This story is featured in the Spring 2019 edition of the HPU Magazine. Discover below how HPU’s alumni are welcomed back to campus for a Homecoming Weekend filled with HPU traditions.
Members of the High Point University alumni family returned to campus Oct. 5-7 for Homecoming Weekend 2018. The annual celebration brings Panthers from different generations together to reconnect with their former classmates and professors while participating in a variety of activities and longstanding traditions.
The event-filled weekend included the Annual Alumni Awards Ceremony, class reunions, tailgating, student performances, athletic events, a chapel service and more. Alumni also partnered with service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega and The Bed Brigade, a nonprofit co-founded by HPU student Kaylor Ramey, in making blankets for a local shelter that serves homeless veterans.
“HPU always eagerly anticipates the arrival of our alumni for the weekend’s festivities. We’re so excited to welcome them back home,” says Hayley Harris, ’14, director of alumni engagement. “It’s very special for generations of High Point Panthers to return with their families and friends to relive fond memories and special moments. This includes traditions on campus, as well as favorite restaurants and places to explore throughout the city.”
One of the annual highlights of Homecoming is the recognition of alumni who have made outstanding accomplishments and demonstrated a commitment to their communities and the university. Thirteen HPU alumni were honored at a banquet, hosted by the Alumni Association inside Congdon Hall.
Don Caine, ’65, received the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Caine founded Camco Manufacturing in 1966 with one employee and one product. He and his wife, Teresa, live in Greensboro and are generous supporters of HPU students and the new Donald R. and Teresa B. Caine Conservatory, which is currently under construction, and the Donald R. and Teresa B. Caine Endowed Scholaship. Don is a member of the Board of Visitors, and Teresa is a member of the Board of Trustees.
After he accepted the award during the ceremony, Lisa Cook, Don Caine’s daughter, shared his impressive journey with the audience.
“My dad didn’t have the normal college experience,” she said. “He was working full time, and he was married. But earning his degree from HPU gave him the confidence and the platform that he needed to get started on his road to success. Receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award from this university, which in and of itself is a fantastic story of success, is truly an honor.”
Mark Webb, ‘83, was named Alumnus of the Year.
Webb, CEO and president of Interstate Foam and Supply Inc. in Conover, North Carolina, and his wife, Jerri, have generously donated gifts in honor of their family to support the Webb Conference Center and Webb School of Engineering. Their son, Connor Mosack, is a current HPU student. HPU President Nido Qubein often describes the Webb family as a symbol of the American Dream.
“It’s always inspirational to come back on this campus,” said Webb, a member of the HPU Board of Trustees. “So much has changed at my alma mater, but in many ways, so much is still the same. The caring and supportive professors that we had in the early 1980s — I know HPU still has those today. When I go into Roberts Hall, I get this funny feeling because that’s where the modern foreign language department was, and I had to take French. I had no knowledge of it at the time, but Professor Carol Head taught our class and encouraged us. Without her, I don’t know if I could have passed French.”
“I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention Dr. Richard Bennington, my advisor in marketing and management. He was the wise counsel I could go to, and he would always guide me in every way. I think about him a lot and the values I learned from him. It’s an honor to continue being part of HPU, and I’m very proud of everything this university has accomplished.”
Jerry Murdock, ’62, received the Alumni Service Award.
Murdock, who is CEO of IPS Packaging in Greenville, South Carolina, received the award for his continued involvement in various service initiatives that support HPU, student scholarships and his local community. He grew up in The Children’s Home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Together, he and his wife, Joan, established the Jerry W. and Joan S. Murdock Endowed Scholarship to support HPU students. He also served in the Navy and led an impressive career in sales and business. He started IPS Packaging in 1976.
“I grew up in a children’s home ran by the Methodist church, then came to High Point College with a full scholarship and ran track,” Murdock said. “I didn’t have to pay anything and was very appreciative of that. I knew one day I wanted to repay that scholarship for people like myself. I wasn’t sure how I was going to do it, but I made this commitment to myself. Fortunately for me, I was able to start my own company in distribution. Now I’m very grateful for my 42 years in business. When I came to High Point, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. But I received guidance from my professors, who were wonderful to me. What they taught me has been very valuable to my life.”