Upsilon Xi Alumni Breakfast
8:00AM Saturday, November 8, 2003

As Upsilon Xi celebrates the completion of its 41st year of excellence, all of its members continue to look to the future.  With the club having its best year to date and the Alumni Association enjoying its finest year as well, the foundations for future excellence seem firmly in place.  Over 100 alumni and members joined together to enjoy fellowship and receive an update on the current state of Upsilon Xi.

The morning began with a special invocation by Rev. Billy J. O’Neal who was one of Upsilon’s founding members and served as Upsilon’s First Chaplain.  Four of the eight original members of Upsilon Xi returned this year for Homecoming including three of the four members of the first Executive Committee in 1962 (First President – Duran Palmertree, First Vice-President – Dale Huff, First Chaplain – Billy J. O’neal) and Jim McClain.

(left to right) - Dale Huff, Joe Giove, Duran Palmertree

After the opening prayer by Rev. O’neal, Alumni Coordinator B.J. Johnson welcomed the alumni briefly and initiated an invitation for everyone to stand and state their name and their current career title.  As each alumnus stood and spoke, the faithfulness of God became apparent to each member present.  Regardless of where each member was and what they had chosen to pursue, it was clear that God was using each of them to do significant and important acts of service in their respective careers. 

Upsilon's First Vice-President Dale Huff (left) and one if its first inductees Ted Gee (right)

Current President Jonny Moore then took the podium and began the yearly “State of the Club” address.  He began his address by summarizing Upsilon’s Block Party and Sadies and also highlighting its service projects, which include helping the Church of God Home for Children, Mentorship program for underprivileged children, work with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland, and upcoming renovations at the City Refuge Church in Atlanta. 

"The club is stronger than it has ever been before . . . there is such a sense of unity and closeness.  In the meetings there is an openness and accountability . . . an incredible thing that God is doing.”
- Upsilon Xi President Jonny Moore

Jonny then finished his speech by speaking on the current spiritual state of Upsilon and gave an account of the incredible move of the Spirit experienced during this year’s retreat.  “On the last night of retreat . . . something just broke in. . . I don’t know if I have ever been in a setting like that.  It was a genuine move of God.  One person gave his heart to Christ, several people rededicated their lives, and seven were baptized in water just right out there in the woods.  God was doing a new thing . . . Out of that has been the attitude of a genuine heartfelt love for one another.  An example of that love came when Austin Davis, our Chaplain; his brother died in a motorcycle accident, just three weeks ago.  I was proud to see the guys rally around him and love him and be there for him.”

UXAA President Joe Giove was next at the podium and addressed the club.

“I wanted to start by taking a moment to compliment the current club.  You guys are representing Upsilon so well. . . it starts with the leadership.  I believe that Jonny Moore will go down as one of the ‘great’ Upsilon Presidents.  I have also worked with B.J. and he has been a great Alumni Coordinator.  I just wanted to say that on behalf of the alumni, we are so proud of the way you are carrying on the tradition of Upsilon.”

"I believe it is safe to say that we are having our greatest year as an Alumni Association."
- UXAA President Joe Giove

Joe then gave a brief review of the past year’s projects, which included raising $5,000 for the gift of a ceremonial mace for Lee University, a major redesign of the Upsilon website, and the creation of the first ever Upsilon Xi Alumni Directory.

“I believe that the mace is a fitting symbol since the mace leads the graduation procession just as we have led Lee University for the past 41 years.  I think its neat that every graduation procession will now be led by a symbol of Upsilon. . . it’s fitting.”

“The Alumni Directory is really my ‘baby’. . .There are two purposes behind it.  The first is to enable current Upsilon members to see out into the world and make connections with alumni who are doing what they would like to eventually do.  The second is for alumni to see what other alumni are doing . . . This is just a rough draft . . .This directory, when it is mature, will allow us to make connections and do things that we would only have dreamed of just a few years ago and extend our brotherhood far beyond Lee University.”

Upsilon President Jonny Moore then returned to the podium, “Since 1985, Upsilon Xi has recognized one of our own with the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award.  This award asks the question, who among our organization has distinguished himself and in doing so has brought credit to himself, to Lee University, and to Upsilon Xi.  The 2003 recipient lives up to this and has brought credit to the club.  It is my privilege on behalf of the club to honor this year’s alumnus of the year: Wayne Slocumb."

"Wayne graduated in 1992.  Wayne works for Pathway Press in their design department. He has been honored with several Addys in the advertisement Federation.  This award is equivalent to the Oscars or Emmys in the advertisement industry. . . He works behind-the-scenes for Upsilon.  If there is anything that is made, printed, shirts, Black & Grays, he is behind it with the designs . . . an awesome and incredible help to Upsilon Xi.”

An extremely surprised Wayne Slocumb (the award was kept a secret from him) then proclaimed “This award had a different name on it cause’ . . . I designed it!!!  There are thousands of men here that have done more than I have done.  We have physicists, chemists, teachers, professors. It was astounding when I was helping on this directory how far Upsilon men have gone. . .All I want to say is ‘pass on your knowledge to others’  The best gift is to pass on what you know .”

The benediction was given by current Upsilon Chaplain Austin Davis who paused before his prayer and took a moment to thank all of the members and alumni for their many prayers and support.   

-Reported by Joe Giove

Photos from Homecoming weekend

(left to right) Eddie Pearson, John Warren, Mike Harden, Andy Simmons, Brian Goodger)

(left to right) - Dale Huff, Joe Giove

(click to enlarge)