1. NEW Article: 50th Reunion of the Classes of 1970, 1971, and 1972: May 12, 2022.
2. NEW Article: When Harry Met Ronnie: Informal Thoughts on the Departure of
My Friend Ron Mollick, by Harold Cones.
3. The Riverside Nursing Student and the CNC Instructor with a "Cute Butt" (A Memories Book Bit) by Beth Shepherd Mollick.
4.REVISED Article: President Cunningham's Naval Service in WW II and Korea.
6.Cartoons--Getting Long in the Tooth.
EVENTS and REUNIONS
50th Reunion 70, 71, 72:
May 12, 2022
Photographs by Staff,
Office of Alumni Relations,
unless otherwise stated.
Text by A. Jane Chambers
Because the Covid-19 Pandemic kept the university from having on-campus events in 2020 and 2021,Christopher Newport hosted a triple 50th reunion this spring, celebrating the classes of 1970, ’71, and ’72 during the late afternoon and early evening of May 12th. October-like weather (chilly, with rain showers) kept some alumni from attending, but the group of about 60, including some retired faculty and current administrators, very much enjoyed this Golden Reunion, held in the lobby of Peebles Theatre, located in the Ferguson Center.
FROMLeft to Right. ROW 1: Jerry Dodson, George Anas (seated), Dyan Vinson, & Linda Marushi. ROW 2: Martha Gustin Dodson, Phyllis McCarron (behind George) Bill Crute (behind Dyan), Wayne Barry & Cecelia Short. ROW 3: Judith Aldridge (blue pattern top), Kay Johnson Hogan (black top), and (far right), Robert ("Bob")Schlagal. ROW 4:James West, Charles Cook, Thomas Powell, Pamela Vaughan, William ("Mac") McGlaun, Robert ("Bob")Hines, & William Mann.
Picking only a dozen pictures to post here was not easy, because 101 photographs were made by CNU staff (see link at end of article) and a few other photos were sent by alumni. At previous 50th reunions, the group photographs included both alumni and professors. At this reunion, however, the above group picture showed only the alumni; therefore, I’ve posted photos here that include faculty, staff and/or current administrators interacting with some of the alumni.
Alumnus Robert (Bob) Schlagal (BA, English, '71) took the photo left of Barry and Ann Wood. English professor emeritus Wood was Bob’s mentor and favorite professor at CNC. A CNU staff member took the photo of alumna Cecelia Short (AA, ’71 & BA, history, ’72) catching up with (L) professor emeritus of history Dr. Mario Mazzarella and (R) 1970s CNC French professor Dr. Donald Gilman.
Alumna Pam Vaughan (BA, English, '72) sent the photo (L) of herself with her cousin, CNC's first men's basketball coach, Bev Vaughan. The CNU staff photo of Baxter Vendrick (R), Senior Director of Alumni Engagement, talking with William ("Mac") McGlaun (AA,'70 & BS, biology, '72) was made at Klich Alumni House, where many alumni picked up name tags and then took the golf shuttle campus tour before the dinner party.
This triple 50th reunion was the first one held in the spacious lobby of the David and Mary Peebles Theatre, much of which is shown in this CNU picture. The attendees were looking toward the podium (not visible here) where Baxter Vendrick was speaking to them while their meals were being served.
A tradition at our Golden Reunions is the Pinning Ceremony, during which the alumni receive 50th year pins (photo at article's title). Spouses, guests, or staff members do the pinning. Couple Jerry and Martha Gustin Dodson (L) are pinning each other, since both got their BAs in psychology in 1971. Martha also earned the AA in 1970. In the other photo, Phyllis Edwards McCarron (BA, government, '71) proudly wears her pin (L), as her guest, Merle Guy, congratulates her with a hug.
In the first photo above, Dr. Lois Wright (AA, '62), CNC's sole graduate its opening year (1961-'62),) is listening with interest to CNU's Director of Parent & Athletic Giving, Mary-Margaret Wells (R). The next photo, sent by alumna Pam Vaughan ( BA, English, '72) shows Pam (R) with classmate Kay Johnson Hogan (BA, sociology, '72). CNU was able to find Kay and husband, Ben, a retired principal of Gildersleeve Middle School in Newport News, when I could not. They had moved to nearby Williamsburg.
The photo above left shows (L - R) Ann Cunningham Stachura, the only living child of Scotty and Cecy Cunningham, and her husband, Mel Stachura, talking withBaxter Vendrick, Senior Director of Alumni Engagement. Although Ann and Mel live in Maryland, at the top end of the Chesapeake Bay, they maintain a close and valuable relationship with CNU. Along with her mother, Ann has provided numerous pieces of memorabilia related to the First Decade History of Christopher Newport--much of it now displayed in Klich Alumni House. The second photo shows CNU President Paul Trible and Dr. Mario Mazzarella in a conversation. Looking on, his back to the camera, is Keith Roots, Assistant VP of the Office of University Advancement, who was a major speaker on the evening's program.
To view additional photos of the 50th Reunion, click on link below...
When Harry Met Ronnie: Informal Thoughts on the Departure of my Friend Ron Mollick
by Harold Cones
“Damn! Here I am, on my first day, a brand-new faculty member at Christopher Newport College, and I get here to find the door to my office locked!” Not knowing what else to do and with no one around, I started to find the main office to see if I could get a key. I passed a young man on the sidewalk and asked him if he could point me to the main office because I was locked out of my new office. He said, “The same thing just happened to me. Hi, I’m Ron Mollick and I’m a new faculty member in the Biology Department.” And I said, “Hi Ron, I am Harold Cones and I’m a new faculty member in the Biology Department.” We found the office and, with keys, walked back together to our adjoining offices, with keys, and started a forty-year working relationship and fifty year friendship in which we worked together to change our two-year school to a four-year school to a university and to a graduate school. Through the (what seems like hundreds of) departmental meetings it took to make it all happen, Ron could always be counted on to be the stable force of sanity in the midst of all the chaos.
Young instructors CONES (L--1970 trident, p.28) and MOLLICK (R--1071 Trident, p.18).
Hailing from the very exotic area of San Diego, California, Ron had worked on his Master’s thesis doing tide pool research on the Pacific Coast, while I had performed mine in the estuarine ecosystems of Chesapeake Bay, so we had a lot in common. We developed a great friendship and often shared professional and personal problems. I don’t remember the topic now, but I do remember one occasion when we sat in a car in front of his house for two hours discussing some school matter that concerned us both. It was during another of these discussions that Ron told me in hushed tones that he had called one of his former nursing students in her dorm and asked her for a date—that date resulted in 50 years of marriage and featured children, grandchildren, several houses, and a happy life.
In those early days, Christopher Newport was a little collete with a small faculty serving a moderate number of first-generation college students and Vietnam Was veterans, so students and faculty became close. Faculty were often engaged with students in weekend intramural flag football games and other activities –it was easy in those days because many of our students were as old or older than we were. In one of our early years, members of our department competed in a talent contest (with radio personality Dick Lamb, an early CNC alumnus, as MC) featuring both student and faculty acts. It was in the days of Tiny Tim and “Tiptoeing Through the Tulips”. Ron, Bob Edwards, Jean Pugh and I decided to do our own rendition of the song. I took on the role of falsetto voiced Tiny Tim, strumming the ukulele, and as I walked into the darkened gym, the spotlight slowly came up on my trio of colleagues dressed as tulips, slowly lowering their petals to revel their beauty – and that wasn’t an easy feat. We didn’t win the contest, but we all agreed we had been robbed.
Events such as these formed strong bonds and a strong esprit de corps within our department that lasted through the many years Ron and I worked there. It was Ron’s idea to form an intramural volleyball team which he dubbed the Bipedal Flesh Eaters. It was an all-faculty team, with members from several departments, and we played a regular schedule for a couple years –we even had Bipedal Flesh Eaters T-shirts – and I can’t recall, but we might actually have won a game (if we didn’t, we were probably robbed). As time passed and the importance of intermural competition faded, Ron helped form a city league volleyball team, primarily with students, The Sandfleas. I still hear legendary stories of that team (although mostly about the after-game activities).
Both Ron and I were given the opportunity in our fifth year at Christopher Newport to take a year off to work on a PhD program. This opportunity took Ron to Beaufort, North Carolina, the home of Duke University Marine Lab, the North Carolina State Marine Science facility, and the NOAA Fisheries Laboratory. When we returned to CNC (with fresh Ph.Ds. in hand!), we felt it would be an excellent opportunity for our students to experience life at a Marine laboratory, and because of Ron’s contacts at Duke, we began annual field trips to Beaufort: long weekend excursions where we lived on the facility, took trawler trips into the ocean, worked in seawater labs, explored the campus, observed the research that was being done, and interacted with Duke faculty and graduate students (and, had the “all you can eat” seafood dinner--with Downeast Lemon Pie--at Captain Bill’s Seafood Restaurant). These were very positive and essential experiences for students (well, maybe not Captain Bill’s) and Ron and I continued taking students to Duke University Marine Lab for over 30 years and for each of those 30 years, Ron always managed to get together a pickup basketball or volleyball game.
Many stories could be told about those trips (such as the time Ron found an intoxicated student sitting nude in the top of the tree tweeting like a bird at 2 o’clock in the morning, or the time Ron walked into one of the girl’s dorm rooms, opened a dresser drawer to get something, saw girl’s underwear, and announced, “This isn’t my room,” turned around, and calmly left) but those stories are probably best held for occasions when old students gather, hold a beer in hand, and relive those thrilling days of yesteryear. Our department also sponsored two-week camping trips to Maine and Florida each year and Ron attended several of those trips to help with instruction and logistics. On one of those trips the students found out that if they all whistled or sang a particular song early in the morning, Ron would whistle or sing the song most of the rest of the day – you can guess what fun we all had with that. And you never asked Ron, “What’s new?” He always responded San Diego State—it took some time but I finally found out that was the Greek Nu chapter of his college fraternity.
Every Wednesday was library day for Ron. He spent the better part of the day reading current research and scientific papers so that the material he presented in his courses would be fresh and up-to-date. He freely shared anything he found that might help a colleague stay on top of new developments in their field. Ron also wrote a number of his own laboratory exercises for his classes and ultimately wrote a freshman laboratory manual which was used for many years in the department for the introductory biology lab. Ron was a thorough instructor, requiring the best from his students, as he required of himself.
As the years passed, Ron and Beth were able to enjoy some traveling. Several members of the department usually wore Hawaiian shirts, so when the Mollick’s took off every other year for a Hawaiian vacation, Ron usually had request slips for shirts from Hilo Hattie’s in his pocket—I still have several of my Mollick shirts. My wife and I, our oldest daughter and her husband, and our two grandchildren traveled with the Mollicks on a pre-Covid Caribbean cruise. An unforgettable highlight of the cruise was watching Ron spend 45-minutes on the balcony answering a question posed by our five-year-old granddaughter—why, when you look at the horizon, does everything look round. His patience in this episode sums up, in many ways, the Ron Mollick I have known for over 50 years.
For many years the department cooked 400 pounds of barbecue three times a year for various faculty events. Ron was always in the middle of the chopping team, lending a hand wherever it was needed (but there mainly, I think, to be sure that not a single burnt end of meat ever escaped into the barbecue but would escape instead into his mouth). These cooking and chopping events were camaraderie highlights for many members of the department, since it gave us an opportunity to socially interact and meet the families of our colleagues: we called ourselves “The CNU Precision Grilling Team.”
We all go through life acting and reacting to the various things that happen around us and it isn’t until we lose one of the people who have been part of our lives for many years that we pause and reflect on how important it is to have shared the good and bad times with someone who you genuinely enjoyed and respected. Someone once told me that when you lose someone like that, they really are not gone, but they are now just living in the space between your ears as memories. There is a generation of colleagues and several generations of students that hold those good memories, a true testimonial to a life well lived.
We welcome your FEEDBACK. Send to
Revised and published July 5, 2022.
MEMORIES BOOK BIT
A Memories Book Bit:
The Riverside Nursing Student
CNC Instructor with a "Cute Butt"
Account by Beth Shepherd Mollick
on pages 206 - 207*
My social life [took] a dramatic turn the following year when that cute biology professor, Mr. Mollick, as we knew him, called my dorm and asked me to go out on a date. Flattered and floored, I agreed once I determined that he was indeed single, and that was the start of the personal phase of our relationship. We went to dinner at the (long gone now) Sea Ranch Restaurant on Warwick Boulevard and to the movies at the old Riverdale Theater, where we saw Hello, Dolly! with Barbra Streisand. We learned we both were football fans, so our next date was a William and Mary football game. Then there was a walk in the VARC (Virginia Associated Research Campus) woods to visit his sampling traps, during which we got caught in a sudden rainstorm.
Not long after that we found we were pretty much hooked on each other and continued in a dating relationship until the week after my graduation from nursing school in June of 1972, when we were married. I was suddenly converted from nursing student to faculty wife.
Upon hearing our story, many people even today raise their eyebrows at the idea of a professor marrying a student, but our courtship was not inappropriate, because I was not his student at the time we began dating. The reason he telephoned me in the first place was that he remembered me because I had made the highest grade in his class--and also (he told me later) because he thought I was attractive with my waist-long hair and revealing mini skirts (once the nursing school-mandated raincoat was removed). Curiously, I remember that when I attended his class, I always sat down near the front of the lecture hall. I remember thinking at the time that he had a really cute butt! When he would turn to write on the blackboard, my [nursing school] classmates and I would exchange glances, grin, and roll our eyes. There must have been some latent spark there even then.
*"From Student Nurse to Faculty Wife and Nursing Faculty," by Beth S. Mollick, in Memories of Christopher Newport College: The First Decade, 1961 - 1971, by A. Jane Chambers, Rita C. Hubbard, and Lawrence Barron Wood Jr. (Hallmark, 2008).
We welcome your FEEDBACK. Send to
Published first July 22, 2016
Published again June 21, 2022
FIRST DECADE HISTORY
President Cunningham's Naval Service
in WW ll and Korea
by A. Jane Chambers
With thanks to Ann Cunningham Stachura
for family photos and information
and to Dr. Sean Heuvel
Revised June 2022
Lieutenant (JG) and Mrs. Cunningham in January, 1944. Except where otherwise stated, all photos in theis article are from the Cunningham family collection provided by Ann Cunningham Stachura.
During World War II, Hughes Westcott ("Scotty") Cunningham, a native of Elizabeth, NJ, and Cecil Cary ("Cecy") Waddell met in Williamsburg, VA, as students at the College of William and Mary, and fell in love. An athlete (football and track) and scholar (bachelor's in English and master's in linguistics), Scottie joined the Navy after completing his degrees at W&M while Cecy was still a student. "World War II was on," Scotty recalled in a Daily Press interview of September 9, 1962: "Miss Cecil Cary Waddell had finished her third year at William and Mary. I persuaded her to leave college and marry a struggling young lieutenant junior grade--me" (Joan D. Aaron, "Temporary Job After Wartime Duty Results in Directorship of Peninsula's Junior College," p. 2).
Scotty became the skipper of a PT boat like the one in the above watercolor painting, and "for two years, roamed the Pacific, primarily in the area of New Guinea and the Philippines" (Aaron, DP, p. 2B). The photo at the left below shows Scotty in his PT boat. At the same time, another young Naval officer, later a U.S. President, was also performing the same duty in his PT 109: John Fitzgerald Kennedy (photo right below). Ann Cunningham recalls that her father knew Kennedy when both men were serving in the same area of the southwest Pacific in WW2. Ann remembers also that her father served in the Honor Guard at President Kennedy's Inaugural Parade in January of 1961.
A National Park Service article, "PT Boats of World War II: From Home Front to Battle," gives a excellent summary of the boat and its functions: PT (Patrol, Torpedo) boats were small, fast, and expendable vessels for short range oceanic scouting, armed with torpedoes and machine guns for cutting enemy supply lines and harassing enemy forces. Forty-three PT squadrons, each with 12 boats, were formed during World War II by the U.S. Navy.
PT boats were used for harassing enemy shore installations, supporting friendly troop landings, destroying floating mines, sinking enemy shipping targets, destroying enemy landing barges, rescuing downed pilots, landing partisans behind enemy lines, and attacking enemy island outposts. PT boat duty was very dangerous and the squadrons suffered an extremely high loss rate in the war (PT Boats of WW II, no page).
When Cunningham returned to the States, he and Cecy went back to Williamsburg so that she could finish her degree. To pay their expenses, Scotty got a temporary job at William and Mary as admission assistant to the Dean of Admission. The job turned out to be more than temporary, and he did not leave it until the outbreak of the Korean conflict, when he was called back into the Navy (Aaron, DP, p. 2B).
Because he had contracted malaria while serving in the southwest Pacific, Scotty couldn't serve in Korea itself during the Korean War. Instead, Ann recalls, he was a military briefer at the Pentagon. The DP interview of Sept. 9, 1962, states he was "one of two official 'briefers' in the Office of the Secretary of the Navy" and quotes his description of his job in Washington: "We were the people who would explain the Navy's official point of view to ambassadors, legislators, and so on" (Aaron, p. 2B).
At the end of the Korean Conflict, Scotty returned again to W&M, this time as Dean of Admissions and Student Aid. Two years later, he accepted the position of Director of Christopher Newport College of the College of William and Mary, moving to Newport News with Cecy and their first baby, Ann. There he would create a college where there was none.
From 1953 through 1970, H. Westcott Cunningham also remained an active member of the U.S. Navy Reserves, retiring at the rank of Captain, as shown on the plaque to the right. By that time, he had also created a place in history for himself as not simply the first President of CNC, but the first CAPTAIN of CNC--our first leader. Dr. Sean Heuvel wrote in 2017, " I'm working with Ann right now to request Scotty's military service records from the National Archives, so we can get a more complete picture of his WWII service, but it may take a little while." When their work is completed, we will probably have an article by them giving us even more details of President Cunningham's military service.
We welcome your FEEDBACK. Send to
Published first March 31, 1917.
Revised and published again June22, 2022.
by A. Non
Kenneth, a college student, invited his mother over to see the apartment he was sharing with a female classmate, Stephanie--"just a roommate"--and to have dinner with them. The two students prepared a lovely meal, during which the mother noticed how pretty her son's roommate was. She had long wondered if there was in fact a relationship between the two, and this first meeting only made her more curious. Watching the two interact all that evening, she felt there was more between the two than met the eye.
Walking his mother to her car afterwards, and guessing at her thoughts, Kenneth said, "I know what you must be thinking, Mama, but Stephanie and I are just roommates...just friends. Nothing more."
About a week later, Stephanie said to him, "Ever since your mother came to dinner, Ken, I've been unable to find my silver gravy boat. You don't suppose she took it, do you ... maybe by mistake?"
Ken replied, "Well, I doubt it, but I'll email her, just to be sure." He sat down and wrote: Dearest Mama, Stephanie can't find her silver gravy boat. Remember it? Now, I'm not saying that you "did" take it from here ... probably by accident, and I'm not saying that you "did not" take it. But the fact remains that it has been missing ever since you were here for dinner. Your loving son, Kenneth.
Several days later, he received an email from his mother which read:
Dear Loving Son, I'm not saying that you "do" sleep with Stephanie, and I'm not saying that you "do not" sleep with her. But the fact remains that if she's sleeping in her own bed, she would have found the gravy boat by now--under her pillow.
Your dear loving Mama.
GETTING LONG IN THE TOOTH
Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.
T. S. Eliot - Poet, essayist, publisher, playwright, literary critic and editor. (1888 - 1965)
Dr. Jane Chambers, Editor and Head Writer
Ron Lowder Sr., Webmaster
Donations to our Treasury are gratefully accepted. Make out checks to CNC First Decaders. Mail them to Sonny Short, FD Treasurer, 12738 Daybreak Circle, Newport News, VA 23602.
Your DECADER committee ALWAYS enjoys feedback on items that appear on this website. The feedback can be positive or negative...doesn't matter. It is just super for us to know that you are actually visiting YOUR website and have something to share.
Please don't hesitate to send us an email with a comment...we LOVE to hear from you!