During the weekend of March 23-26, Emmanuel College alumni from across the United States made their way to Franklin Springs to celebrate Homecoming Weekend!
The festivities began with the sixth annual, Sherman B. Smith Memorial Golf Tournament. Sherm (’61) was a faithful supporter of Emmanuel College and served as the president of the National Alumni Association for many years. Sherm’s wife, Bett, and daughters, Sebring and Shaunda, were in attendance to greet the golfers and open the tournament.
On March 24, the Quad was transformed to a tropical paradise, as alumni, current Emmanuel students, faculty, and staff enjoyed a BBQ meal, fellowship, and fun at the Tropical Breeze Cookout.
The evening concluded with an opportunity to watch the Lions Men’s Volleyball win a thrilling five set match against Lees McRae.
On Saturday, graduates from the 1972 and 1973 classes were honored and inducted into the Golden Grads. They enjoyed sharing stories of former teachers and of fond memories of their time at Emmanuel.
At the Alumni and Friends Luncheon and Award Ceremony, Vice President for Advancement, Brian James shared exciting projects and updates happening around campus and how alumni can get involved.
At the luncheon, several members of the community, including a retired Emmanuel professor were honored.
Dr. Frank Mann was recognized as the 2023 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year for his years of service to Emmanuel as a professor of Natural Sciences, and the continued impact he has on the college including establishing a significant endowed scholarship that helps current and future students.
Randall and Ann King were honored with the President’s Award for their dedication to the local community and to the sport of Clay Target Shooting, as owners of the Bowman Gun Club. Last semester, the Kings generously gave the facility to the college to serve as home to the Emmanuel Lions Clay Target Shooting team, national champions in 2023.
Leon and Stephanie Rousey were also recognized with the President’s Award for their dedication to education through establishing the Hendrix-Rousey Endowment Scholarship fund. The purpose of the scholarship is to provide opportunities for Emmanuel students to get a better education through academic and ministry programs.
On Saturday afternoon, two former Lions were inducted into the Emmanuel Athletics Hall of Fame!
Jackie Farmer Fields –
Jackie played her freshman year at Georgia Tech University before transferring to Emmanuel as a sophomore in 1989. She had an immediate impact for the Lady Lions averaging over 21 points a game, 14 rebounds a game, and 4 blocked shots a game. She helped the Lady Lions to one of their best seasons ever, recording a 29-2 season record and undefeated Conference mark. This included being 1989 State and Regional Champions and going on to the National Junior College Tournament to finish 5th in the Nation.
Jackie was voted to the 1st Team All-Conference and was named Most Valuable Player of the Conference Tournament. She was selected to the All-National Tournament Team and All-American team.
Jackie went on to play for Clemson University, where she made an immediate impact. At Clemson, she made the All-Conference team both years and helped her team make it to the Elite 8 in the NCAA National Tournament her senior year. She led the ACC in blocked shots both years she was there. She still holds the Clemson record for most rebounds in a NCAA game at 19. After graduating from Clemson with a degree in Marketing in 1991, she went on to play professionally in Turkey, Spain, and Japan.
Raymond Wilcox –
Raymond Wilcox attended Emmanuel College from 1974-1976, playing basketball under Coach Jim Ganey.
During his time at Emmanuel, Raymond was named to the All-Region team in 1975 and 1976, accumulating 551 points and 595 rebounds in his two years with the program. The Lions held a record of 42-16!
In 1975, he led the Lions to a State Championship win over ABAC, and was named MVP of the tournament, even though he only scored one field goal in the championship game.
Many coaches say that Wilcox was the “hub” around which the entire team was built, but his greatest accomplishment came off at the court.
Raymond found and accepted Christ as his Savior and Lord at Emmanuel. He turned down scholarships offered to him by universities across the country to enter ministry to teenagers and children at Falcon Children’s Home where he served as Athletic and Recreation Director.
He remained at Falcon for 13 years where he coached the Basketball, Baseball and Softball teams. While there, he completed his bachelor’s degree at Methodist College in North Carolina.
Raymond went on to work for the Fayetteville County Department of Justice, in Fayetteville, Ga. for 25 years before taking on his current role as a librarian’s assistant.
On Saturday evening, guests enjoyed a special night of worship featuring Resound, a small group of Emmanuel Singers. President White was also honored with the 2023 Medallion Award and was recognized for his 31 years of service to the college.
Thank you to all who joined us in celebrating Emmanuel and the work God continues to do on our campus!