It was a beautiful weekend in the “Center of the Universe” as more than 1000 alumni
and their families returned “home” to an action-packed Homecoming and Reunion Weekend.
All were able to reconnect with former classmates and friends, honor each other’s
accomplishments, and cheer on the Yellow Jackets.
The annual Homecoming Awards Luncheon was held in the Alumni Gymnasium. Guest speaker
Samuel E. Vichness ’69,
managing partner, GreyPine LLC and senior partner, Quality Camping Properties, presented
“You went where....you studied what?” to an audience of faculty, staff and alumni.
The Society of Alumni presented the Distinguished Alumnus Award to Vichness and
Neil Norton ’88,
associate professor of oral biology at the Creighton University School of Dentistry.
The Society of Alumni created the Distinguished Alumnus Award to honor those alumni
who have achieved wide recognition through contributions made to society through
their chosen professions.
In addition, the Society of Alumni presented the Distinguished Service Award to
Ralph Crosby Jr.
and Anne McDougall, Esq.
’79, who also serve as members of R-MC’s Board of Trustees . The Society
of Alumni created the Alumni Distinguished Service Award to recognize those alumni
who have made an exceptional contribution to the image of Randolph-Macon and who
have supported the programs that aid the college.
The Noë-Kilgore Award was also presented during the luncheon. This award is given
each year to a retired faculty member in recognition of an outstanding teaching
career and service to Randolph-Macon College. This year’s honoree was
Philosophy Professor Emeritus Joseph Beatty. During his 23-year career at
R-MC, Beatty was a recipient of the Thomas Branch Award for Excellence in Teaching
in 1993 and the Samuel Nelson Gray Distinguished Professor award in 2001. He served
as chair of the philosophy department for 18-years. In addition, Beatty was a leader
in developing innovative courses in humanities,
environmental studies, ethics, and
President Lindgren also announced this fiscal year’s
Class Agent winners of the
Tom Powers Award. This Fiscal Year 2012 winners were 1930s: 1935, 1936
(100% Participation); 1940s: 1944, 1946 (100% Participation); 1950s: 1959 (60.87%
Participation); 1960s: 1961 (66.23% Participation); 1970s: 1975 (59.17% Participation);
1980s: 1981 (44.14% Participation); 1990s: 1996 (42.24% Participation); 2000s: 2009
(42.44% Participation); 2010s: 2011 (36.07% Participation). In 2003, the Society
of Alumni created an award to recognize those classes with the highest giving participation
rate within their decade. They named the award after W. Thomas (Tom) Powers, ’31.
Dubbed “Mr. R-MC” by his peers, he was a tireless volunteer for the College; inspiring
alumni to both volunteer for and support R-MC.
On Friday afternoon, R-MC student leaders presented a “True Colors Personality Assessment”
lecture for alumni and friends that was designed to help individuals understand
aspects of their personality and how these aspects affect their communication with
others in a group setting.
On Friday at 4:00, in McGraw- Page Library,
Michael S. Fenster, Professor of Geology and
Environmental Studies, was named the Stephen H. Watts Professor of Science.
This professorship was established in 1979 in memory of and gratitude to Dr. Stephen
Hurt Watts, a member of the Class of 1896 who attended Randolph-Macon College and
the University of Virginia prior to earning his medical degree from the Johns Hopkins
University. The Watts Professorship recognizes and honors a distinguished faculty
member from the natural sciences whose teaching, scholarship and service bring honor
and distinction to Randolph-Macon College. Dr. Watts’ great nephew, Stephen H. Watts
II, attended the ceremony.
Fenster joined the faculty in 2000 and was promoted to the rank of associate professor
in 2005 and to the rank of professor in 2010. He has served as the director of the
Environmental Studies program since 2006. His research specializes in the morphodynamic
changes to beaches and tidal inlets along coastal barriers, especially those changes
caused by storms and climate change. Fenster earned his B.S. in environmental geology
from the University of Mississippi, his master’s degree in geology from the same
institution, and his Ph.D. in geology from Boston University.
On Friday evening, the college hosted the annual Homecoming Celebration for alumni
and friends. Throughout the festive evening, guests had the opportunities mingle,
dance, and get updates on the latest Randolph-Macon
On The Move construction updates including
Brock Commons, a new student center scheduled for a Spring 2013 completion.
This project is made possible through a generous lead gift from former Board of
Trustee Macon Brock Jr. ’64 and his wife Joan.
Saturday, October 20 began with the Traylor Nunnally ’97 & Charles Wirth ’97
Memorial Scholarship announcement and Bench dedication ceremony along the Janet
Harvey Trivette '78 Alumni Walkway on R-MC’s historic campus. The bench is in memory
of both students who died in a car crash on March 31, 1995 while traveling abroad
and would have celebrated their 15th reunion this year. The Traylor Nunnally &
Charles Wirth Memorial Scholarship is made possible through generous gifts made
by family and friends, and the fundraising effort was led by Stan Craig ’96. The
scholarship will benefit a deserving student who is in good academic standing, to
give to the scholarship, visit www.rmc.edu/givenow.
As the day continued, it included various tailgating activities and the Homecoming
game. During the Homecoming Tailgate Challenge, the panel of judges were tied when
it came to deciding the most spirited and ended up awarding both Megan Mariani Lombard
’02 and Dorene and Oscar Jorgensen (parents of Brian Jorgensen ’16) the 2012 title
of most festive and best use of lemon and black. The R-MC Yellow Jacket football
team was defeated in a close game 38-35 by the Guilford Quakers, while the women’s
field hockey posted three second half goals as it defeated Shenandoah on Senior
Day with a final score of 3-2.
There were lots of reunions, receptions and activities planned throughout the weekend.
Reunion Classes celebrating this year were 1967, 1972, 1977, 1982, 1987, 1992, 1997,
2002, and 2007 with record attendance for each class. The Class of 1997 broke the
15th Reunion Fundraising Record previously held by the Class of 1996.
An Agora reunion was also held for alumni who participated in the Agora excavations
in Athens, Greece. All Classics,
Latin, and Greek majors and minors
were also invited to attend. Dr. John Camp, Stavros Niarchos Foundation Professor
of Classics, and Director of the Agora excavations was in attendance to share photos
and update everyone on the dig.
The R-MC Arts Council hosted
its first tailgate event and announced the upcoming Spring Theatre Reunion for May
The Biology Department Reunion Tailgate hosted
former biology graduates and provided a day of fun reconnecting with fellow alumni
Residence Life and Housing invited former employees to join current Residence Live
and Housing staff for a fun tailgate get together.
The R-MC Multicultural Association hosted an alumni/student reception sponsored
by MOSAIC: Events Celebrating Inclusion and Diversity in Andrews Hall Multi-purpose
Homecoming and Reunion Weekend 2012 ended on Sunday, October 21 with a worship service
lead by Rev. Michael Houff ’72 at Duncan Memorial United Methodist Church followed
by the Celtic Festival and Highland Games sponsored by MOSSAIC: Events Celebrating
Inclusion and Diversity.
Save the Date
Planning for Homecoming and Reunion Weekend 2013, which will be held October 18-20,
is already underway
this photo gallery filled with memories of the 2012 festivities.