Beginning in 2012, each September the CNC First Decaders (FDs) have held a reunion picnic in Newport News Park. This year, the group decided to skip the hot charcoal grill, the flies, the metal picnic tables, the work, and the uncertain weather and to have instead an indoor luncheon at CNU. This first such fall FD event on campus, held in the Board Room in the University's David Student Union, was so successful that our FD Crew decided immediately afterwards to hold next September's "picnic" also at CNU.
Over 50 people attended the luncheon, including First Decade professors emeriti Wood, Mazzarella, and Chambers. Present also were Alumni Relations Office staff, headed by Director Baxter Vendrick, who organized the event, Dr. Sean Heuvel, Chair of the 1961 Historical Preservation Club, and a roving CNU photographer, who took 51 pictures.
Two of three major highlights of the event are reflected above. The left photo shows the Captain of the First Decaders Crew, David Spriggs, holding his Chambers Award for Voluntary Service just given to him byAlumni Relations Director Baxter Vendrick. I was asked to join them for the photo. The right photo shows English Professor EmeritusBarry Wood speaking to the group about the book in his hand, Form and Thought, which he has donated to the First Decade Memorabilia Collection in Klich Alumni House. This book was the first English 101 textbook used at CNC the first year that it held classes, 1961-62, in its temporary home in downtown Newport News. Barry also told the amusing story about the time he jumped out the second floor window of his classroom in the Daniel building to make a point (immortalized in our Memories book on p. 40).
The third highlight was a surprise announcement made by Director Baxter Vendrick-- that this year's Homecoming will feature a t-shirt with a unique graphic on the back (close-up below). On the left is a CNC pennant, including a CNC seal; on the right is a CNU pennant. The shirt reflects the equal importance of Christopher Newport College and Christopher Newport University--the former paving the way for the latter.
Available in short and long sleeved styles, the t-shirt can be purchased via this link: http://cnu.imodules.com/homecoming . It will be on sale only through the month of October. Over a dozen of us (including me) ordered our shirts at the luncheon.
In the center in the left photo is CNU's Dr. Sean Heuvel (in burgundy shirt), a regular guest at our FD events, always looking for memorabilia for CNU's collection. The young lady beside him is a CNU student intern. To the right is "Cap'n Dave" Spriggs (U.S. Navy, ret), our FD leader since 2011. In the right photo are FDs (L-R) Donna Lass Carter and Jan Giguere Clarke.
At this table (left photo) is the Executive Vice President of the Student Alumni Society, John Pulley, a CNU senior (left). He is looking at FD Joe Hutchko. Almost every 8-person table had a current CNC student intern or Alumni Relations staff member seated among the First Decaders, helping create a bond between the CNC and CNU generations. The second photo above was taken before the luncheon at Klich Alumni House, which the Alumni Relations Office opened during the noon hour for tours. Taken on the second floor terrace at the back of the building, this photo, courtesy of FD Ellen Babb Melvin, shows Ellen (R) with Thommy and Charlie Snead, her friends and classmates at both CNC and William and Mary.
Chatting in the photo left above are History Professor EmeritusMario Mazzarella (L) and Jim Cornette (R), president of CNC’s first freshman class, 1961-62, and president of CNC’s first Student Government Association, 1962-63. After completing B.A. and M.A. degrees in English, Jim returned to CNC to teach in the English Department. This last picture shows siblings Dr. Cecelia Short and Sonny Short wearing Christopher Newport colors for the occasion. Both of them have served on the First Decaders Crew since 2011.
To see the remainder of the 51 photos made at this event, follow this link:
LEMONADE, ICED TEA, VARIOUS SODAS (regular & diet), and WATER.
SERVICES at no cost:
1. UPDATE: Use of either the Board Room in David Student Union or (ifattendance is over 50) a larger room in Ferguson Center.
2.UPDATE:Parking in LOT M (next to the Alumni House) and golf carttransportation to and from the parking lot and where the event will be.
3.UPDATE:Tours of Klich Alumni House during thenoon hour (about 20minutes per tour) before the lunch and possibly after it, if there aresome who want to see the house but have not yet been able to do so.
4.Services of the university's food staff and Alumni Office staff.
1. DRESS: Business Casual (men: long pants & collared shirts; women: pants outfits or dresses).
2.Each FD (or FD professor) is allowed to bringone guest ($10 fee).
3. SIGN-UP by DEADLINE: Wed., SEPT. 5th. We have togive Catering Service the HEADCOUNT by Friday morning, Sept. 7th.
4. The PLANNING TO ATTEND LIST posted belowwill be updated August 3, 17, & 31.
We look forward to seeing you Sunday afternoon, September 16!
From the WARWICK BLVD/J. CLYDE MORRIS intersection, follow AVE. OF THE ARTSto the ROUNDABOUT (circle). Proceed 3/4 of the way around the circle toSHOE LANEfollowingSHOE LANE to the first available right turn which is the entrance of the parking lot. Proceed toward theALUMNI HOUSEwhich will be on your left. The Alumni House faces parkingLOT M(your destination). From there, GOLF CARTSwill transport you to either David Student Union or (if group is over 50 people) Ferguson Center.
PLANNING TO ATTEND
First Decaders Indoor Luncheon at CNU
Sunday, September 16, 2018
1:00 - 4:00 p.m.
FIRST DECADERS .............. and.................GUESTS
1. Donna Skipper Pultz ......................... Richard Pultz
2. David Spriggs
3. Sonny Short
4. Cecelia Short
5. Ron Lowder ....................................... Maureen Lowder
6. Ellen Melvin 7. Mike Smith 8. Lois wright 9. Patty Andrews Mays ......................... Fred Mays 10. Pam Vaughn 11. Helen Parker
12. Jay Warren
13. Candace Hixson Whitley................ David Whitley
14. Denise Roane Machamer............... Richard Machamer
15. Charlie Snead................................. Thommy Snead
16. Ray Pepe......................................... Ruth Pepe
17. Ellen Wirt
18. Jan Clarke....................................... Ken Clarke
19. Donna Carter.................................. Julian Padowicz
20. Joe Hutchko
21. Mary Ellen Wilkerson
22. Jim Cornette
23. Sylvia Pearce Rumsey
24. Wayne Rammell...............................Wanda Rammell
25. Roman Schenkkan..........................Melinda Schenkkan
1. Jane Chambers ............................... Kay Rinfrette 2. Barry Wood...................................... Ann Wood 3. Katie Monteith (Alumni Relations Officer) 4. Mario Mazzarella 5. Baxter Vendrick (Alumni Relations Director) 6. Kenneth Kidd (Assistant to President Trible) 7. Sean Heuvel
FROM: Dr. Harold Cones I will be traveling during the luncheon so am unable to attend. I would love to see some of these folks but can't this year. Good luck with the project. My life settles down soon and I will be able to get to some of those writing projects I promised--I retired to have the time to do nothing and I find myself doing more and more. Oh well, what did Teddy Roosevelt say, "Let us rather run the risk of wearing out than rusting out." And I will say again, I am very thankful for the work you do to keep the very important past of CNU alive.
FROM: Dalton Blankenship Norman and I SO WISH we could come! But it's a 2 day trip up and back plus 2 nights on the road and 2 in NN. It just isn't financially feasible at this time, as we're gearing up to do long postponed home restoration. Let those who know us believe we'd be there if we could!
FROM: Dean ("Chip") Rhody Regrets that Kathy and I cannot be there. We will be checking off an item on our bucket list. Our best to the other survivors of the sixties
FROM: Gail Latta Pearce My daughter is having some bad health issues and may need my help. I would certainly like to see everyone but my family is my first priority. I will truly miss attending the event and all the more so because it's inside and will be nice and cool.
FROM: Sammy Compton Sorry Jane, I will be out of town.
Updated September 14th, 2018
This site is NOT affiliated with Christopher Newport University