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Yellow Jackets Celebrate Homecoming and Reunion Weekend

Oct 30, 2017

10/30/17

HomecomingRandolph-Macon College Yellow Jackets returned to their alma mater October 27-29, 2017 to celebrate Homecoming and Reunion weekend—three action-packed days full of camaraderie, fun, and lemon-and-black festivities.

Awards Luncheon and Society of Alumni Annual Meeting
Society of Alumni (SOA) President Philip G. Emerson '81 welcomed alumni to the SOA Annual Meeting and Homecoming Luncheon, which was held in Birdsong Hall. R-MC President Robert R. Lindgren and Megan Silva Schultz '06 both offered remarks for the event, during which the Society of Alumni elected officers and directors for the coming year and honored several remarkable members of the R-MC family.

Society of Alumni officers for 2017-19 are: President T. Hunter Leemon '00; Vice President Dee A. Raubenstine '80; and Secretary Robyn Diehl McDougle '98. Directors elected for a three-year term are William A. Chalifoux '07; Amy DeVitto English '98; William C. Gorham '67; Stephen C. Hundley '76; Mario R. Jackson '15; L. Alexander Morrison '97; Victoria "Tori" C. Puryear '14; Scott C. Sutton '87; Linda Mabry Wilkinson '91; and Kimberly Slattery Zincone '96.

Alumni who are ending their terms of service to the SOA were also recognized at the meeting: President Philip G. Emerson '81 and Past President Donna F. Klepper '75 and Directors Reginald M. Barley '74; Robert E. Bentz '68; Emily Crider Burner '05; Mark Stephen Giragosian '76; Stanley Bernard Jones Jr. '83; and Andrew W. Price '04.

SOA Awards
Robert A. Rankin '71 received the Distinguished Alumnus Award. Rankin's impressive career in political journalism spanned 40 years and earned him the Pulitzer Prize. R. Daniel Massey Jr. '64 received the Distinguished Alumnus Award. Massey, the managing director of Citibank in New York, has more than 30 years of banking and risk-management experience.

Susan H. Donavant, executive director of the Boydton Society, was presented with the SOA's Distinguished Service Award. Donavant, who has served the college with distinction for 40 years, will retire in December. The Society of Alumni announced the creation of the Donavant Award, which will be presented annually to a dedicated alumnus/a. In addition, Donavant's husband, Mike Donavant, received the Honorary Alumnus Award for his incredible dedication to the college throughout the past four decades.

The Noë-Kilgore Award, established several years ago by an anonymous alumnus of the college, honors faculty emeriti and is named in honor of retired Randolph-Macon professors Bill Noë and Pete Kilgore. The 2017 Noë-Kilgore Award was presented to French Professor Emerita Amy deGraff, who joined the faculty in 1978 and retired in 2014.

The Tom Powers Award
In 2003 the Society of Alumni Board created the Tom Powers Award to recognize classes that reach the highest giving participation rate within their decade. Dubbed "Mr. R-MC" by his peers, Tom Powers '31 was a tireless volunteer, inspiring alumni to both volunteer for and financially support Randolph-Macon. As chairman of the college's $15 million capital campaign, "Our Heritage, Our Future: The Campaign for Randolph-Macon College," which ran from 1984 to 1987, Powers donated more than 1,000 hours of his time.

The following class years received the Tom Powers award:
• For the 1930s decade, the classes of 1938 and 1939 tied for the award, with 100 percent participation.
• For the 1940s decade, the classes of 1943 and 1946 tied with 100 percent participation for each class.
• For the 1950s decade, the class of 1959 won with 72 percent participation.
• For the 1960s decade, the class of 1963 won with 66 percent participation.
• For the 1970s decade, the class of 1975 won with 62 percent participation, led by Class Agent Michael Carter.
• For the 1980s decade, the class of 1981 won with 51 percent participation, led by Class Agent Cindy Szadokierski.
• For the 1990s decade, the class of 1997 won with 45 percent participation, led by Class Agent Jennifer Fitch Folsom.
• For the 2000s decade, the class of 2008 won with 34 percent participation, led by Class Agents Joel Bolton, Pearson Hill, Molly Hyer, Brandon Nunnally, and Megan Rash.
• For the 2010s decade, the class of 2015 won with 31 percent participation, led by Mario Jackson and Brittany McThenia.

At the conclusion of the luncheon, Emily Nicholson '18 led guests in the singing of the alma mater.

Book Signings
In the lobby of Brock Commons, alumni and friends of the college visited with three R-MC professors who were on hand to sign copies of their books. English Professor Seth Clabough '98, executive director of the Higgins Academic Center and director of the Communication Center, signed copies of All Things Await; History Professor Emeritus James Scanlon signed copies of Randolph-Macon College: Traditions and New Directions 1967-2005; and Sociology Professor Jack Trammell signed copies of The Fourth Branch of Government: We the People.

Yellow Jacket Pride
Alumni and guests enjoyed a wide variety of events throughout the weekend, including an Open House in Dalton House; an Admissions Open House; field hockey and soccer games; and an alumnae softball game. The annual Homecoming Celebration Reception, held in Birdsong Hall, gave R-MC alumni and friends the opportunity to reminisce with former classmates and past professors; and tailgating activities prior to Saturday's Homecoming football game made for a festive fall afternoon.

The weekend concluded with a worship service at Duncan Memorial United Methodist Church. Rev. Dorothy McNeer O’Quinn and Rev. Joshua McCauley offered a special Homecoming message during the service.