By Kelly Kazek
The Athens State University Alumni Association will host a homecoming celebration Saturday and Sunday in conjunction with the 150th anniversary of the Sack of Athens on May 2, 1862.
In particular, the celebration will honor the 1862 headmistress of ASU-precursor Athens Female College and the legend that her actions saved the school from being invaded by Union troops 150 years ago.
According to legend, Childs handed Union Gen. John Turchin a letter signed by President Abraham Lincoln instructing that the school be saved.
The homecoming activities kick off at 5 p.m. Friday, with a reception and lectures at the Center for Lifelong Learning on the east side of the Limestone County Courthouse Square. Dr. Ron Fritze, Athens State’s dean of Arts and Sciences will present a lecture on the Civil War.
At 6:15 p.m., Athens State’s archivist, Sara Love, will present a lecture on Madame Jane Hamilton Childs. There is a $10 per person fee for the Friday evening event and reservations are required.
Starting at 8 a.m. Saturday, a military camp display will open on the grounds of Founders Hall and blacksmith demonstrations will take place until 3 p.m.
A reenactment of the exchange between Childs and Turchin will take place on the steps of Founders Hall at 10 a.m. and cannon firings are scheduled for 9:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. These events are free to the public.
A homecoming lunch on Saturday will honor the Class of 1962 and feature Tommy Carter as guest speaker.
To learn more about the event visit www.athens.edu/Homecoming2012, or to request a brochure call 256-233-8185. You do not have to be an alumnus or student of Athens State to attend any of the events for the homecoming weekend.