Photographs by Courtney Vogel
Alumni graduating in years ending with 4s and 9s met on campus for the second annual Hampden-Sydney Reunion Weekend on June 6-8, 2014. Receptions, dinners, live music, and other events throughout the weekend kept alumni entertained while they spent time with old classmates, friends, and family. Building on last year's inaugural event, the 2014 Reunion was a resounding success.
The Friday schedule started with a golf tournament at the Manor, a challenging, 18-hole course built in 2007 just south of Farmville. The winning team won a front-row tailgating spot to the Founder's Lot for this year's homecoming game. Attendees used the relaxed Friday atmosphere to stroll around campus, visit favorite spots, take in the alumni panel, and see new projects. At around 5 p.m. alumni converged on the Tiger Inn patio for an epicurean tasting of bourbon, wine, and beer followed by dinner on Chalgrove Point, featuring the music of Drs. Victor Cabas and Kenneth Townsend. After live music on the Carpenter lawn, classes gathered in hospitality rooms until late into the night.
Much of the excitement from the night before carried into Saturday. Many alumni took to the outdoors for a jog around campus or a mountain-bike ride on the Wilson Trail prior to attending the Alumni Celebration in Johns Auditorium. Alumni from the Classes of 1934 to 1964 were honored at the annual Patrick Henry Society Lunchean, with the Class of 1964 inducted into the Society for reaching its 50th anniversary. Class photos, luncheons, painting classes, and a cocktail reception at Middlecourt hosted by Dr. and Mrs. Chris Howard filled much of the day's schedule. The social highlight of the weekend were the class dinners, followed by the Motown band playing at the Watkins Bell Tower while attendees enjoyed beer from Afton's Blue Mountain Brewery, owned and operated by S. Taylor Smack '97.
The weekend wasn't purely social, however, having an academic component as well. It overlapped with the Summer College program, promulgated by the Wilson Center for Leadership. Dr. Ralph Hattox gave the keynote address on "World War I: Its Origins and Significance" at Crawley Forum; and Capt. Steve Knott '82, USN (Ret.), of the U.S. Army War College returned to The Hill to discuss D-Day in honor of the 70th anniversary of the invasion of Normandy. Dr. Herb Sipe offered his "Toxic Chemicals Redux" class. On Friday evening, Dr. Mike McDermott led alumni to the astronomy observatory to catch glimpses of Jupiter, Saturn, and other celestial bodies through the College's 17-inch telescope.
With two successful reunions under its belt, the Alumni Office has found solid footing for planning next year's events. Growing attendance and a manifold program schedule have set a high standard for the 2015 Reunion. With support from engaging alumni and volunteers, it should only get better.