By Heather Greene, a graduate assistant in the Office of Public Relations at JSU
Jacksonville State University is gearing up for its annual Homecoming celebration, which is scheduled for Saturday, October 12. Homecoming is not just for college students, but provides a day of fun-filled activities for the whole family and community to enjoy.
JSU’s football team will be facing off against Tennessee State and during the half-time portion of the game, the 2013 Homecoming court will be presented and the annual alumni award recipients will be recognized.
This year’s Alumna of the Year recipient is Ms. Emily Sides Bonds, who earned her Bachelor of Arts in political science from JSU in 1987 and went on to gain her Juris Doctor degree in 1990 from the University of Alabama School of Law. She currently works as a partner with Jones Walker LLP. Bonds has received numerous recognitions in the realm of law and has also been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America® 2013 on the subject of insurance law. She has maintained her connection to JSU and is a past president of the JSU National Alumni Associa-tion. During her time at JSU, Ms. Bonds was a JSU Ballerina with the Marching Southerners and a member of Alpha Xi Delta, where she served as treasurer. She resides in Mountain Brook, Al-abama with her husband, Brian, also a JSU ’87 graduate. She is the mother to two teenagers, Miller (age 19) and Anne Marie (age 16).
This year’s Alumnus of the Year is Mr. Greg Harley. After earning his Bachelor of Science in fi-nance from JSU in 1988, Harley went on to earn his Juris Doctor, cum laude, from the University of Georgia School of Law in 1992. Harley currently works as a partner with Burr Forman LLP and is co-chair of the firm’s commercial litigation section. Recognized as one of the Georgia Super Lawyers, Harley has represented clients on matters all across the United States and quite often speaks to other members of the bar on topics related to litigation. An active member of the Gamecock Club, Harley has served as a past president of the JSU Foundation, Inc. While at JSU, Harley served as the vice-president of the student body, was an active member of Kappa Alpha Order, and was a four-year member of the tennis team. He is a youth Sunday school teacher and currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife, Manda (JSU ‘01), and their daughter Kate (age 7).
The Young Alum of the Year award goes to Mr. Blake Arthur, who earned his Bachelor of Sci-ence in recreation administration from JSU in 2007. Arthur currently holds a position as a lead-ership management recruiter for the Golden Living Centers, directing the recruitment efforts for all facility based leadership positions in the eight states of the company. In addition to his work at Golden Living Centers, Arthur has also served as owner and operator of a DJ services company, Delta Entertainment, since 2003. During his time at JSU, Arthur served as a JSU Am-bassador and an officer of the Delta Chi Fraternity, where he served as a past president. Arthur has maintained his connection with his fraternity by serving on the alumni board of trustees as well as serving as a national volunteer vice regent, which oversees chapter operations in Ala-bama and Mississippi. Arthur currently serves on the JSU Alumni Association Board as well as his local Etowah Valley Humane Society Board. He resides in Cartersville, Georgia with his wife Jill (JSU ’06) and their daughter Eva Kate (age 5).
Military Alumnus of the Year goes to Brigadier General Curt A. Rauhut, who earned his Bachelor of Science in accounting and military science from JSU in 1984. He went on to earn his Master of Business Administration from Syracuse University and also holds a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College. Brig. Gen. Rauhut currently holds the position of director for resource management, Installation Management Command at Fort Sam Houston in Texas, where his primary duty includes managing an approximately $11B annual budget to run and sustain army installations. He has received numerous prestigious military awards and has held various key military positions throughout his career. While at JSU, he was a member of Kappa Alpha Order fraternity at JSU, where he served as the chapter's treasurer (1982) and president (1983). Brig. Gen. Rauhut resides in San Antonio, Texas with his wife, Julie, and their son Chase (age 15).
This year’s Outstanding Faculty/Staff Member of the Year goes to Mr. Andy Green, who earned his Bachelor of Science in geography with a minor in marketing from JSU in 2005 and later went on to earn his Master of Public Administration with a concentration in spatial analysis management from JSU in 2008. After various positions in the JSU Office of Admissions, Mr. Green currently holds the position of director of enrollment management. He is vice-president of the Alabama Banner User's Group and immediate past president of the Alabama Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers. He and his wife Brandie (JSU '07/'08/'12) reside in White Plains with their son Jackson Andrew and are members of First Baptist Church of Jacksonville.
This year, the Student Government Association (SGA) went with Tank the Tigers as the Home-coming theme, emphasizing patriotism and recognition of military forces. Students and at-tendees are encouraged to sport patriotic gear in addition to their JSU attire on Homecoming Day.
Jade Wagner, president of the SGA, states, “The SGA absolutely loves Homecoming! We start preparing at the very beginning of the summer because it is a very big deal. The best part of Homecoming would have to be the parade. The entire town is lined up to watch as the different people go by. I love how, at that moment, families, students, and alumni are in the exact same spot doing the exact same thing. It is an interesting thing to witness!”
The SGA will be tailgating on Dillon Field from 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. Alumni and friends of the university are invited to bring their own tailgate parties to the green space in front of Kennamer Hall and enjoy the day with us. The tailgate area opens at 8 a.m. each home game day. The Homecoming Parade will begin at 11 a.m. and the Gamecock Walk will begin winding its way from Stadium Tower to the Field House at 12:45 p.m. As Homecoming is also Family Day, there will be a Kids’ Zone with face painting and other kid-friendly activities set up on the lawn in front of the Theron Montgomery Building from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Kickoff for the football game is at 3 p.m. in JSU Stadium.
“Homecoming is one weekend that the focus of the entire campus is on welcoming back gen-erations of graduates, friends, and family members,” states Dr. William Meehan, president of JSU. “We want everyone to celebrate the great traditions of JSU and along the way make some new ones of their own. This year will be the first Homecoming for our new head football coach Bill Clark and his family. He and his wife Jennifer are both alumni and I know this will be a spe-cial time for them as well as our Alumni Award winners and the Homecoming Court. So ‘Turn Up’ Gamecocks for Homecoming 2013!”
For more information about this year’s Homecoming activities, please contact the Office of Student Life at (256)-782-5491. To purchase tickets to the game, please call (256) 782-8499 or visit www.jsugamecocksports.com.
This article originally appeared in the "Town and Gown" of the Jacksonville News.