After a two-year hiatus due to pandemic safety protocols, Shaw University students, staff, faculty, alumni and friends gathered en masse and in masks for a weeklong celebration of Homecoming 2021, beginning on Oct. 16. The week’s activities kicked off with a traditional Opening Worship Ceremony where attendees heard from Shaw alum and Divinity School graduate Minister De’Quon Isom. Next was Homecoming court coronations, recognizing and officially crowning Miss Shaw and Mister Shaw University.
Other student activities included a gospel concert, talent show and comedy show. Mid-week, the university received several gifts of artwork from renowned artist Steve R. Allen that were unveiled during a reception in Estey Hall. There were inductees into the Athletic Hall of Fame, and the Friday afternoon Convocation was led by keynote speaker and Shaw alumna Cheryl Polote Williamson, where the late alumnus Randolph Bazemore was posthumously honored.
There were plenty of opportunities to mix and mingle during the Homecoming Family Reunion and outdoor Vendor Village. During the Friday evening EPIC gala, as part of its 50th anniversary celebration, the golden Class of 1971 made a historic contribution to their alma mater by establishing a $300,000 endowed scholarship – complete with matching funds from the university. Beautiful weekend weather spotlighted the crowning athletic moment when the Shaw University Bears football team defeated Johnson C. Smith University on the gridiron.
The Closing Ceremony hosted at the chapel featured speaker Minister Carol Hodges Bell (Class of ’71) who concluded the week of events for Homecoming 2021. Shaw University President Dr. Paulette Dillard said: “What a beautiful time of fellowship, family and fun we had during our Homecoming 2021 celebration. On behalf of the entire campus community and extended network, I want to thank everyone whose hard work, planning, participation and attention to detail made this a wonderful and safe event that we all could enjoy.”