Hampden-Sydney has chapters of Phi Beta Kappa and Omicron Delta Kappa.
Wilson Center Newsletter, October 2011
Dedication of the Rondi L. Arlton Exhibition Foyer
October 8, 2011
Remarks by Dr. David Marion
Welcome to a very special Wilson Center event–the dedication of the Rondi Arlton Exhibition Foyer. As many of you know, Rondi served as my assistant, formally the Administrative Assistant to the Director of the Wilson Center, from 1998 until 2010. It is simply not possible to overstate Rondi's value to the center during this period. Her deep affection for the College and the Wilson Center family–its staff and our students and alumni–was always in evidence and was warmly reciprocated. The Wilson Center's success in establishing nationally competitive leadership, public service, and public affairs programs during its first decade benefitted greatly from Rondi's resolute and contagious commitment to excellence and professionalism as well as her conviction that we should all squeeze everything we can possibly get, including some fun (and whenever possible a lot of fun), out of every single day.
The upstairs foyer currently features a partial pictorial history of the Center's first fifteen years–1996-2011–a pictorial celebration, if you will, of our accomplishments and especially the accomplishments of our students, accomplishments with which Rondi was closely associated. Featured on the walls are photographs of prominent speakers, including former Danish Prime Minister Rasmussen, Senator John McCain, Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger, Secretary of Defense and also of Energy James Schlesinger, and Governors Douglas Wilder and Gerald Balliles as well as photographs of internship sites such as the European Parliament, the United States Congress and the White House, and of institutions that have admitted Wilson Center students to graduate and professional schools, such as Oxford, Duke, Chicago and Georgetown, and finally there are photographs of organizations that have employed our graduates, such as the U.S. Departments of Energy, Commerce and Justice, and the Defense Intelligence Agency.
On the lower floor you will find a poster exhibit featuring some of the major events that the Center hosted with Rondi's assistance. Each benefited greatly from having been touched by her. In Rondi's last year alone, the Center hosted or co-hosted more than 40 events. I did not total up the number of events for the twelve years that she was with the Center, but it certainly would be in the hundreds.
[The items currently on display in the new addition to the Wilson Center] capture part, but only a small part, of what we were able to accomplish with Rondi's constructive assistance. And I use the word assistance loosely since she was an extremely active participant, and frequently someone in a lead position, in whatever what going on at the center. Those of you who knew Rondi, know that if she was going to be involved in some project, then she was not going to be a wall flower or a back seater-she was going to be a full partner and often the lead person–Rondi was a "can do" person who was bullish about the future and life itself! It was a blessing to have someone with those qualities as my assistant for 12 years.
John, thank you for sharing Rondi with us–we know that her work with the Center took her away from you during a period of her life when every day was precious–know that we will not forget her or her work on behalf of the Center and the college community-especially her energy, love of life, and her deep dedication to our students (with perhaps a bit of a tilt in the direction of our basketball and Wilson Center guys) and her dedication to the entire college community. We miss our colleague, our friend, our "party buddy."
There is one last item of business this morning-
John Eastby accepted a James Madison Award that was presented posthumously to Rondi Arlton
The Wilson Center confers two awards–a Patrick Henry Public Service Award that is given to alumni for distinguished service to the people of their communities, their states, or the nation, and a James Madison Award that is presented to non-alumni for distinguished public service and/or for assisting the Wilson Center in carrying out its mission. It gives me great pleasure this morning to present a James Madison Award posthumously to Rondi Arlton for her service to the people of the Hampden-Sydney community, for her service to the students, faculty and administration of the Prince Edward public school system, and for her labors on behalf of the Wilson Center.
Photographs of Rondi Arlton with students, alumni, members of the Hampden-Sydney community and Wilson Center guests will remain on display at the Wilson Center until the end of November.