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New Stadium To Highlight KWU Homecoming

KSAL Staff - September 30, 2015 8:20 pm

Kansas Wesleyan University is planning a big homecoming celebration, highlighted by the opening of a beautiful new stadium.

As part of homecoming weekend, the Graves Family Sports Complex will officially open.

The stadium project began in January of 2014 with the demolition of the 73-year-old Glenn L. Martin sandstone stadium. Because of its condition, the stadium had not been utilized for KWU games since 2007. The stadium, which opened back in 1940, was demolished to make way for the new sports complex.

The first ever game on Gene Bissell Field, at the new Graves Family Sports Complex, will be the Saturday night homecoming game against McPherson College.

Leading up to the game, an entire day of family and alumni activities are planned. A Family Fan Fest is planned from 3:30–5:30 p.m. on the campus quad near the Student Activities Center. The community is invited to gather with friends and family and connect with KWU alumni, faculty, staff and students. The celebration includes music by DJ Loren Banninger, inflatables for the kids, meal by Sodexo catering, and more! The pre-game buffet is $8 for adults, $5 ages 12 and under. Pay at the Tailgate Party. Class reunion gatherings in the tents will include Young Alumni, Class of 1995, Class of 1985, Class of 1970, and the 1956 and 1957 Football teams. The first 500 fans in the stadium will receive a free t-shirt. KSAL-FM 104.9 will be broadcasting live starting at 4:30 p.m.


KWU Football Coach Matt Drinkall shows off the new locker room to KSAL's Mike Hammett and Hannah Holt.

KWU Football Coach Matt Drinkall shows off the new locker room to KSAL’s Mike Hammett and Hannah Holt.


PARKING LOT CLOSED: The parking lot between Peters Science Hall and Pioneer Hall will be closed Saturday, Oct. 3, held for those who have reserved a tailgating space in advance. All others are invited to park in the west Pioneer lot, in the lots of University United Methodist lot and the medical center at Claflin Ave. and Fourth St., and in the Sacred Heart school lot, as well as in the spaces surrounding the campus.

PRE-GAME: At 5:15 p.m., the KWU Marching Band will lead the crowd from the campus quad to the Graves Family Sports Complex, followed by the 5:40 p.m. Dedication and Grand Opening of the new Gene Bissell Field and 6 p.m. kickoff of the Kansas Wesleyan Homecoming Football game against the McPherson College Bulldogs. The 4-0 Coyotes moved up in the NAIA national poll this week to #21 after shutting out Southwestern College on Saturday, 42-0—KWU’s first shut-out since Sept. 25, 2010, when the Coyotes defeated Bethel 45-0.

HALFTIME: The Homecoming halftime festivities will include the coronation of Kansas Wesleyan’s Homecoming King and Queen, the introduction of the 2015 inductees into the KWU Athletics Hall of Fame, plus performances by the KWU Marching Band and the KWU Spirit Squad.

Kansas Wesleyan University has partnered with the Marine Corps League and Marine Toy Box to help underserved area children to have a merry Christmas by providing new toys. The first fund-raiser this year will be a Silent Auction & Raffle at the Homecoming Family Fan Fest and Football game.

During the Family Fan Fest in the Alumni tent, $1 raffle tickets will be sold for three gift basket prizes, valued from $90 to $200+, and silent auction bids will be taken for two very special items: an official KWU Coyote football helmet, and an official KWU Coyote football — each signed by the legendary KWU coach Gene Bissell. Details about these items are available at: www.kwu.edu/marinetoybox2015. Silent bids will continue and roaming students will sell raffle tickets in the stands during the first half of the football game and halftime. Winners will be announced during the second half of the game. All proceeds go to Marine Toy Box.

In addition, Bogey’s Restaurant, 1417 S 9th St, Salina, KS, will also join in the KWU fundraiser by donating a percentage of its Homecoming Weekend sales to Marine Toy Box.


The KWU men's soccer team practices at the new stadium Wednesday afternoon.

The KWU men’s soccer team practices at the new stadium Wednesday afternoon.



The fall KWU Theatre production is the comedy “Leaving Iowa,” presented in Fitzpatrick Auditorium, in Sams Hall of Fine Arts, at 7:30 p.m. nightly on Wednesday–Friday, Sept. 30–Oct. 2, and Sun. Oct. 4. $8 adults, $3 youth. Pay at the door or reserve tickets at box.office@kwu.edu. Free for KWU students, faculty, staff and Alumni Association members.

Tom Dorsey, photojournalist for the Salina Journal for the past 35 years, will be present for a Salina First Thursday Art Walk reception, from 5–7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1, in The Gallery at KWU, Sams Hall of Fine Arts. His exhibit is called “The Last Few Years: Found Images by Tom Dorsey for the Salina Journal” and features some of his favorite photos. Light refreshments will be served. Admission is free, and the public is invited. Mr. Dorsey will be present for a Homecoming reception for KWU alumni in The Gallery from 9–10 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 2.

The Golden W Luncheon will be held from 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m. in Muir Gym, where the Class of 1965 will be inducted into the Golden W, marking 50 years since their graduation from KWU.

The Alumni Awards Ceremony will be held from 5:30 –6:30 p.m. in Sams Chapel, in the Hall of the Pioneers. Admission is free. The public is welcome. The Alumni Award recipients include:
• Alumni Achievement Award: Courtney (Thaden) Heigele ’03, primary special educator at Bonner Springs Elementary in Bonner Springs, KS
• Alumni Service Award: Harold ’49 and Evelyn (Eisenhauer) ’50 Nelson, charter members of the KWU Heritage Roll of Honor and longtime supporters. Harold served on the KWU Board of Trustees from 1972–1981. Evelyn is a member of the KWU Women’s Auxiliary.
• Division of Fine Arts Outstanding Alumnus of the Year: Nick Petron ’69, professor and chair of Theatre, Adelphi University in Garden City, NY
• B.S.N. Nursing Education Outstanding Alumni Award: Natasha (Miller) Sears, M.S.N., R.N. ’09, registered nurse at Salina Surgical Hospital in Salina, KS
• Nursing Education Outstanding AAS Alumni Award: Denise (Knipp) Weiss ’95, D.O. – Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine and anesthesiologist with Anesthesia Associates in Kansas City, MO


Glenn L. Martin Stadium had been the home field for Kansas Wesleyan University since its official name dedication in 1940.

Glenn L. Martin Stadium had been the home field for Kansas Wesleyan University since its official name dedication in 1940.


M.B.A. Program Professor Carol A. Ahlvers Distinguished Alumni Award
* Jennifer Johnson ’04, Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer/Chief Information Officer at Equity Bank in Wichita, Kansas
* LuAnn Puvogel ’98, Chief Executive Officer for the Salina Surgical Hospital in Salina, KS
* Willibrordus “Wil” Punt ’02, project manager at Philips Lighting in The Netherlands
* Todd Strawn ’12, senior application programmer for National Cooperative Refinery Association (NCRA) in McPherson, KS

M.B.A. Program Professor Carol A. Ahlvers Distinguished International Alumni Award

* Jen Ching (Ray) Yang ’07, information and network engineer in Taipei, Taiwan
* Chiu-Yen (Elsa) Hung ’08, General Manager of Taiwan Home Service Labor Cooperatives inTaipei, Taiwan

The W Club Breakfast/Athletic Hall of Fame Inductions will be held in Muir Gym at 8 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 3. The 2015 Hall of Fame inductees include the 1995–1998 Softball teams, Denis Adams (Football, ’56), Jeff Kumpula (Football ’01), Darin Boyer (Football, ’87), Rich Troiano (Baseball, ’73), and Jessi (Burnham) Stang (Volleyball, Basketball, Track, ’81).

The Homecoming Showcase Concert will begin at 1:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 3, in Sams Chapel, in the Hall of the Pioneers. All of the KWU music ensembles will perform, including Wesleyan Chorale, Philharmonic Choir, String Orchestra, Philharmonic Orchestra and Wind Ensemble. Admission is free. The public is invited.

On Sunday, Oct. 4, at 9:30 a.m., University United Methodist Church, adjacent to campus at Santa Fe Ave. and Claflin Ave., will host the KWU Church Service featuring the KWU Philharmonic Choir.

Stan Clemons

October 1, 2015 at 8:56 am

Seems to me there was very poor planning. First off they squeezed everything into one small area then gave no thought to parking. There is no seating for visiting team fans and this project is a failure. Whoever was in charge should be fired. There are more educated people sitting around every morning having coffee that would have designed this a whole lot better than how it was designed.

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