The Pavilion is named for Dr. John B. Werner '53.
On September 8, 2012, Randolph-Macon College dedicated the John B. Werner Pavilion.
The John B. Werner Pavilion at
the McGraw-Page Library is named for Trustee Emeritus and Honorary Degree
Recipient Dr. John B. Werner ’53. Werner and his wife Anita fund
the annual British debaters’ visit to R-MC, and they annually sponsor an on-campus
performance by the Richmond Symphony Orchestra.
R-MC’s Phi Beta Kappa chapter
is supported through a generous endowment from the Werners, and at the annual Phi
Beta Kappa Induction ceremony, the John B. and Anita S. Werner Award is given to
one or two PBK graduating seniors. Additionally, the
McGraw-Page Library benefits from a generous endowment set up by the Werners.
The dedication ceremony was led by an invocation from Ashley Roth ’13,
a scholar in the A. Purnell Bailey Pre-Ministerial
Program for Ordained Ministry. Chairman of the R-MC Board of Trustees Alan
Rashkind ’69 welcomed guests and shared his admiration for Werner.
“To whom would it be more appropriate to dedicate an addition to the library, the
figurative and literal center of a college, than John Werner, among the most stalwart
advocates of academic excellence at Randolph-Macon, an institution with which John
has been so closely associated for more than 60 years?” said Rashkind.
The John B. Werner Pavilion offers two spaces for faculty and student use. The first
floor, named in honor of Hardaway Abernathy ’39, is open 24/7 for
student study and will house a small café. Tables, seating and a large table with
a flat-screen computer provide a range of study spaces. The second floor includes
a high-tech classroom named in honor of Professor Emeritus George Brown Oliver
’49. Construction of the Werner Pavilion was made possible by a lead
gift from the Robert G. Cabell III and Maude Morgan Cabell Foundation.
Read President Robert
R. Lindgren’s full speech from the Werner Dedication Ceremony.
“The Werner Pavilion stands proudly among both our new and existing structures as
a tangible symbol of our mission—our reason for being—to educate the whole student,
through gifted teaching, hands-on learning, co-curricular opportunities and superb
facilities,” said Lindgren. “The whole student is our singular focus. The Werner
Pavilion is another jewel in our campus crown, sending a powerful message that Randolph-Macon
is all about learning at the highest level and is an institution on the move.”
George Oliver ’49 came to Randolph-Macon as a student in 1943.
“Like so many of his generation, his studies were interrupted by World War II, but
he returned to earn his R-MC degree in 1949 and then again in 1950 to begin his
long and distinguished faculty career, until his retirement in 1992,” said Lindgren.
“Since then he has remained an advocate for the college, and more importantly, its
principles, selflessly serving in countless alumni roles.” Lindgren received insight
into Oliver’s influence on R-MC students when he visited Robert Hawkes ’64
in 2008, shortly before Hawkes passed away.
“Dr. Hawkes wanted to meet with me to describe why he had made a significant bequest
through his estate to the college, and he wanted my word that we would use it for
a singular purpose: to honor Dr. Oliver. You see, Bob Hawkes had followed the example
of his mentor, Dr. Oliver, and went on to become one of the first and longest-tenured
members of the History and Art History Department at George Mason University, pausing
mid-career to serve as dean of Mason’s School of Continuing and Alternative Learning.
Hardaway Abernathy ’39 is one of R-MC’s oldest living alumni.
“Hardaway arrived in Ashland in 1935 from a large family in rural Southside Virginia,
and he would become the only child in his family to attend college,” said Lindgren.
“He started here in the depths of our Great Depression, and he graduated in 1939,
on the eve of World War II. Indeed, 95-year-old Hardaway Abernathy would go on to
serve in that Great War and he would interrupt his public-school-education career
in the 1950s to serve our country once again during the Korean conflict. He is in
my mind a card-carrying member of what Tom Brokaw has so aptly described as the
Charles Cabell, president of the Cabell Foundation, spoke of his admiration for
Werner, who worked with the Foundation’s trustees for 14 years as the group’s executive
“I believe that every person meets about five people in his or her lifetime that
make a long-lasting impression on them,” said Cabell, “and John, you are one of
my five. Randolph-Macon College is well known for attracting special people like
John, but even more admired for taking ordinary folks and turning those ordinary
people into people like John.”
R-MC Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs William Franz talked about the
positive impact that the new Werner Pavilion is already having on Randolph-Macon
“John, it is especially fitting that this place, a place for students striving to
achieve excellence, bears your name.” Franz added, “The Werner Pavilion stands as
a limestone-and-glass monument of this great college’s commitment to excellence
in everything we do.”
R-MC also held a dedication for the new Day Field on September 8, 2012. Click on
Day Field to read