LMU Prepares to Welcome Hundreds of Alumni for Homecoming


looking at photographLincoln Memorial University (LMU) is preparing to welcome hundreds of alumni and friends back to the Harrogate, Tennessee, main campus from October 7-9, 2021. It will mark the return to an in-person annual tradition after the 2020 Homecoming included only virtual events.

LMU Homecoming includes three days of reunions, dedications and fellowship for LMU graduates, students, employees and the community at large. Highlighting the 2021 celebration will be the grand re-opening and re-dedication of the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum which closed in 2019 to undergo an extensive renovation and expansion. LMU will also be unveiling a new statue on campus and bringing back the beloved Homecoming Parade.

The festivities get underway at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 7, with the dedication of the Jerry Burnette Practice Facility in LMU’s Valley of Sports. The Railsplitter 5K Run/Walk follows at 6 p.m. Registration for the race is currently open and includes a t-shirt, hat and beard as all runners are encouraged to dress like Abraham Lincoln. Thursday’s events will wrap up at 6:30 p.m. with the Railsplitter Tip Off in Tex. The event, sponsored by the Railsplitter Athletics Department offers the first look at the 2021 Railsplitter Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams and includes player introductions, scrimmages and more.

On Friday, October 7, LMU Chairman Autry O.V. “Pete” DeBusk and his wife, Cindi DeBusk, will unveil a new statue on campus in the roundabout across from the LMU-College of Veterinary Medicine Building. Commissioned by Cindi DeBusk to honor the impact her husband has made not only at his alma mater, but the entire Appalachian region, the statue sits at a crossroads on the LMU Campus and is surrounded by the campus’ most striking buildings, all of which were planned and constructed under Pete DeBusk’s careful watch. The unveiling is set for 11 a.m.

Immediately following the statue dedication, the University will rededicate Mars DeBusk Parkway, host a luncheon for the graduates from the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s and host a Continuing Medical Education (CME) session for its alumni serving in the medical field. The evening will bring a series of class reunions including the 50-year reunion celebration for the Classes of 1970 and 1971 and the 10-year reunion for the inaugural graduating class of LMU’s Physician Assistant program.

The Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum ribbon cutting and grand reopening is set from 2 p.m. The $7 million renovation and expansion project is the result of the Dorothy M. Kincaid $1Million Matching Challenge. In addition to meeting the match, the University provided additional funding to expand the project. The ribbon cutting and reopening celebrate the first phase of the updates at the ALLM, which includes the main galleries on the first floor and all new exhibits. The ALLM will host programming throughout the day on Saturday, October 8, including children’s activities and a visit from Lincoln impersonator Dennis Boggs.

The LMU Homecoming Parade will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Friday in downtown Cumberland Gap. Student organizations, local fire departments and high school bands will all participate.

On Saturday, October 9, the LMU Athletic Hall of Fame will induct eight new members. The Ceremony honoring Brandon Armstrong, ’12 (basketball), Jamie Chapman, ’13 (golf), Josh Coker, ’14 (baseball), Leah Donoff, ’14 (tennis), Sanford Harville, ’70 (basketball), and Michael Watkins, ’12 (soccer) will take place a 10 a.m. in the Tex Turner Arena.

LMU alumni reconnectingAt 11:30 a.m. the University will host a Picnic in the Park in Alumni Park, which is adjacent to DAR-Whitford Hall. The picnic offers fun for the entire community with inflatables, a catered lunch, food trucks, and lots of opportunities to reconnect with fellow Railsplitters. There will be a student and alumni tailgate before the Women’s Soccer game at noon and a host of reunions will be held around campus throughout the afternoon. At 1:30 p.m. back in Alumni Park, LMU will honor the late Coach Dan Burns with the unveiling of a special marker in his honor. Burns, who passed in December of 2020, was affectionately known as Mr. LMU for his over 40 years of service to his alma mater where he served in a number of roles including head baseball coach, head softball coach, athletic director, director of summer camps and director of development for athletics.

The Alumni Awards Ceremony and Reception is set for 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 9, in Tex Turner Arena. Both the Class of 2020 and Class of 2021 inductees to the LMU Hall of Fames will be recognized during the ceremony as well as the recipients of three special awards. A total of 21 individuals will enter the Educators Hall of Fame, Professional Hall of Fame and Literary Fall of Fame.

The weekend will wrap up with Gather in the Gap at 6 p.m. LMU alumni and friends are invited to gather in the town of Cumberland Gap for a fun evening with live music, great food and fellowship.

A series of student focused events will be held on LMU off-campus learning sites in Tampa, Florida, and Knoxville, Tennessee, October 4 and 5 to start the festivities. Additionally, the Railsplitters Men’s Soccer game and Women’s Volleyball match on Tuesday, October 5, and the Women’s Soccer game on October 6, will have Homecoming promotions.

Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies.  The main campus is located in Harrogate, Tennessee. For more information about the undergraduate and graduate programs available at LMU, contact the Office of Admissions at 423-869-6280 or e-mail at [email protected].

Return to Newsroom