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Brenau celebrates its past, present at homecoming
Visitors brave rain for weekend events at Gainesville university
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Brenau alumnae and family members were able to visit the renovated sorority row Saturday during an open house held during homecoming events. - photo by Erin O. Smith

Brenau University alumnae and families of students braved wet weather Saturday to attend Homecoming and Family Weekend at the Gainesville university.

Though the rain forced university officials to cancel some events, like the homecoming parade and an evening concert, it didn’t put a halt on a day of reunions and fellowship at the Gainesville Historic Campus.

Elizabeth and Phil Niverson of Marietta came out to visit their daughter, Annalise, at her sorority house, Phi Mu. They weren’t alone. Parents and grandparents of hundreds of other students took a trip down Sorority Row along Prior Street to check out campus living quarters.

“It was a chance to see the houses,” said Elizabeth Niverson. “They’re very nice.”

Kaitlyn Salter, president of Phi Mu, said the idea behind the weekend event is “getting families involved with the sorority life, so that parents know what their daughters are a part of ... and it’s a really good thing to meet the parents and show them the houses.”

Other events at Brenau on Saturday included an Athletics Hall of Fame luncheon as well as a volleyball game versus Coastal Georgia.

At the Athletics Hall of Fame, Bill Rogers, who led Brenau’s tennis team to two National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics national championships and five Intercollegiate Tennis Association singles championships, was inducted into the Brenau University Athletics Hall of Fame, along with three players.

Joining Rogers in the 2015-16 hall of fame class are three of Brenau’s all-time tennis greats, all of whom played under Rogers’ leadership: Leyla Ogen of Birmingham, England; Helene Macchi of Montreal, Canada; and Alexandra Rossi Rashed of Geneva, Switzerland.

Rogers, now the dean of student services at Georgia Gwinnett College, said he was moved by the honor.

“I am truly grateful to have so many wonderful memories of the enduring relationships fostered by my time at Brenau,” he said. “I owe a debt of gratitude to the brave, intelligent and courageous women of Brenau, for they gave me more than I ever gave them. But it was Brenau that gave us all opportunity.”

Rogers, whose head coach tenure ran from 1990 to 2005, accumulated more than 300 victories. In addition to winning national championships in 1999 and 2002, his Golden Tigers also won two NAIA national doubles championships and five ITA Super Bowl championships in singles competition.

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