Anne and Ira Andrews
Click on Andrews Hall Dedication for a slideshow of photos.
Pepper Laughon and Ira Andrews have remained close friends since the 1950s.
Randolph-Macon College staff, faculty, students, alumni and friends celebrated the
opening of the new Andrews Hall, a residence
for freshmen, on Saturday, October 1, 2011. The formal dedication celebrated the
college’s newest building and the man for whom it is named.
Andrews Hall Dedication for a slideshow of photos from the event.
Andrews Hall, located at 420 Henry Street, officially opened to students in August
2011. Named in honor of Ira Andrews III ’59, R-MC professor emeritus of
religious studies and retired dean of students, the Hall is a 108-bed, suite-style
facility. Amenities include a 1,500-square-foot common room for academic and student
organization use, study areas, a gaming/TV room, a laundry facility, a staff apartment
and a community porch. A plaque inside Andrews Hall commemorates special donors
who contributed to the construction of the building.
Due to uncertain weather conditions, the ceremony was held in the building’s spacious
Common Room. Alan
Rashkind ’69, chairman of the Board of Trustees, welcomed guests, and R-MC
Chaplain Darrell Headrick gave the invocation.
R-MC President Robert
R. Lindgren spoke to the exuberant crowd about the Hall—and the inspiration
“Andrews Hall is a tangible reflection of our financial stability and forward thinking,”
said Lindgren. “It is an expression of extraordinary loyalty and generosity on the
part of this college’s dedicated alumni and friends. “But most important, it is
an abiding symbol of the love and respect that we collectively share for this building’s
namesake, Ira Andrews. No one who has interacted with Ira over the years could have
possibly come away untouched by the experience of his humanity. Generations of R-MC
graduates consider Ira Andrews their touchstone – the core of their fondest memories
of this place.”
Construction of the Hall was made possible with a lead gift from Stuart and Frank
E. “Pepper” Laughon ’59. Andrews and Pepper Laughon were hallmates in the 1950s
and have remained close friends throughout the years. Lindgren thanked the Laughons
for their dedication to the college.
“In one of the most noble, warm-hearted and extraordinarily gracious acts of generosity
I have ever witnessed, the Laughons have epitomized the spirit of Randolph-Macon
College,” said Lindgren. “That is why this important ceremony must simply include
– despite their protestations – our heartfelt recognition of them for all they have
done and continue to do for their, and our, beloved R-MC, particularly here and
Klepper ’75 shared with guests her memories of life as one of the first
women to attend R-MC after the college became co-educational.
“When talking to my friends from R-MC about our time at the college and those who
impacted us the most, Dean Ira Andrews is the name that comes up universally,” said
Klepper. “The stories are endless and end with genuine admiration for this man’s
commitment to our development as responsible adults. He was everyone’s best friend,
teacher and mentor— and at the same time our gentle leader on the pathway to adulthood.”
’11, who worked with English Construction during summer 2011, helped construct
the Hall, and he praised Andrews’ commitment to R-MC students.
“As I was still in school, I was trading a hard hat for a book bag between work
and classes all last year,” quipped Orndorff. “During my time at R-MC as a Baily
Scholar, Ira Andrews was a mentor and friend to me and many others. The Randolph-Macon
family is so privileged to have him as a part of the community and to have this
structure named the Ira L. Andrews Residence Hall.”
Andrews and his wife Anne were visibly moved by the ceremony, and Andrews’ speech
evoked tears from many members of the audience.
“Anne and I are grateful for the high privilege we have enjoyed of decades of companionship
with this excellent and caring community of faculty and staff, and of adventures
with generations of wonderful students,” he said. “Most especially we are grateful
for the extravagant generosity and treasured friendship of Pepper and Stuart Laughon,
whose dedication to the college, and particularly to our students, is legendary
and a model for us all.”
R-MC Dean of Students Grant Azdell shared his admiration for Andrews and appreciation
for those whose contributions helped make Andrews Hall a reality. Student Government
Association President Erica Waters ’13 spoke on behalf of the student body, and
Taylor Sanders ’12 led the alma mater. The program concluded with a ribbon-cutting
ceremony. Following the event, guests were invited to tour Andrews Hall.