2011 Upsilon Xi Alumni Breakfast
8:00am, Nov 5, 2011,
Holiday Inn Mountainview
Cleveland, Tn.


The 2011 Upsilon Xi Alumni Breakfast was held at the Mountainview Holiday Inn.  This is the first time in three years that the event has been held there, as it had been held on campus during the last two years.  Alumni Coordinator Brad Yaun was the emcee for the event, which began with a prayer from the current Chaplain, Ryan Sherrow followed by the annual breakfast.

Once the members and alumni had finished eating, President Blake Ray gave the annual "State of the Club" address. President Ray mentioned that the club has had two great taps in the last year. During the fall of 2010, 9 members were inducted, including two Upsilon legacies. Spring of 2011 brought Upsilon 7 more great members. Blake reported that the club has taken part in several service projects, faithfully fulfilling the Christian commitment to serve. Upsilon started a study group session together, furthering its efforts on the academic front, and a weekly Bible study group that they eventually would like to open up to the entire campus.  Upsilon, has also continued to reform its induction.  To be in compliance with new University standards and restrictions placed on induction, one of the club’s most important lessons was required to be changed, and another is being worked on so it can be taught in a different way. 

President #61, Blake Ray

President Ray went on to highlight other current challenges the club is facing that are bringing its members together.  Mr. Taylor Medlin, a Upsilon Man from Fall of 2010, lost his grandfather, Reverend Walter Atkinson, a few days earlier, and had to miss the Breakfast to attend the funeral with his family.  Stephen Buchanan, a junior business student from Cincinnati, Ohio who became a Upsilon man this semester, has a sister who works for a refugee council in Somalia who was recently taken hostage by Somali extremists.  She was in Somalia working to help make its citizens safe from old, unexploded landmines while also sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with them.

President Ray notes that these struggles have allowed the club to grow closer to God as they trust in Him and know that He alone has the power and authority to be our deliverer and comforter in these situations. Upsilon is holding onto truth as they pray together and Blake thanked all in attendance for their prayers for Stephen’s sister and Taylor’s family.

President Ray concluded by highlighting next year's 50th Anniversary. Blake stated, "As we look forward to our 50 year anniversary, we also have extraordinary dreams for this club. We are reaping the benefits of the work that you have sown into this club and I pray every day that we will work just as hard to make our extraordinary dreams become a reality for the future of Upsilon."

The full text of President Ray's speech can be by clicking on this link.

After the State of the Club address, UXAA President Joe Giove updated the club on the activities of the Alumni Association. Since his term was up at the conclusion of the meeting, Mr. Giove spent some time reviewing the accomplishments that had been initiated and completed during his term.  Four major accomplishments were highlighted:

  1. The completion of the Upsilon Xi Book of History

  2. Updating the UXAA Constitution

  3. The Launch of the Cornerstone Mentoring Program

  4. The Initiation/Completion of the 50th Anniversary Arch Project

UXAA President Joe Giove

Mr. Giove highlighted the Arch in particular and announced formally that Upsilon alumni raised the $25,000 a full 8 months early, and now sit at $27,450 raised so far.  This is a major testament to the faithfulness of God’s provision, expressed through the generosity of Upsilon’s alumni base. Joe went on to state that it is not too late to donate to the Arch effort, and that additional monies would be used for several other projects currently under consideration.  Joe also mentioned that the next issue to discuss is where to place the Arch.  Mr. Giove stated that he and Dr. Conn had been in contact on the issue, and Dr. Conn stated that he would be happy to address the question with him soon.  Joe solicited ideas from the audience and encouraged anyone with a good suggestion to contact him with their ideas.

The Upsilon Xi 50th Anniversary Arch Project
(note: artist's conceptual rendition, size and style will vary)

Mr. Giove honored his executive committee one last time, before proceeding to the UXAA election.  Last month, Joe formed a committee chaired by Dr. Bill Jaber that was tasked to come up with a proposed slate of officers for the next term.  The committee consisted of: Dr. Jeff Sargent, Mr. Larry Carpenter, Mr. Jim Baskett, Mr. Paul Rankin and Dr. DeWayne Thompson.  Both Nick Humble (Treasurer) and Mr. Giove (President) asked not to be considered for a post on the slate.  The slate that was recommended by the committee was presented to the club, voted on and approved.  The 2011-2014 UXAA Executive Committee consists of:

  • President: Duran Palmertree

  • Vice-President: Bill Winters

  • Secretary: Ted Gee

  • Treasurer: Wayne Slocumb

The new Executive Committee of the UXAA:
(Left to right: Vice-President Bill Winters, President Duran Palmertree,
Treasurer Wayne Slocumb, Not pictured: Secretary Ted Gee)

After the election, Dr Palmertree addressed the crowd and shared his vision for some of the things we might do as an organization moving forward.  Duran was very appreciative of the honor, and looks forward to maximizing the club’s efforts leading up to the 50th Anniversary.  Of especial note was his desire to reach those who live in proximity to Lee University to assure that they are in attendance at the 50th as well as future breakfasts.

New UXAA President Duran Palmertree

Once UXAA President Palmertree had finished his statements, President Ray announced the recipient of the upsilon alumnus of the year award, Derrick Kinsey. “Derrick has played an important role in the lives of many individuals in the Cleveland/Bradley County community as the director of the Cleveland Boys and Girls club. Derrick is also part owner of Gravel Road Sound and stereo Company, which has ensured success for Upsilon in many of our social events on campus. Derrick Kinsey is also one of three men responsible for writing the “Upsilon Xi song” that is still used by the club today. Derrick Kinsey has left his mark on Upsilon Xi and the Cleveland community and today we recognize him for his achievements and service to us. Unfortunately Mr. Kinsey could not be here today due to previous engagements. To accept his award on his behalf is Mr. Russell Hall, his tap brother and good friend.”

Russell Hall accepting award for Derrick Kinsey

At the conclusion of the breakfast, the 27th President of Upsilon Xi, Mr. Brian Yaun closed the meeting in prayer.

President #27 Brian Yaun

More Photos from Homecoming Weekend

---Photos provided by Historian Stewart Wilkerson, Historian Scott Stinnett,
Joe Giove, and Wayne Slocumb