Women’s Soccer followed at 1 p.m. and Men’s Soccer rounded out the events at 3 p.m.
The Alumni brought strong teams at each event with recent grads and grads of 20 or more years ago. The final scores were:
Alumnae Volleyball – 3-0, Alumni
Alumnae Soccer – 2-2
Alumni Soccer – 3-2, Alumni
Alumni Picnic | Saturday, August 28, 11 a.m.
Returning and new students joined the alumni for a picnic lunch at the new fire pit. Although it was a hot day, students and alumni connected with their peers and enjoyed a time of fellowship.
Alumni Weekend, combined with JumpStart, kicks off the new school year with fun activities. It’s a time for alumni to reconnect with each other and with a part of their history. While things on campus may change, you can see the delight on the faces of alumni as they talk of what once was. College is a unique and special time of life where life long connections are made. This connection, this remembrance, is the heart of Alumni Weekend.