Welebir was among several La Sierra alums attending Homecoming who responded with enthusiasm when asked about the impacts of their La Sierra educations, memories forged during college and their views of alumni weekend activities.
Of Kay Kuzma’s La Sierra’s years, the most significant memory played out during her sophomore year when she decided to stay on campus for semester break and met her future husband, Jan, the alumna said. Kuzma, a La Sierra home economics graduate also holds an Ed.D. in early childhood education from the University of California, Los Angeles. She is a widely known author, speaker, columnist and founder of Family Matters ministry. She works from Kauai, Hawaii where she and her husband live. Among Kuzma’s favorite La Sierra memories, “our annual celebration of April birthdays, where a carload of best friends would head down to the beach and go swimming--brrrrrrr--and eat fresh strawberry pie.”
Overall, her years at La Sierra “gave me the foundation of confidence to realize I could do anything God wanted me to do,” Kuzma said.
Alumni weekend activities began with several seminars on Friday, April 20 including honors presentations by biology and music students, a costumed presentation on Ellen White by associate religious studies professor Ginger Hanks-Harwood, a talk about new species discoveries in Southeast Asia by herpetologist Lee Grismer, an update by theology professor Bailey Gillespie on the Valuegenesis III study of Seventh-day Adventist youth, and psychology professor Leslie Martin’s presentation on “The Longevity Project,” a book she co-authored that received wide-spread media coverage last year.
Alumni attended Sabbath School and church services April 21 at La Sierra University Church where Kuzma spoke during the 9:30 a.m. service. Sabbath afternoon featured open houses at several campus locations including Brandstater Gallery, the World Museum of Natural History, the Stahl Center Museum of Culture, the Thaine B. Price Science Complex, a Bedouin hospitality tent and archaeology display at the Dining Commons.
Alumni also attended a concert by the Salcedo Sisters, Soul Church, an H.M.S. Richards Jr. Lecture by La Sierra alum Connie Vandeman Jeffrey, and a strawberry shortcake mixer followed by class reunion dinners.