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Monmouth College’s top stories and photos of 2016

The year 2016 may be remembered years from now for two events that occurred six days apart: the Chicago Cubs winning their first World Series in 108 years, and Donald Trump being elected 45th president of the United States.

Monmouth College also had its share of memorable moments in 2016, spread throughout the year. Here’s a look at the top 10 stories and photos of 2016 at Monmouth College.

Top stories of 2016

  • The “Monmouth  Duo” – Pi Beta Phi and Kappa Kappa Gamma – gained new houses in 2016. A dedication ceremony for the new Pi Phi house was held in April in conjunction with the 149th anniversary of the founding of the nation’s first women’s fraternity. Kappa’s house, which is being renovated for residency, is one door east from its current Broadway home.

    Home, sweet home

  • Several College programs got their start in 2016, including the James and Sybil Stockdale Fellow program (pictured), which aims to develop student leaders. The Monmouth College Commitment made college more affordable and also extended a pledge to not hold students responsible for MAP grant funding not delivered by the State of Illinois. The College also announced that Global Public Health would be the next of its innovative interdisciplinary Triads, and the inaugural Wiswell-Robeson Lecture on agriculture was held in November.

    Established in 2016

  • Monmouth College continued its climb in national rankings. It rose eight spots in U.S. News & World Report’s "2017 Best Colleges" to No. 159. The College jumped even more – 82 spots – to No. 77 in the highly respected Washington Monthly’s "College Guide and Rankings." Monmouth also did well in rankings by the website Eight of the College’s academic programs were ranked in the top five percent in the nation, and Monmouth’s “Value Ranking” placed the College in the top six percent in the nation.

    Moving on up

  • Monmouth College received a $1 million gift to endow scholarships from a graduate who is also a longtime supporter of the College. She said she made the gift because of the positive experiences she had while a student at Monmouth. “This incredible act of generosity will change the lives of hundreds of future Monmouth students,” said Monmouth President Dr. Clarence R. Wyatt.

    $1 million gift

  • Pulitzer Prize-winning presidential historian Jon Meacham urged members of Monmouth’s Class of 2016 “to make history your ally and not your enemy.” During his Commencement address, Meacham told the 251 graduates that “you are headed off to lives of great consequence in a time of great consequence for America and for the world.” Drake Decker ’16 told his classmates that after attending Monmouth, “We have every reason to be confident in our abilities in our future endeavors.”

    159th Commencement

  • Rain washed away the traditional Homecoming parade, but otherwise, the annual event received rave reviews. President Dr. Clarence R. Wyatt called the weekend a celebration of “the thread that runs through Monmouth College.” Highlights included induction ceremonies, reunion class gifts totaling more than $330,000, a new downtown alumni gathering and a 57-14 football victory over Cornell College.

    Celebrating ‘the Monmouth thread’

  • Two campus fixtures with a combined 75 years of service to Monmouth announced their retirement. Jacquelyn Condon, who joined the staff in 1980 and has been the College’s Vice President for Residential Life and Dean of Students since 1994, will retire at the end of the 2016-17 academic year. Sociology professor Steve Buban (pictured), a faculty member since 1977, retired in May. During his tenure, he received Hatch Academic Excellence Awards for both teaching and service.

    Distinguished service

  • In the long view, it was no surprise that Monmouth track and field again challenged for an NCAA team trophy and All-American honors, as the program has been a national power for years. The Scots men brought back both from the NCAA indoor meet, placing fourth while national champion long jumper James Wilson ’16 (pictured with teammate Adam Parr ’16) led a parade of Scots to the awards podium. Once they tasted that success, coach Roger Haynes’ men improved at the NCAA outdoor meet, placing third as a team with Wilson claiming another long jump crown.

    Success breeds success

  • After knocking off non-conference foe Wartburg for the first time with a 29-22 come-from-behind victory, an undefeated regular season became a possibility for the Fighting Scots football team, along with a Midwest Conference championship. Coach Chad Braun’s team achieved both, posting a 10-0 record that included a key 38-14 victory over league rival St. Norbert. The Scots were led defensively by Gagliardi Trophy finalist Matt Barnes ’17 and offensively by quarterback Tanner Matlick ’17, who were both named AFCA All-Americans.

    Undefeated champions

  • From the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 1 to a post-election wrap, Monmouth College went all-in on 2016 election coverage. The College’s joint poll with KBUR-AM correctly forecast a narrow 27-25 percent victory in Iowa for Ted Cruz over Donald Trump (Cruz won 28-24). Several class projects centered on the election; faculty member Joe Angotti accompanied two college students to Cleveland to cover the Republican National Convention; guest speakers Sasha Issenberg and J.D. Vance (pictured here) shared their expertise. Vance's "Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis" was named one of the top books of 2016 by several media outlets.

    Campaign coverage

Top photos of 2016

  • The Scots Spirit statue – a gift from the Class of 2015 – has been the focal point of several photos since it was installed just more than a year ago, including a group shot of the Monmouth College Pipe Band. But it also stands out when it’s all by itself, with a fiery autumn sunset in the background.

    Spirit and the sky

  • Over the past several months, the College has assembled quite a collection of drone photography, showing the campus from never-before-seen angles. The drone has even flown a few blocks off campus for photos, including this shot of the water tower northwest of campus. It was painted this fall thanks to a gift from the Class of 2016.

    We could drone on and on

  • Glenn Brooks ’61 had an eventful Friday night during the College’s Homecoming weekend. Just an hour or so after receiving the Family of the Year honor, along with his brother Chris Brooks ’72 and other members of the Brooks family, he was in downtown Monmouth jamming at a very successful alumni gathering.

    Rhythm in blue

  • As part of Scholars Day activities on campus, Associate Professor of Psychology Marsha Dopheide makes a point about the human brain.

    That voice inside your head

  • Our photographer wasn’t the only one to capture this shot of Jay Ramadan proudly showing off his new Monmouth College diploma in front of Wallace Hall.

    Happy day

  • That’s not a declaration in the board game “Clue,” or the working title of the latest murder mystery by emeritus professor William Urban. It’s simply physics professor Chris Fasano checking on the state of the Trubeck Telescope in the College’s Adolphson Observatory.

    Professor Fasano, in the observatory, with a ...

  • Brad Nahrstadt’s unique collection of presidential campaign buttons came full circle to the place where it began – his alma mater. The 1989 Monmouth College graduate has a collection featuring almost 1,600 buttons from the last 31 presidential elections, including 2016. The collection dates to the first presidential election to utilize modern-day buttons – the 1896 race between Republican William McKinley and Democrat William Jennings Bryan.

    1,600 buttons

  • Legendary Fighting Scots basketball and baseball coach Terry Glasgow – who also served 30 years as Monmouth athletic director – was all smiles at his induction into the M Club Hall of Fame on Oct. 1. He’s flanked by fellow inductees, Amy Horneck Jewett ’06 and Shelly Orwig Mabee ’03.

    Happy Hall of Famers

  • Escorted by blockers Lamar Watson and Micam Smith, Fighting Scots special teamer Easton Schaber makes his way down the sideline during a 61-yard punt return in the annual Bronze Turkey Game at Knox. Schaber’s return set up Monmouth’s second TD of the game. The Scots reached the end zone a total of seven times in their 57-9 victory, the Scots’ 18th straight turkey triumph.

    A wave of white

  • For Monmouth College’s Class of 2016 – and for the Chicago Cubs, too – this was definitely their year.

    Accurate, and grammatically correct