Upsilon Xi Alumni Breakfast
8:00AM Saturday, November 6, 2004

(Written by Secretary Shaun Gentner and President Tony McLeod)

The 2004 Alumni Breakfast was a well attended event, with over 100 alumni and members joining together for breakfast and fellowship. The club could not be doing better, coming off a series of historical and unprecedented achievements. All in attendance felt the same feeling of accomplishment and celebration and they enjoyed the fruits of years of hard labor and God’s faithfulness. As Upsilon Xi celebrates the completion of its 42nd 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.

The Upsilon Alumni Coordinator Rich Wilkerson was the MC for the event and directed the opening of the meeting. After Nick Humble opened the meeting in prayer, each alumni member was invited to stand and introduce themselves and tell a brief story or memory about when they were in the club. There was a great deal of laughter for that half hour, as the alumni recalled some of their more amusing moments.

Current Upsilon President Tony McLeod then gave the annual “State of the Club” address. Although it seems that every year’s speech includes the language, “the club is doing better than ever”, this year’s assessment seems particularly accurate. In addition to the large number of service projects that Upsilon men are undertaking, and the impeccable and Godly reputation of the current membership, Upsilon Xi received a huge boost at the last Church of God General Assembly. For the first time in history, the Church of God elected a General Overseer with Lee club ties and they are Upsilon. Dr. G. Dennis McGuire was elected to the highest position in the Church of God (General Overseer) and Dr. Raymond Culpepper was elected to the second highest position (1st Asst. General Overseer). Both are Upsilon men.

After the encouraging address from President McLeod, Bill George was asked to award the 2004 Upsilon Xi Alumnus of the Year Award which went to Joe Giove, also known to the club as Highrock. Giove was a student at Lee in the mid-90’s, and became a member of Upsilon in the fall of 1994. While at Lee, Giove was a part of the men’s basketball team that won the NCCAA National Championship for the 1993-94 season. At that time, he was known around campus as “Jumping” Joe Giove and was a key member of the team which featured eight Upsilon members and was also coached by a Upsilon man (Larry Carpenter). Joe graduated from the university cum laude in 1995. Soon after graduating he went to work for the U.S. government for the National Cancer Institute. Giove has recently accepted a job change and promotion. Now he works in the Department of Energy in a high ranking job in Fossil Fuels.

Giove’s contributions to Upsilon did not stop when he graduated. He has been a vital member in the development of the Upsilon Xi Alumni Association. He is currently serving as the President of the association. The Upsilon Xi website was originated and still maintained by Giove. He also developed the idea for a national phone directory. Mr. Giove’s accomplishments make him well-deserving of this prestigious honor.

Joe accepted the award stating, “I am grateful for this award and am deeply honored by it. I am certain that I am the least of all the ones who have won this prestigious award. I am deeply thankful and honored.”

Joe then gave a 15-minute PowerPoint presentation entitled, “UXAA – 2004 Annual Review & Analysis.” Click here to download the complete presentation. The presentation gives a breakdown of the budget for the Alumni Association and its current activities. Future possibilities were also discussed at the conclusion of the presentation.

Former President and current Chaplain Jonny Moore gave the closing benediction, and the all in attendance sang the club song in conclusion.

Two hours later, Lee University’s highest honor has once again given to a Upsilon man. Dr. Bill George was named the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year for the university. It is the 8th time in the last 17 years (4th time in the last 6 years) that a Upsilon man has won the award.

George has been affiliated with the school since the early 1960’s.  He is currently the head sponsor for Upsilon Xi and has served as a faculty member at Lee for a total of 13 years. One of George’s greatest accomplishments was helping establish the intercultural studies major for the School of Religion.

The award was presented at the President’s Circle Luncheon at the DeVos Recreation Center. The luncheon was attended by special guests and key university donors. George’s wife Nelda and two sons Michael and David were present for the ceremony.

Along with his many accomplishments at Lee, George is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Church of God Publications. During this time he has written five books on church themes and contributed countless articles to church publications.

Dr. George also served in the U.S. Army and was an honor graduate of the Army Chaplain's School. In Cleveland, he is a member of the Rotary Club, serving as editor of the weekly newsletter and the annual directory.

More photos from Homecoming

Several Upsilon members at the President's Circle Luncheon

The Club booth on the Pedestrian Mall

lots of traffic around the Upsilon booth

and look at all those hot girls


You be the judge