ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (WJHL) — Milligan University welcomed alumni, family and friends to campus this weekend for the annual Homecoming celebration. On Friday, the “Celebrate Milligan” dinner tradition took place, where key alumni were honored, including the late cross-country runner Eli Cramer.

Milligan’s head cross-country coach Chris Layne told News Channel 11 that Cramer accomplished so much during his short time at the college, and he constantly inspired those around him.

“It was an honor,” Layne said. “He accomplished in such a short period of time what he needed to accomplish to ultimately be in our Hall of Fame. But I think what he did beyond that was just even more special.”

Layne said since Cramer’s untimely and tragic death, Milligan has stepped up to honor him and support his teammates, and that dedication to students is what is exuded during Homecoming weekend.

“I will say that one of the things that is tremendously prideful is how Milligan’s embraced his legacy as an institution and honored him for what he accomplished. And I think it says a lot about this institution, the people here and what this place can do for young adults.”

School leaders said the annual Homecoming weekend aims to celebrate notable alums while growing a sense of community on campus among past and present students and staff.

“Homecoming is a special time to reconnect, reminisce and make new memories at Milligan,” said Rhajon Smith, vice president for institutional advancement. “It’s the perfect opportunity for students, alumni and their families to come together and enjoy our beautiful campus.”

Additional alumni who received recognition during the dinner were Dale Clayton, Corey and Ronda Vaught Paulson, Rich Aubrey, Sidney Burns Greatti and Bill Gwaltney.

More information on Milligan University and its Homecoming schedule can be found on Milligan.edu.