NASCAR Roars at the Abbey’s Homecoming 2005 — Belmont Abbey College Alumni Make Plans to ‘Race B.A.C.’ for Reunions, Awards Banquet and Weekend of Racing Events

October 06, 2005 (PRLEAP.COM) Education News
BELMONT, NC —- Hundreds of alumni and their families, along with many friends of Belmont Abbey College, will gather for one of the most exciting Homecoming celebrations in Abbey history.

“Racing B.A.C. Home,” the NASCAR-theme of this year’s Homecoming, officially kicks-off Friday, October 7, 2005 at 9:30 AM with the “Pop” Martin Memorial Golf Tournament at Cramer Mountain Country Club in Cramerton, North Carolina and continues with events all weekend long. (To view a complete schedule of activities, visit the College’s website at

“This year we’re thrilled to have partnered with Lowe’s Motor Speedway to bring one of the country’s most popular sports to the Abbey for Homecoming,” says Fran Kirk Piñeros '99, director of alumni and parent relations at Belmont Abbey College. “Our Abbey family has been extremely fortunate to have Lowe’s Motor Speedway President Humpy Wheeler as not only a member of our Board of Trustees, but also in having a personal hand in spreading the excitement of NASCAR at this year’s Homecoming celebration.”

The College’s athletic center is named after Wheeler’s father, Howard “Humpy” Wheeler, Sr., who had served several roles at the Abbey, including athletic director.

Alumni and visitors to this year’s Homecoming festivities will get a special opportunity in experiencing NASCAR first-hand at this year’s Saturday tailgating event. The Abbey will have NASCAR veteran driver, Jeff Burton’s #31 Cingular Chevrolet and 2001 Rookie of the Year Kevin Harvick’s #29 GM Goodrich Chevrolet on display for spectators. Alumni will also get to see what it’s like to step behind the wheel by driving in a NASCAR simulator. Alumni and their families will also be able to bungee-jump and try their hands at putt-putt and a number of other activities on the sidelines before the Lady Crusaders take on St. Andrews on the soccer field (Saturday, noon) and the Crusaders face-off with St. Andrews (Saturday, 2:00 PM).

The Abbey’s Homecoming Weekend will include host reunions for the Classes of 1935, 1940, 1945, 1050, 1955, 1960, 1965, 1970, 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, and 2000.

The College will also host a special baseball reunion on Saturday, October 8th honoring Ted Krunkleton ’59, a former Abbey coach who not only developed the Crusaders into a Southeastern powerhouse in 1967, but was also named NCAA District III “Coach of the Year.”

Other highlights of the weekend will include an Alumni Gala on Saturday, October 8th and The Alumni Awards Banquet on Friday, October 7th honoring this year’s Alumnus of the Year, Chuck Muller ’56.

Muller is a graduate of the first 4 -year class at Belmont Abbey College. He enrolled at the Abbey in 1952, just after returning from the Korean War. As a student he was actively involved with campus life, serving as student body president in 1955. Married to Fran (England) SHC ’49 for over 50 years, the couple have seven children. Currently, both the Mullers serve on the National Alumni Board and assist the College with fundraising and recruiting.

Ranked one of the best comprehensive colleges in the Southeast by U.S. News and World Report and The Princeton Review, Belmont Abbey College celebrates excellence and virtue steeped in its 129-year Catholic Benedictine heritage. The liberal arts College is home to students from over 34 states and 26 countries and welcomes everyone from any background or tradition committed to this vision of excellence and virtue. The campus consists of the College, the Monastery and the Abbey Basilica, which can be found on its sprawling 650 acres of picturesque landscape.

Just minutes from Charlotte, NC, the nation’s second largest banking center, Belmont Abbey College offers students numerous internship opportunities and career placement.

The College believes in development of the whole person – mind, body and spirit. By offering a wide array of clubs and activities including Division II athletics, theatre, publications, and study abroad, Belmont Abbey College invests in the personal growth of its students.

Founded in 1876, the College celebrates its heritage and is inspired by the Benedictine monastic tradition. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the College and Abbey Basilica greet thousands of visitors each year.