By Lisa Maynard
The smell of autumn leaves hangs in the air as sunshine warms the crisp cool morning. A perfect Homecoming! Stepping back on campus, the senses of excitement, love and joy fills you! Reflections ensue and bring you to the moments of pride as a student – the freedom, independence, deep friendships, challenging discussions, and accomplishments that grew you! The joyful memories of lighthearted pranks on friends linger still: the scare of the “deer” when I opened the door to Alumni, the mission of plastic saran wrapping a buddy’s room and his items, the water-balloon dropping night on third-floor Langston….the memories trail on and on!
Eureka College is where I grew in faith and love for God and learned more about grace. It is where I found that even my extroverted self needs time to slow down to soak in lessons learned. Homecoming – a perfect time to be still, ponder and reflect. Presently, you live the life you looked forward to while at Eureka College. How different it is than what you expected! How naïve we once were! Who knew that we were really not “so busy” in college as we felt…when compared to our responsibilities today! Homecoming – a perfect time to remember all the FUN responsibilities and schedules we had! Our cute little easily cleaned dorm rooms! But, all these things prepared us to be what we are today. We became well-rounded so that we could be more effective as parents, as employees, and in loving and serving others!
You look at your children, as they watch the parade, with hope that maybe they will experience all the wonderful things that built character and a sense of family at Eureka College. You wonder what memories lay ahead for them, all the while hoping that Eureka College will be as dear to them as it is to you! Looking around the old buildings, you ponder all the stories and wonder what is left untold. The Chemistry Lab where you spilled the last of the solution. That same day you walked back to your dorm devastated only to find a desk full of gorgeous red and yellow roses and a note that a true friendship had grown and blossomed into love!
Eureka College – Home! Home because that is where you had many friends that encouraged and supported you! As we cheer on our team it is a reflection of all the encouragement and support we received as a student! It is a valve to let our excitement and love out! Homecoming – a perfect time to be reminded of the value of encouraging others and how words can build others up. At the end of the day – regardless of the outcome – there is always love and open arms to greet you!! Welcome Back Home!!!
About Lisa Maynard, Eureka College Class of 2004 — Loving God, Loving People: Wife of my College Sweetheart (Craigy), Mother of 2 active and growing boys, ThinkFirst Program Coordinator at OSF HealthCare Illinois Neurological Institute, Woodford County Board of Health, Eureka College Alumni Board and Women’s Board Member, Safe Kids Peoria Area Coalition, Woodford County Citizens Against Substance Abuse, Tazewell County AOK Network, 4H Volunteer, Crosspoint Community Church Member.