Before there were fraternities or sororities on Lee’s campus, Upsilon Xi was birthed. Forty-five years later, Upsilon is stronger than ever. Homecoming 2007 marked the 45th Anniversary of Upsilon Xi and attracted a large and diverse group of members and alumni. Many alumni traveled back to Cleveland from all over the world in order to be at the celebration. In fact, Edgar Emeric and Brian Yaun flew over 25 hours from a missionary trip to Indonesia in order to be at the breakfast. In addition to club members, over 150 alumni were present.
After the opening prayer by current Chaplain Kyle Hinch, the annual “State of the Club” address was given by Vice-President Brennan Roy (President Mark Stusek had to leave town for a family emergency). Among the items highlighted in the address were the many service projects done by the club. In particular, a video was shown highlighting the efforts accomplished by the club in building a playground for children who are still recovering from Hurricane Katrina. Local media heard about the project and came to record the event. Highlights from various newscasts were selected and played during the breakfast.
During the next section of the program, several speakers were invited to give their impression of their years in Upsilon. Kevin Landreth was the first speaker and he shared a few funny moments (for club member’s ears only). Dr. Duran Palmertree was the second speaker and gave a very heartfelt and detailed recounting of Upsilon’s early days. Duran gave specific honor to Dale Huff, James Hubbard and Duane Lambert, who he credited with being the most influential in the founding of Upsilon (editor's note: in addition to Duran). Duran’s main theme was that “Upsilon was born. . .to live”. It was not a haphazardly thrown together venture, not a copy of something else already in existence, not a short-term dream or something designed to fizzle. Upsilon was constructed very carefully and masterfully such that it would prosper and flourish through good times and bad, and build upon excellence year after year. Forty five years later, the legacy continues and excellence abounds. After his speech, Dr. Palmertree was presented with a special poster, signed by each member of the club.
The final speaker was current UXAA President David Blair. Mr. Blair highlighted some of the initiatives that the alumni association is currently undertaking. First and foremost is an update to the Upsilon Alumni Directory. Other projects included the goal of establishing a $50,000 scholarship for the 50th year anniversary. In order to reach this goal, Upsilon will need to raise $10,000 a year for the next 5 years. Over 30 alumni stood and pledged to give $100 a year for the next 5 years. Almost all of that money has already been received for the current year. <Please click here to see who has already donated and to add your name to the list for 2007-2008>
The final presentation was the annual Upsilon Xi Alumnus of the Year award, which was given this year to Dr. Robert O’Bannon. Dr. O'Bannon was tapped in the early eighties as an honorary member of Upsilon, and both of his sons are members. Dr. O’Bannon has taught at Lee for over forty years. After returning from Israel with his family in 1967 (during the Six Day War), Dr. O’Bannon bought a farm outside Cleveland and began his teaching career. Upsilon’s Sadie Hawkins event has been held at the O’Bannon Farm every year since 1967. Dr. O’Bannon has recently retired from teaching at Lee. In addition to the Upsilon Alumnus of the Year award, Upsilon presented a plaque to Dr. O’Bannon this year at Sadies in honor of his forty years of service to Upsilon in hosting the event.
The breakfast was concluded in prayer by Dr. Bill George, the longest serving sponsor of Upsilon and current Vice President of the UXAA.
At the conclusion of the breakfast, Upsilon participated in Homecoming activities on the pedestrian mall through its booth display by the Clocktower. Later in the day at the annual President’s Circle Breakfast, Lee University honored Dr. Steve Dorman as the 2007 Lee University Distinguished Alumnus of the Year. The Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award in the highest honor Lee University can bestow upon one of it's graduates. During the 9 years from 1999-2007, a Upsilon man won the award 5 times. During the past 20 years, a Upsilon man won the award 9 times <view all Upsilon award winners>. The last Upsilon man to win the award was Dr. Bill George in 2004.