The University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College has a long tradition of honoring its 142-year history. To celebrate the alumni who have created this history, Rio hosted its annual Homecoming Week. The week long event begins with the Bevo Francis Memorial Cancer Walk and leads up to the Bevo Francis Classic Basketball Tournament and the Athletic Hall of Fame Banquet, which honored this year’s new inductees, Tyler Schunk ’10, John Lawhorn ‘66, Jessica Ross Herron ’09 and a special award for the Hall of Fame founder, Howard Blanchard ‘55. Director of Alumni Relations Delyssa Edwards said the weekend events were an opportunity to bring alumni and current students together to celebrate Rio.
“Homecoming is one of Rio’s biggest traditions. It’s an important way to keep our alumni engaged with the institution and connected to our current students,” Edwards said. “It was exciting to see so many of our alumni back on campus enjoying events like our tailgate, the basketball tournament and the men’s soccer game. We also make sure there are events for the families as well, such as inflatables for the kids, because we want homecoming to be an event for past, present and future students to enjoy.”
Homecoming Week also included several events for current students including a cookout, a lip-sync battle won by the Men’s Soccer Team, a homecoming formal, voting for the 2018 Homecoming Royalty and even an office decorating competition for the staff and faculty. This year students voted for their fellow classmates Amanda Shy and Kent Reeser as Homecoming Queen and King. Student Athlete Chelsy Slone was also selected as the winner of the 2018 Bevo Francis Character Award, which honors a student athlete in good academic standing who shares Bevo’s professionalism, good character and outstanding leadership qualities. In the 1952-1953 Basketball season, Bevo and the team changed the face of college basketball with a perfect season and Bevo breaking several NAIA and NCAA records. In honor of the tournament and events to honor her late husband, Bevo’s widow Jean Francs and their family also attended the tournament.
Planning for next year’s Homecoming Week is already underway, and the event is scheduled for the week of November 4-9, 2019.