2009 Upsilon Xi Alumni Breakfast
The 2009 Upsilon Xi Alumni Breakfast was held at the Mayfield Annex Gymnasium on the east side of the Lee University Campus. It was the first time in 12 years that the breakfast was not held at Holiday Inn North. It was also the first time, in a long time, that several of our alumni had been back at the breakfast. Those who attended were very pleased to see one of the early sponsors of Upsilon, Dr. James Beaty, as well as one of the founders of Upsilon, Dr. Duran Palmertree. Other early members included: Dale Bain, Rick Corley, Bill Winters, Jim Baskett, G. Dennis McGuire, Gary Sharp, Benny Perez, and many others.
The breakfast began, as all do, with breakfast and a prayer from the current Chaplain, Mr. Jonathan Landis. The welcome was given by Mr. Jared Jaber who is presently the Alumni Coordinator. Afterwards, each alumnus stood and stated their name, and semester and year of tap. Col Benny Perez, chose to also include that he originally hailed from New York City, home of the 2009 World Champion New York Yankees. That announcement was followed by a chorus of groans.
Once everyone had given their introductions, President Caleb Flynn addressed the club. President Flynn gave an overview of Upsilon’s activities in 2009. This included a number of important events. First, Upsilon and Alpha Gamma Chi, after years of rivalry (and even animosity at times), participated together in a foot washing service. This event solidified the commitment of both organizations to treat each other with respect as fellow brothers in the Lord and co-heirs with Christ. President Flynn reported that there was “not a dry eye in the house” as the Lord met both clubs as they sought to do His will.
President Flynn also gave a moving personal testimony on how God had met him in his own Upsilon experience. A successful musician, Caleb had signed a professional contract to tour as part of a budding music group that promised the likelihood of fame and fortune. However, a freak accident left him with a broken foot that ended his chances of going on tour. The Lord eventually led him to Lee and Caleb recounted how the lessons he has learned through Upsilon have helped him to understand what is truly important in life.
President Flynn also recounted some of the service projects that Upsilon has engaged in over the past semester. Upsilon washed the fire trucks, performed routine cleaning, and provided landscaping services at several stations of the Bradley County Volunteer Fire Department as a statement of respect for the role that firemen played in 911 as well as in our everyday lives. Upsilon has also continued their relationship with the "City of Refuge" ministry in Atlanta. City of Refuge provides various services to Atlanta's homeless. Members of Upsilon have traveled to Atlanta on several occasions to serve, and some have been so affected by their experience that several recent alumni have volunteered to live at the facility to help meet the need.
The final speech was from UXAA President Joseph Giove, who started his talk with a question, “What lies at the heart of Upsilon Xi?” Joe speculated that some might say, Christian character, or service, or I Corinthians 10:31, or “Hickory”. "Whatever the answer is", Joe continued, "it would have to be something that was there at the very start of Upsilon and is still here today, something that was passed down from tap to tap. Therefore, It could not be Hickory, because Hickory was not there at the beginning" (hickory started in the early 1980s). Joe concluded, “only one thing fits that criteria and it embodies all of the answers I mentioned. The answer is the Constitution and Bylaws. It was there at the beginning, and it still functions today. It defines what it means to be a Upsilon man. Every group is judged based on how well they follow it. I am grateful to report that this particular group of Upsilon men have been exceptional at following the Constitution and Bylaws. As a representative of the body of Upsilon alumni everywhere, I want to communicate to you our thanks. You have my respect and you have our respect for the way you have chosen to conduct yourself.” This proclamation was met with considerable applause from those alumni who were present at the breakfast.
President Giove then began his presentation, which summarized the activities of the UXAA over the course of the last year. An edited version of the presentation is available by clicking on this link.
The presentation included the announcement of three new UXAA Committees:
The presentation concluded with a gauge of support for a new service project that is being explored with the Lee University Administration.
The final activity of the breakfast was the announcement of the 2009 Upsilon Xi Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award, which was awarded this year to Mr. Larry Carpenter. The award is given each year to a Upsilon alum who has distinguished himself and in doing so has brought credit to himself, to Lee University, and to Upsilon Xi. Nominations were solicited this year from Upsilon alumni, but the club itself had the final say in who won the award. President Giove announced that he had asked the club for the honor of presenting this year’s award because of the special place that the winner had in his heart.
Joe started off by explaining that without Larry Carpenter, he would never have come to Lee, or been a member of Upsilon Xi (Larry recruited Joe to play basketball at Lee back in the mid-1990s). Joe went on to share a story of how Larry had impacted his life and concluded by saying, “When I saw the way Larry conducted himself as a basketball coach, as a husband, as a father, and as a Christian, it made me want to be in the same club that he was in.”
Larry’s accomplishments include:
Mr. Carpenter was very gracious in accepting the award and
spoke of how fortunate he felt to be associated with Upsilon Xi. You may click
on the following link if you wish to view
video of Larry Carpenter's acceptance speech. The breakfast
was concluded in prayer by the 41st President of Upsilon, Mr. Robbie Winters.
Various photos from the breakfast
---most photos provided by Historian Xavier Jasso