Pioneers of New Mexico Military Institute’s past will be connected with leaders of the future this week as the school conducts its annual Homecoming celebr ation.
In a press release issued by the school, Major General Jerry W. Grizzle, NMMI president and superintendent, said, “We are always delighted to welcome the 50th reunion class, this year it’s the Class of 1962, and we have other special groups of alumni to recognize this year’s Hall of Fame inductees.
“It’s also the 50th anniversary of those alumni who began their NMMI experience in the summer of 1962. So, each year we see a bit of the renewal of the history of the Institute at Homecoming.”
He also commented on the importance of the event for both alumni and the current cadets. “Attending Homecoming serves two purposes. First, alumni are able to reconnect with one another. Second, Homecoming enables our alumni to learn about NMMI as it exists today. We all should be very proud of our current cadets and the quality of learning taking place here.”
Festivities kicked off Wednesday with the traditional Ring Dinner, where the graduating class of 2013 received a small piece of their legacy to wear proudly. Various events will take place throughout today including the NMMI Senior College luncheon, for those that attended the school’s Senior College division in the 1950s. Today is also the day of the annual Lefty Stecklein Memorial Golf Tournament at the NMMI Golf Course.
Tonight there will be a dedication ceremony hosted by the NMMI Foundation for the newly installed columbarium, followed by the Silver Taps ceremony held to honor all alumni who have passed away this past year.
Alumni and their guests are encouraged to attend the Homecoming football game when the NMMI Broncos take on Snow College, Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. The Corps of Cadets Homecoming Court will be announced at halftime, and the NMMI Regimental Band will deliver a halftime show.
The weekend will conclude with Honored Class Social and Reunion Dinners at the Civic Center, a ticketed event for alumni and their guests.
Marketing director Carl Hanson said that about 500 alums are expected to return to the campus, and that once their guests are factored in, anywhere from 1,000 to 1,200 people could be visiting during Homecoming. He noted that this is a great time for the current cadets as they interact with alumni and gain a better appreciation for their own experience.
“[We want them to gain] an understanding that all the alums go through the same experience, and the experience turns out really, really successful folks,” he said.