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Livingstone celebrating homecoming this weekend

Livingstone College

SALISBURY – The city will turn black and blue this weekend as Livingstone College’s homecoming launches under the theme “We are friends, we are family, we are Livingstone.”

A host of activities have already taken place and more are scheduled for students, alumni, family and friends.

Though celebrants rally around the football game, homecoming is much more than what takes place on the field.

“Homecoming always centers around our alumni, and we try to coordinate a variety of activities that will make them feel at home again,” said Vincia Miller, director of alumni affairs. “There are some alumni who come back every year, and there are those who haven’t been back to campus in years. We ensure there is something for everyone to do so that they can leave feeling renewed and continue to help sustain our institution through their generous support.”

Thursday’s schedule

Alumni festivities kick off this evening with an alumni and friends cocktail party from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Poets and Dreamers Garden on campus.

The Athletic Hall of Fame banquet is at 6 p.m. in New Trent Gymnasium. A fashion show begins at 7 p.m. in Varick Auditorium, and a bowling party will begin at 10 a.m. at Woodleaf Bowling Lanes.

Friday’s schedule

Alumni Convocation begins at 10 a.m. Friday at Varick Auditorium, with keynote speaker Vernon L. Baker. Baker, a 1968 graduate of Livingstone, is a school counselor at Gladys Noon Spellman Elementary School in Cheverly, Maryland. He rejoined the workforce after retiring from a career as a school principal and assistant principal.

Immediately after the convocation is a tree planting ceremony.

Beginning at noon Friday is the United Negro College Fund “Soul Food” luncheon in Aggrey Cafeteria on campus. The cost is $30 per person.

The alumni all-star basketball game begins at noon in New Trent Gym.

The fall meeting of the Livingstone College National Alumni Association will be at 3 p.m. in Tubman Little Theater. The night winds down with a social from 9 p.m. to midnight at the event center on campus.

There will also be a day party and a black-and-blue denim party Friday. Visit livingstone.edu for details or the college’s Facebook page.

Saturday’s schedule

The day starts with the high-stomping sounds of marching bands with the Livingstone homecoming parade at 9 a.m. The route runs from Main to Monroe streets, ending on campus.

Awards will be given for best performance; best drill, dance or step team; most creative; and best overall.

Salisbury Mayor Al Heggins will serve as grand marshal for the parade. She was elected in November 2017 as the first African-American female mayor of the city. In December, Livingstone presented her with an honorary doctorate. She is a former dean and associate vice president at Livingstone.

The homecoming game kicks off at 1:30 p.m. when the Livingstone Blue Bears take on the St. Augustine’s Falcons.

The alumni association will hold its annual dance – this year, a masquerade ball – from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Trolley Barn, 125 E. Liberty St.

Gospel Jazz Brunch Sunday

The punctuation to homecoming weekend is the Gospel Jazz Brunch. It will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the School of Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts, 530 Jake Alexander Blvd. S.

The drop-in brunch will feature gospel music, jazz, cultural skits and a full brunch including desserts. Live music will be provided by Livingstone’s Sunday Best featuring Curtis Dean and Christopher Gray.

Dean, a graduate of Livingstone and an NAACP Image Award nominee, is an assistant professor of business at Livingstone. He is known all over the world for his talent and as a musical director. He has scored music for off-Broadway gospel plays such as “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” and “Lord, Why Do I Keep Choosing the Wrong Man?”

Most recently, Dean wrote and produced several plays including “Just Be a Man About It” and “Karma: What Goes Around Comes Back Around.” He also has produced three CDs. He has shared the stage with recording artists such as Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond, Eugene Wilds, Cheryl Lynn, Tony Terry, Glen Jones, Cherelle, Christopher Williams, Lenny Willams, Shirley Murdock, Howard Hewitt, Melba Moore and Regina Bell.

Gray, director of Livingstone’s gospel choir, has been nominated for a Stella Award. He is a writer, composer, artist and producer in the gospel music industry. He has written and produced for major gospel artists including the late Rev. James Cleveland, Pastor John P. Kee, and Edwin and Walter Hawkins. He hosts a radio show on Praise 100.9 FM. of Charlotte.

The cost of the brunch is $30 per person.

“Homecoming is an opportunity to thank our alumni supporters, to provide a welcoming environment, to showcase our progress, and to appeal to alumni how important they are to the sustainability of Livingstone College,” said Livingstone President Jimmy R. Jenkins Sr. “The Division of Institutional Advancement and the Office of Alumni Affairs have done a great job in planning a slew of events to keep everyone interested and involved.”

Jenkins encourages alumni and friends to include the brunch on their list of things to do and make it their last stop before heading out of town.

For more information about homecoming, call Anthony Brown, director of student activities, at 704-216-6272 or Vincia Miller, director of alumni affairs, at 704-216-6009.

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