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Lyon College's Homecoming & 42nd Arkansas ScotsFest Recap

It can be hard to pack 150 years of celebration into a couple of short weeks, but as with all things, Lyon College persevered. With ScotsFest, Founders’ Week and the College’s 19th Presidential Inauguration all being celebrated, nothing short of spectacular would suffice. Thankfully, spectacular is exactly what Lyon got.

Dr. David Hutchison, Vice President for Advancement, said, "The whole weekend is really a huge kickoff for 10 straight days of special events and activities that showcase our unique story as a pioneer college in the foothills of the Ozarks, our journey to a national liberal arts college today, and looking forward to what great things are in store not just for Lyon College, but for Arkansas."

The Advancement team worked to plan, schedule and organize events months ahead of time. This marks the second year the Arkansas Scottish Festival and Lyon College Homecoming have been paired together, and with the success of 2021’s combination of Arkansas Scottish Festival and the College’s Homecoming, it made sense to continue celebrating the events in tandem, even with the addition of a presidential inauguration and Founders’ week. 

This not only allowed Lyon to focus on making the two-weeks of events great, but it also helped those wanting to enjoy the festivities without having to make multiple trips. A one-stop-scot-shop if you will.

Cindy Barber, Executive Director of Alumni Engagement, said, "There's always an air of excitement on campus during ScotsFest, and we love seeing so many alumni and friends come home to Lyon.”


The key to celebrating properly is to make sure there is something for everyone. 

Friday kicked off the festivities with open classes here on campus. Lyon College invited community members to attend a variety of classes, open to the public for a day, ranging from abstract algebra to world politics to cognitive psychology. A total of 20 classes were available to choose from, each giving a unique perspective into the liberal arts education Lyon provides.

After some time in the classroom, Lyon took to the streets for the annual Kilted Mile. With 39 participants, Downtown Main Street looked like a deleted scene from Braveheart. The winner was runner 324, Kendall Townsley of Cave City. The senior from Harding University finished the mile in just around 5 minutes.

After Saturday’s lunch, attendees were presented with the Homecoming Pep Rally, colloquially known as Tailgate Alley, on Brown Chapel’s South Lawn. Whether it’s the great food, friendly atmosphere, or pre-homecoming game hype, Tailgate Alley was a hit from start to finish. 

The aforementioned hype was maintained through the rally to the Homecoming game, between Lyon College and Texas College, at Pioneer Stadium. During halftime, junior Balah Muhammad was crowned Homecoming King, and senior Kristen Baham Homecoming Queen.

Unfortunately, the Scots, with an 18-point lead heading into the fourth quarter, lost as Texas College pulled ahead and away to secure the win. As the homecoming game wound down, the events back on campus weren’t even close to finished.

Alumni Awards

Friday night, the Annual Alumni Awards helped highlight some of the amazing feats the College’s alumni have achieved over the years showcasing that even though students graduate, they are always a part of the Lyon College community.

Norma Sanchez Moreno, ‘12, and Andrew Tyler Hudgens, ‘12, both received the 2022 Patterson Decade Award, which is presented annually to one man and one woman from the 10-year reunion class.

The Decade of Service Award was presented to Nancy Love, ‘12, for outstanding service to Lyon College.

Charles Barnett, Ira Nelson Barnett IV, and Sandra Barnett were the three recipients of the Honorary Alumnus/Alumna awards which are given to outstanding candidates with notable degrees of success in their respective fields, provided they are not graduates of the College to begin with.

Mitchell Galiyas, ‘72, received the Distinguished Alumnus Award, which requires the alumnus/alumna to have graduated at least fifteen years ago, has actively supported the College since that time, is distinguished in his or her field, and has received recognition from contemporaries.

Becky DeLoach, ‘70, received the Lifetime Service Award, which recognizes an individual who has demonstrated exemplary, continuing service and volunteerism, not only to this College but also to society.

Afterwards the Alumni and Friends Social at the River Steakhouse & Waterfront Grill gave Scots from across the decades the chance to mingle and relive age-old tales from alma mater's past.

Arkansas Scottish Festival

The proverbial floodgates opened Saturday morning as the 42nd annual Arkansas Scottish Festival opened up to the public. With Couch Garden quickly transforming into a hub of activity, it was easy to get swept up in all the things to do. Attendees’ eyes were being pulled in one direction to the Highland games and various ongoing demonstrations, while their noses were being tugged in the other by the alluring smell of meat pies and various food vendors afoot. Pipes bands filled the campus with resonating tunes meant to get feet tapping, and the Highland dancers took full advantage of it by showcasing intricate and mesmerizing routines on stage.

The Highland Athletic competition, as per usual, had a great turnout, both new and returning. With the wonderful fall weather in full effect, the conditions were comfortable and enjoyable for the competitors who preferred the temperament, compared to summer festivals, while hurling stones and flipping cabers. 

For those not wanting to witness large bales of hay being pitched great heights, there were plenty of other events to peruse. The Li’l Highlanders Fun Zone offered fun events for kids including a duct tape armory, where kids got to design and create their own Scottish shield, and even the Wee Highland Games where participants could show off feats of strength with lighter, softer objects.

The Dog Show had a dozen entries, and several furry friends were facing fierce competition. With 12 paw-ticipaters overall, the winners were as follows: The Best Dressed award was split between Minerva “Minny” Mousebane and Mortimer “Morty” Mousebane owned by Charles and Ginny Murray, Best Groomed was awarded to Sir Fuzzelton owned by Kaylee Cuypers, Largest Dog was awarded to Zeke owned by David and Beth Reed, the Smallest Dog award was given to Ivy owned by Alexis Marley, Most Obedient was handed to Navy Beau Branton owned by Harry Branton, and Overall Winner and Best Owner/Dog Look Alike went to Primrose and her owner, who left with their name card. 

Sunday, the festivities continued with the second round of Clan reenactments, by MacLachlan’s Jacobite Highlanders and Colonel Mundro’s 37th, in the morning. At 11 a.m. the Kirkin’ o’ the Tartan worship service began. This Scottish-American event offers ceremony-goers the opportunity to have their tartans blessed.

Club 50 followed shortly after, for alumni who attended 50 or more years ago, inducting the class of 1972 to the club. 

And the last event of the weekend was the Women’s Alumni Basketball Game, where past Fighting Scots played against the current Lyon roster.   

The festival closed later that evening, bringing with it a bitter-sweet melancholy. With another fantastic festival down-and-out, it is already time to start planning for next year’s!

To check out the full image recap click the following link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/lyoncollegescots/collections/72157721234491120/ Photos are still being uploaded, so if you don't see your pictures right away, check back in a couple of days!