Of course, the biggest event is always the game -- even when we have dismal teams, football holds court over every other Homecoming activity. It's all around that crucial kick-butt stuff. But for a little while, last night, it was about one single man: "Doc" Kieft.
Doc has been with Monmouth College, teaching Analytical Chemistry, mentoring many young students, serving as counselor to the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity, and in all sorts of other roles, great and small, since the 1970s. He's retiring at the end of this year.
Doc has quite a following. It's mostly because he has been, by and large, a rational man about nearly everything (no mean feat on the faculty of a liberal arts college -- or any other college or university, for that matter). It's also because I doubt he has a mean bone in his body. So, because he's been such a good guy for us all, for all these years, they threw him a big wine-and-cheese bash last evening (Friday).
The wine and cheese were accompanied by chocolate-dipped fruits and a number of other finger foods I could not nibble (allergies really stink, sometimes),but were nonetheless very popular with the growing crowd of students, faculty (both current and retired) and alums. Also popular was the slide show, a "This Is Your Life" retrospectacle.
About twenty minutes into the reception, somebody brought out a big framed piece of mat board, destined to hold a nifty photo of Doc, and people lined up to sign the "card" to wish Doc well in his retirement.
After about an hour, the ceremony began, with MC's president, Mauri Ditzler offering congratulations to Doc on his having been named an asset, once again, to the campus -- by being named to the Monmouth College Board of Trustees. He also announced that Doc had named Monmouth College as the heir to a "seven-figure" estate endowment designed to help science students, and to help draw money in for the purpose of building a new science building (which we have needed since before the old Haldeman-Thiessen Science Hall was even a day old).
After a roundabout fashon, Ditzler introduced alumnus and speaker Mark Taylor, who regaled us with tales of Doc's love of teaching and parental concern for the students... among other stories.
The crowd was all ages, a wide variety of folks, from retired faculty and their family members to former administrators to alumnae of the more distant future (we can but hope). All-in-all, it was a good turnout,
I did have the opportunity to catch up with a couple of old cronies (heh. A crone and her cronies) Helena and Trish, class of mumble mumble mumble let's just say it was before Rev. Run went solo. We're hoping to get together at The Sound of Five concert tonight & see what happens afterward.