WVU Tech alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends of the university gathered in Montgomery on November 14 and 15 for Homecoming 2014.
On Friday afternoon, President Carolyn Long delivered the State of Tech address, where she outlined the immense progress WVU Tech has made in the last two and a half years. Since then, the institution has seen a 14.1 percent increase in enrollment and has decreased the budget deficit from $5.7 million to less than $1 million.
Her address discussed the completion of a variety of physical campus improvements, the addition of a popular forensic investigation degree program, a new nursing training center in Montgomery General Hospital, a 4+1 MBA pathway agreement with WVU and a successful first year for the Student Success Center, which saw 10,000 visits in its first year of operation.
Long also challenged faculty, staff and students to help continue the positive trend.
“Instead of only worrying about tomorrow, we need to start planning for what we want to be, what we want to be known for and what we look like in 10, 15 or even 20 years,” she said. “We must start to plan, dream and work for the future of WVU Tech.”
On Friday evening, WVU Tech hosted an alumni cocktail reception and a banquet to honor Alumni of the Year recipients, Sarah “Sally” Smith, ‘74, and Aaron Morris, Ph.D., ‘01, and five WVU Tech Athletic Hall of Fame inductees: Dr. Leonard C. Nelson, Douglas Epling, Damieon Mills, ‘02, Mike Morrison, ‘64 and Ronald K. Rice, ‘59.
During the banquet, honorees addressed the crowd of more than 200.
“The most important thing you’ll never forget about a Tech grad is how they made you feel,” said hall of fame inductee Mike Morrison. “My Tech experiences brought out the best that I had to give. Tech gave me a life rather than a living.”
Saturday’s festivities included a parade, athletic events, laser tag and a tailgate featuring food, live music and a rock-climbing wall. That afternoon, WVU Tech students Rob Leibel and Kat Lively were announced as Mr. and Mrs. Golden bear.
WVU Tech’s wrestlers kicked off the day’s athletic events at noon, out-grappling Southern Virginia University (NCAA DIII) in 49-6 victory. Women’s basketball followed suit, beating out Virginia University of Lynchburg at 115-35, and men’s basketball rounded out the day with a 97-76 victory over Ohio State University – Newark, earning their fifth consecutive win in a currently perfect season.
More than 100 prospective students and their families (262 guests in total) also got a taste of the Golden Bear life, visiting campus for WVU Tech’s open house event on Saturday. Attendees toured campus, met with current students for a Q&A panel and participated in academic sessions to learn more about the areas of study they’re interested in pursuing.
WVU Tech Alumni Relations Coordinator, Tara Hines, ‘03, said this year’s Homecoming was a success.
“All of the progress being made on WVU Tech’s campus gives alumni a reason to be excited for the future of our alma mater. Homecoming serves as a way for us to come together and celebrate all of the many great reasons to be a Golden Bear,” she said.