Manchester University
Oak Leaves

October 14, 2016


Homecoming Weekend Links Past and Present

Virginia Rendler

This weekend, the past and present met as alumni and current students came together on Saturday, Oct. 8, to celebrate Homecoming. Although there were reunions for the classes of 1971, 1976, 1981, 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001, 2006 and 2011, alumni of all ages gathered to interact with students, faculty and staff. They also had the opportunity to see the changes at Manchester, and to preview what is coming up for the future. 

Steve Viehweg, class of 1982, was the recipient of an alumni honor award this year. “I am quite humbled to be recognized in this way for my life’s work and am very grateful to Manchester for helping shape the person I am,” he said. “Coming back for Homecoming is always a way to reconnect with friends and colleagues and recapture at least a piece of that experience which reminds me how grateful I am for what Manchester gave to me.”

Viehweg’s studies in social work gave him a solid foundation to enter the working world and find his passion in partnering with infants, toddlers and their families to improve their lives. He has had the opportunity to start two organizations and implement the infant mental health endorsement in Indiana. 

Ruth Barrett-Rendler is also from the class of 1982, and received an alumni award in 2000. “I've been to some Homecomings in the past,” she said. “This time, it looked like the school made a real and very successful effort at having it be a mix of fun, and nostalgia and having the opportunity to see some new things that Manchester's planning.” 

Because Manchester requires students to explore a lot of different disciplines and avenues of study, Barrett-Rendler said that she was exposed to numerous ideas and an inspiring set of faculty. She was also able to travel abroad for a year in Barcelona and gain that last step in independence and confidence that helped her in the year before she started her internship and going out into the human-rights world.  

Hannah Glenn, class of 2016, has a very fresh perspective on Homecoming, as she graduated only last year. “This Homecoming made me realize why it's called ‘Homecoming,’” she said. “I came home for the day! I was at my Manchester home. I saw all of my Manchester family. I've always had my Manchester family but now that's extended to other alumni! I spent a lot of time talking to 1979 graduates too. As a student, I was heavily involved in all of the activities throughout the day whether I was working for STAT or MAC. It was nice to be able to enjoy everything from the outside.”

Glenn explained that every experience she had at Manchester shaped her into the person she’s become. Each leadership position, accomplishment, setback and relationship all influenced her current path.

Manchester Homecoming united alumni and students with football, food, activities, games and music. Alumni reconnected with their peers, and current students saw many examples of success that Manchester University can provide.