Alumni and community reconnect at Adams State Homecoming
The weekend of Oct. 6 and 7 was ablaze with activities and renewing acquaintances during Adams State College's Homecoming 2006. Adams State Director of Alumni Relations, Lori Laske '92 '02, was pleased with the turnout.
"I love hearing everyone's great stories," Laske said. "Homecoming is my favorite time of year, and I am so pleased so many of our alumni are reconnecting with each other and Adams State College."
The game of golf was enjoyed by many alumni Friday morning at Cattails Golf Course in Alamosa. Players were treated to pastries and coffee compliments of the Alumni Relations Office.
The halls and rooms on the third floor of the Student Union Building echoed with laughter and voices as many reunion groups met. Alumni who graduated 50 years ago through five years ago exchanged updates with fellow classmates. The Flying Indian Head Era Football and Original Sinapses Art Group spent time reminiscing.
More than 200 alumni and friends of Adams State College gathered to pay tribute to award recipients at the Alumni Banquet on Friday. Adams State President, Dr. David Svaldi, told the audience, "This is always your college. You're always welcome here."
There was a very small degree of separation among the 2006 alumni honored. The college's Billy Adams Award was presented to Dr. Marv Motz, emeritus professor of psychology and two-time interim president. A graduate of the classes of 1958 and '59, he was a classmate of the 2006 Outstanding Alumnus, Bill Waters, class of 1959. And the Exceptional Alumni Award was presented to two former students of Motz, Randy and Micah Jackson, both class of 1998.
The award winners were introduced by people who knew them well and attested to their qualifications.
The Jacksons were named the 2006 Exceptional New Alumni in recognition of their success as owners of Rustic Log Furniture in Alamosa. When still business students at Adams State, the couple began by building about 80 swings a year in a 12-foot-square Tuff Shed. Now, their company produces of 300 pieces of log furniture every week in a 32,000-square-foot building on 13 acres of land west of Alamosa.
Rob Oringdulph, class of 1971 and a member of the Adams State Alumni Association Board of Directors, commended their success, noting that 80 percent of small businesses fail in the first year.
"Small businesses employ more people in the U.S. than anyone else," he pointed out. "That's what Randy and Micah do. They have chosen to locate their very successful small business in Alamosa and provide jobs for the San Luis Valley. They are great examples of graduates of Adams State College."
Roderick Wood, Adams State class of 1964 and '71, helped introduce his buddy from high school, Retired Marine Lieutenant Colonel Bill "Muddy" Waters. Wood called Waters "the consummate American hero. He loved, defended, and supported the United States of America all his life." Waters flew 1080 missions during three tours in Vietnam and retired in 1983 with numerous medals, including the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, Single Mission Air Medal, 54 Strike Flight Awards, and the Navy Commendation Medal.
In 1968, Waters was designated a Marine presidential helicopter pilot and had the honor to fly President Lyndon Johnson six times and Richard Nixon 33 times. His helicopter experience led to a career with TG Bauer Associates, Inc., a support contractor to the Naval Air Systems Command, where he later became executive vice president.
The college's highest honor, the Billy Adams Award, was presented to alumnus and emeritus professor, Dr. Marv Motz, who spent his entire 36-year career at Adams State.
"This award recognizes extraordinary contributions to the college in the spirit of our founder," Svaldi said. "Billy Adams figured the best was to ensure good schools in the San Luis Valley was to build a teachers' college. How could we not honor Marv Motz?"
Motz attended Adams State for one year, spent four years in the Navy during the Korean War, then returned to Adams State in 1954. During an outstanding college basketball career, he netted 1,508 points, the fourth most in college history. His jersey number was retired, and Motz was inducted into the ASC Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000.
Motz began working at Adams State after finishing school in 1959, with responsibilities in public relations, alumni affairs, and admissions. He furthered his education and joined the psychology faculty in 1967, where he shared his knowledge, love, and laughter with approximately 9,260 students.
Motz' son, Dr. Tom Motz, Class of 1982, said, "Dad and ASC are all about the students." Tom; his three sisters; his mother, Mary; and several other Motz relatives are all Adams State alumni. That evening the Adams State College jazz concert played to a packed audience in Richardson Hall, and the student directed production, Baby with the Bath Water, was sold out as well.
Mother Nature must hold a special place in her heart for Adams State College. Although a storm blew in on Friday bringing cooler weather and rain in the night, Saturday couldn't have been finer. Runners and walkers lined up along State Street just south of the bridge for the early morning Grizzly 5K. Pablo Sandoval '80 finished his run in time to shower and head over to Main Street to drive the former Adams State president, Dr. Tom Gilmore and his wife, Pat, through the parade at 10 a.m.
This year's theme, the Renaissance, was creatively interpreted by student clubs and organizations. Bright floats and marching bands passed by crowds on Main Street in Alamosa.
Alumni and friends had worked up an appetite that was satisfied at the Tailgate Party in prior to the football game in Rex Stadium. Hamburgers, hot dogs, and roasted pork were among the selections, and Bits 'n' Pieces provided live music that sampled rock'n'roll from every era.
It wasn't the Grizzlies Football Team's finest hour, as they were defeated 14 to 17 in the homecoming game, but the crowd supported them through it all. The student Homecoming Queen and King were crowned at halftime.
Two full days came to completion at the post-game reception hosted by the Alumni Relations Office at the Inn of the Rio Grande. Many lingered with promises to stay in touch and meet again at next year's Homecoming.
By Julie Waechter