Homecoming is an integral part of the college cultural, and in this regard, ACU is no different from other universities. Like other colleges, ACU homecoming includes parades, shows, meals, and football. However, because ACU is a small, tightly knit community, it seems that at ACU, homecoming is different.
I think it’s possible that this difference is a result of our faith; after all, it is only when we gaze through the lens of faith that we discover what “home” truly is.
This past weekend alumni from all over the world traveled to Abilene to celebrate the university that has helped make them into who they are today. For a couple days, it seemed that everyone in town was either related or a friend of a friend. Sure, there was hype and pep, but underneath all of the excitement was something deeper, something more substantial. The people being reunited weren’t being reunited over a shared love of something flighty or petty. They were being reunited over something visceral, something that defines them as human beings.
Students often hear that friendships made at ACU last a lifetime. Here’s what one ACU College of Business alumnus, Kevin Roberts (’88), has to say about those relationships and what ACU homecoming means to him:
“Homecoming…Coming Home. It is strange how much it feels like returning to ACU is in fact coming home. As a freshman in 1984, there would have been no way that you could have convinced me that this place would ever be special, much less “home.” However, that is what it became. The memories and relationships forged on this campus have lasted decades.
Even though I work at ACU now and am here everyday, there is still a flood of nostalgia as I walk across campus. I remember moments that were funny and moments that were poignant. I remember lessons learned and ideas awakened. Most of all though, I remember people. It is these memories that make homecoming so special. It provides a chance for the ghosts of my memory to come alive. The people that I love so dearly, that shaped my lives so profoundly, all come back home. We get to laugh together and pray together. We get to brag on our kids and tell of our plans. Most of all though, we get to remember. We get to remember how special a place ACU is to all of us. It is special not just because of the education we received. It is special because of the relationships we formed that give us a glimpse into the community that God intended his people to live in. I am ready for all our family to come home.”
Whether or not you were able to be a part of ACU’s homecoming festivities this weekend, I hope that you will take time today to reconnect with old friends and to see how they have grown and changed. Find out how God is working in their lives.
After all, it is only in the presence of God that we will ever truly be home.