February 19, 2015

University of Montevallo celebrates Homecoming

MONTEVALLO—Alumni, students, faculty and staff at the University of Montevallo recently celebrated Homecoming with events spanning several days and including athletics, awards, honors and musicals.

The week’s festivities began Tuesday evening with the annual College of Education Faculty, Staff and Alumni Recognition Dinner. Awards were presented to 15 outstanding alumni of the College of Education who have distinguished themselves in their respective fields.

The University of Montevallo National Alumni Association Awards Dinner was held Friday evening, when the winners of the 2015 alumni awards were announced. Robert Rollins, president of The Beacon Group Inc., an insurance and risk management company in Boca Raton, Florida, was recognized as the Distinguished Alumnus for 2015. Ryan Blake Hudson received the Nathalie Molton Gibbons Young Achiever’s Award for 2015. Hudson is an associate professor of law, an associate professor in the School of the Coast & Environment and an adjunct professor of forest law and policy at the School of Renewable Natural Resources, all at Louisiana State University. Deborah Hudson, of Wilton, was the recipient of the Nathalie Molton Gibbons Alumni Achievement Award for 2015. Hudson has served the University of Alabama at Birmingham in the UAB Hospital trauma area since 1990 and has been an independent insurance agent since 1985.

Saturday saw a number of departmental receptions and class reunions as well as the Homecoming Awards and Recognition Luncheon. Recognition of honored classes, installation of UMNAA officers and a business agenda were included. A Purple & Gold basketball game and an art auction were held Saturday afternoon, and the evening concluded with the final performances of the College Night productions.

College Night is the unique culmination of homecoming weekend at UM. Begun in 1919 as a contest among the classes, the event has developed into a competition between two teams of students, the Gold Side and the Purple Side (UM’s colors), who each produce a completely original musical. The productions are judged by objective professionals, and, along with athletic competitions between the sides, points are awarded. The side accumulating the most points owns bragging rights until the next year. This year, the Gold Side’s production, “Diamond in the Rough” won the night.

Between the Purple and Gold shows on Friday and Saturday nights, the recipient of the College Night Dedication was recognized, and the winners of the Mr. and Ms. Montevallo elections were announced. This year, the dedication went to Mary Lou Elder Williams, who received a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from UM and retired in 2008 as director of development and alumni relations after more than 22 years of service. Mr. and Ms. Montevallo were Eddie Davis and Nikola Polcerova, both of Montevallo.