WKU faculty and staff reflect on their Homecoming experiences as alumni

Emily DeLetter

Homecoming at WKU isn’t just for the students. Alumni from all over the country return to their campus “home” for a weekend to celebrate with the parade, football game and other activities all over campus. Other alumni, however, are on the Hill everyday.

A large number of alumni are currently employed as faculty and staff by WKU and each has their own reason why they feel like the university is their home.

Lee Robertson, known to many as “Mr. Western,” graduated from WKU in 1950 and received his master’s degree in 1957. Robertson attended his first WKU Homecoming in 1948, and only missed one Homecoming weekend in the ten years following his graduation.

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In 1960, Robertson took the job as Director for Alumni Affairs and Placement Services, retiring after 25 years to move to Florida. He said he didn’t enjoy being away from WKU, and returned later as the Director of the WKU-Glasgow campus and coached the Men’s Golf team for six years.

“I’ve always felt at home [at WKU],” Robertson said. “Our slogan, ‘The Spirit Makes the Master’ is real, and this place is friendly and friendly-oriented.”

Robertson, who will be attending his 69th Homecoming this year, said more than anything, the best part of the weekend is seeing people and renewing friendships.

“My memories here have culminated into an unbelievable experience that still means a lot to me today,” Robertson said.

Director of Postal, Printing and Vending Services Marshall Gray has been on campus since 1987, where he began as a freshman majoring in corporate communication and business management.

Gray said he often jokes that he came back to WKU to work on his master’s degree, but ended up with a family and mortgage instead.

Originally from Hopkinsville, Gray said he really enjoyed the Bowling Green community.

“Bowling Green was very progressive and growing in the early 90’s,” Gray said. “A lot has changed in the last 20 years, many good things.”

Gray said he thought working for WKU would be a great opportunity to work for a university he loved. Gray and his wife, also from Hopkinsville, both work at WKU.

Gray said he stays involved with the campus community through several different areas. He is on the Alumni Association Board of Directors and is the President of the Society of African American Alumni.

Throughout the Homecoming weekend, Gray will help coordinate several events, including a tailgate for alumni and a scholarship dance. The dance, held for returning alumni, will give all proceeds to a scholarship fund through the WKU Foundation.

“I’ve been here for 30 years,” Gray said. “It’s the sense of community and family environment that keeps me here.”

Jace Lux, director of recruitment and admissions for WKU, graduated with his first degree in mass communication in 2000. He went on to receive a masters in communication in 2005, and a doctorate of education in 2012.

He began his career with WKU as an assistant coach with the forensics team and moved to admissions in 2014.

According to Lux, the office of Recruitment and Admissions has had a float in the Homecoming parade for the past several years.

Lux did not originally begin his college experience at WKU, but transferred after two years.

“There was something different about the experience my friends were having at WKU versus mine,” Lux said. “The experience here is so student-based, personal in nature, and I wanted to be a part of that.”

Reporter Emily DeLetter can be reached at 270-745-6011 or [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @emilydeletter.