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GREENVILLE - Greenville University celebrated its annual homecoming festivities last weekend with a full slate of special activities, building dedications, musical concerts, athletic games, and alumni gatherings.

Those events were conducted against a backdrop of beautiful fall weather and the emergence of orange and gold foliage on campus.

Headlining the weekend was a packed concert by Christian music legend Michael W. Smith on Friday night at Whitlock Music Center. His nostalgic performance had the audience singing along with his praise songs from the past several decades.

Another Homecoming highlight was the unveiling of a new look for Hoguey, the University’s mascot. After several decades of wearing a furry black suit, Hoguey now has a bright orange suit with black trim. It gives the mascot a new muscular appearance and a face that matches the redesigned Panther logo introduced in 2017.

The weekend activities kicked off Thursday evening with a concert by the GU Choir.

Friday’s events began with a morning Homecoming Chapel service led by GU President Suzanne Davis, with participation by several current and former faculty members. GU Board of Trustees President Steve Ellsworth concluded the ceremony by praying for Davis as several members of the audience gathered around her.

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The traditional Homecoming parade was held that afternoon, snaking its way through streets near campus as well as the downtown square. Several campus groups and athletic teams participated, and Brian Hartley, former professor and administrator, served as parade marshal.

A consecration ceremony for the residence hall currently being constructed on College Avenue was held late Friday afternoon. That was followed by a program outlining the progress of the

University’s fund-raising campaign, which is titled “Rise Up. There’s More.” Over $51 million has been raised toward the goal of $60 million.

Saturday’s lineup began with the annual Panther 5K race and children’s fun run. That was followed by many alumni athletic contests, several class and other affinity group reunions, and presentations by several science students, including Dr. Sarah Bergbower, a GU

alum who has done considerable research in bacterial infections during pregnancy. She is one of only 50 scientists in the nation to hold a Doctor of Clinical Laboratory Science and is the lone Illinoisan with that degree.

At the Homecoming football game, the Panthers led 9-7 at halftime, but lost 32-12 to Upper Midwest Athletic Conference rival, the University of Northwestern. Members of the GU football team from 1987 to 1993, under coach Max Bowman, held a reunion and were honored at halftime. A brief ceremony was held to dedicate the new buildings being constructed at the athletic complex south of campus.

Homecoming events wrapped up Saturday evening with a banquet honoring several university alums and former athletes who were inducted into the GU Athletic Hall of Fame.

About Greenville University

Greenville University is an accredited Christian liberal arts university with more than 1,000 students, including traditional undergraduate, graduate, and adult degree completion students. Founded in 1892 and affiliated with the Free Methodist Church, the University is located in Greenville, Illinois, 45 miles east of St. Louis, Missouri. Visit

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