Children and adults alike meandered from booth to booth to play games and win trinkets as old friends reminisced about the past over light refreshments at the colorful block party that kickstarted California Baptist University’s annual Homecoming and Family Weekend.
The weekend of Nov. 6-7 was filled with activities tailored to visitors, alumni and students of all ages.
The weekend started with the annual Alumni Awards Dinner in the CBU Recreation Center, Nov. 6. Alumni coming for their 50-, 25- and 10-year milestone reunions were celebrated at the event. John Pate, chair of the Communication Arts Department, served as the Master of Ceremonies for the third year in a row.
During the dinner, Dr. Ronald L. Ellis, president of CBU, announced his new goal to reach an enrollment level of 12,000 students by 2025.
“CBU is enrollment-driven,” Ellis said during his speech, emphasizing the importance of expanding as a university dedicated to the Great Commission.
The events on Nov. 7 started in the morning with the CBU Alumni Association annual meeting and elections for the alumni associations took place during the event. The FLAApjack Breakfast, which was hosted by the Lancer Athletics Association, continued this year as a homecoming tradition.
The Block Party started at noon on the Front Lawn and included a variety of local handcraft and beverage vendors. Ethnically diverse food trucks catered lunch and dinner for students, alumni and visitors. Different departments had
the opportunity to showcase the wonders of their field of study.
Danny Gokey, Christian recording artist, performed at the Music “Zest”ival at the Stamps Courtyard. Gokey was a third-place finalist for Season 8 of “American Idol” and led worship for the Friday chapel services. The “Zest”ival highlighted Riverside’s citrus heritage with the giveaway of free lemon and orange popsicles. A representative from the California Citrus State Historic Park offered samples of different fruits within the citrus family including oranges, Persian and Mexican limes, citron as well as the fingered citron and the Australian finger lime.
As the day began to conclude, students, alumni and visitors of CBU prepared for Fortuna Bowl, the championship game of the intramural flag football season. The women’s team, Bombshell, defeated defending Fortuna Bowl champions and legacy team, Bus Drivers. Men’s teams, Fruit of the Boom and Goon Squad, made Lancer history as the game was the first ever Fortuna Bowl to go to five overtimes for the win.
Every year Homecoming and Family Weekend ends with a fireworks show. Because of the many overtimes, the fireworks had to be set off before the men’s game was over because of Riverside noise regulations.
After the fireworks show, Goon Squad finally took home the Fortuna Bowl trophy.
“When the fifth overtime ended, our stress and fears gave way to joy and we ran and embraced each other knowing we all made it together,” said Michael Collins, senior exercise science major.