With plenty of opportunities to reconnect, including an innovative "virtual" reunion, University of North Georgia (UNG) Alumni Weekend 2016 is packed with reasons to celebrate and remember the history of UNG.
"Alumni Weekend in Dahlonega is always a special time," said Wendi Huguley, UNG's director of alumni relations and annual giving. "We have two classes celebrating reunions — the classes of 1956 and 1966 will be celebrating their 60th and 50th respectively."
Beginning Friday, April 22, alumni are invited to join the Nighthawks Athletic Club for the annual golf tournament at Achasta Golf Course. For $150 per person, alumni are invited to start the weekend with some friendly competition and camaraderie. Space is limited, so call Mike Hyams III at 706-867-3277 to secure a spot.
Following the golf tournament, the class of 1966 is invited to join classmates for a drop-in session from 1 to 4 p.m., and then later for their 50th reunion dinner at Achasta.
In addition, "golden" alumni, those who graduated more than 51 years ago, may attend the Golden Alumni Society Dinner. For $35 per person, attendees will gather in the Dining Hall Banquet Room for dinner, including an introductory performance by The Patriot Choir.
The night ends with Dr. Joseph Jones and the new DigiStar 5 Full Dome Digital Planetarium Projector in the George E. Coleman Sr. Planetarium, room 234, of the Health & Natural Sciences Building. Free shows take place at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m.
At 8 a.m. on Saturday, the Corps of Cadets will host the annual 5K Fun Run through Dahlonega, free of charge. While running and registration are not required, all are encouraged to attend and cheer on the runners. The event will begin at the Gen. Bill "Lipp" Livsey Drill Field.
Also Saturday, the Class of '66 will celebrate its 50-year reunion by joining President Bonita and Glenn Jacobs for brunch at their home. Vans will depart from the UNG Dining Hall at 8:40 a.m., Saturday. Pre-registration is requested, but this event is free of charge for alumni of 1966.
"There are also a number of fun events on the schedule that aren't class specific, including book signings by three authors, two of whom are graduates (Jimmy Blackmon, '91 and Dr. Bryson Payne, '97)," Huguley said. "Dr. Payne is a faculty member, and the third author is local writer Jameson Gregg who was the 2015 Georgia Author of the Year."
Come cheer on the Nighthawks at this year's Soccer Alumni Game and Cookout. For $30 per person, attendees will receive a t-shirt, lunch, and beverages. Later, join Keith Antonia, associate vice president for military affairs, for an update on the university's new Institute for Language and Strategic Studies. The Young Alumni Board asks alumni to give back to Dahlonega afterward by joining them as they beautify the area between Dunlap Hall and the drill field.
In the afternoon, attendees are welcome to tour the Historic Vickery House and 1930s Gold Rush Cabin, now home of UNG's Appalachian Studies Center and Saving Appalachian Gardens and Stories.
"The Vickery House stands in tribute to its owners, tenants and guests who played significant roles in our past — in the Gold Rush era, in the development of the North Georgia College as an educational institution and in the state of Georgia," said Ella Ray Oakes, founder of the Dahlonega Club.
Alumni can sign up for sightseeing tours to explore the campus’ newly constructed and renovated buildings. A golf cart will be available for those who need assistance. The tour will depart from the Starbucks located inside the Campus Connection Bookstore, 110 S. Chestatee St., Dahlonega, at 10 a.m. Tours are free, but pre-registration is requested.
Sunday, April 24, ends the weekend with The Music of Scheherazade and the Corps of Cadets' Military Awards Review. The review, which will mark the 100th anniversary nationally of ROTC, includes award presentations to dozens of UNG cadets, a performance by the Blue Ridge Rifles, and guest speaker the Hon. Debra Wada, assistant secretary to the U.S. Army, Manpower and Reserve Affairs.
The UNG Golden Eagle Band will present its 2016 competition show, "Attraction: The Music of Scheherazade," which features music from the score by Nicolai Rimsky Korsakov — the show begins at 1 p.m. in Memorial Hall Gym. The Golden Eagle Marching Band is currently ranked fourth in the world within the Independent World Class Division, and has placed first in their division at every competition this season.
Also Sunday, UNG will host its inaugural Recall during the same time as the Military Awards Review. According to Huguley, this virtual reunion is the brainstorm of the North Georgia Corps of Cadets Association and encourages individuals worldwide to 'come back to campus'. At 2 p.m. Sunday, visit http://ung.edu/recall/ for this virtual reunion experience.
For a full weekend lineup, including info about events like Rifle& Pistol Range Open House & Firing Opportunity, the Holly Theater/UNG Theatre Alumni Weekend Showcase, and a group Wine Tour and Tasting at Wolf Mountain Vineyards, check out the UNG Alumni Association's online brochure and calendar.