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Summer Edition
Volume 100, Number 1

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From the Archives

John Arva, Bob Getty, and Bill Beckett in the hot air balloon

College employees John Arva '80 (left) and, Bob Getty '89 (center) along with student Bill Beckett '85 (right) took to the skies over the athletic fields at the beginning of the Homecoming soccer game in 1984, the celebration of Messiah College's 75th anniversary.

Rising to the occasion: Homecoming balloon ride reveals the big picture of Messiah College’s 75th anniversary

“I remember thinking that the balloon was very hot and very loud,” recalls Bill Beckett ’85 about his aerial adventure. “I didn’t expect either of those sensations.” The perspective provided by floating in a hot-air balloon captivated Beckett (right), who recalls feeling a strong desire “to float across the landscape.” But he and his co-adventurers—College employees John Arva ’80 (left), and Bob Getty ’89 (center) —focused on the business at hand: providing images of Homecoming 1984 festivities for a media show later in the evening. The hot-air balloon was tethered to the ground and held them several hundred feet in the air overlooking a soccer game in progress. The images captured from this unique vantage point helped make the media presentation outstanding. “I distinctly remember the church steeple which is such an important part of the campus,” Beckett says. “The balloon was higher than the steeple and we were looking down on everything.”


—Mackenzie Martin ’08

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