Class members and professors pose on the stairs of David Student Union after their outstanding dinner celebration. Row 1 (L-R) Dr. Jane Chambers, Dr. Barry Wood, Brenda Carney, Norman Blankenship, Joel Lewis, Charlie Snead, & Ellen Babb Melvin. Row 2 (L-R): Jim Paxton, Jim Collie, Wayne Rammell, & Marie Boudreau Smith. Row 3 (L-R): Buddy Spencer, Woody Compton, &Ted McFalls. CNU photo.
As the FEEDBACK in this issue shows, the 50th Reunion of CNC's Class of 1966 was a great success. The two-day celebration (May 13 & 14), held on the beautiful CNU campus, drew former students and faculty from near (the Peninsula) and far (Pennsylvania, Maryland, and the Carolinas). All of them and their guests were treated royally, as reflected in this sample of the numerous photos made by CNU's Alumni Relations staff during Friday evening's Golden Reunion Celebration in David Student Union.
During the Cocktail Hour, the attendees were visited by CNU President Paul Trible, who delivered a short speech of welcome and then interacted with the 1966 class members and guests. Those in the photo to the left are (L-R) Dr. Barry Wood, President Trible, Woody Compton, Dr. Jane Chambers, Buddy Spencer, & Wayne Rammell. Mr. Trible welcomed guest Jayne Spencer (R) with a hug, while Dr. Jane chatted with Jayne's husband, Buddy Spencer. The String Quartet, musicians from CNU's Music Department, provided music during this time.
In the left photo, Dr. Barry Wood (living now in Maryland) looks especially happy that the salads are being served. With him is class member Brenda Carney, who lives in Smithfield. The right photo shows Dalton and Norman Blankenship (from Honea Path, SC) pleased that their table decoration has a 1966 Trident yearbook photo of the Student Athletic Association officers. The seated youth in that black & white photo is Norman, who was the SAA president then.
Scott Millar (left photo), delivered the Welcome at the beginning of the Dinner Program. A 1985 alumnus of CNU (still CNC then), Scott is the Vice Rector of the University's Board of Visitors and Past President and current member of the Alumni Society Board. He is related to former faculty Dr. Al Millar (deceased) and Dr. Marshall Booker, both of whom encouraged him to attend CNC. Scott and his wife, Muriel, also a CNC alumna, awarded Honorary Alumni Certificates and Alumni Pins. Then each class member was pinned in a short ceremony. On the right you see Charlie Snead being pinned by his wife, Thommy. The Sneads live in Hendersonville, NC.
This first photo (left) shows the gold number 50 on the side table behind Dalton and Norman Blankenship. Decorations everywhere in the room, including fresh flowers on every table, added to the FIRST CLASS level of this Reunion Celebration. On the right is a photo (made by class member Ellen Babb Melvin) of the entree, featuring wonderful char-grilled filet mignons with bacon and smoky blue cheese sauce.
On the left in this first photo are Hamptonians Woody and Sue Compton and, at the back, Buddy and Jayne Spencer, residents of Tabb. On the right in the second photo are Wayne and Wanda Rammell, also from Hampton and, at the back, Joel and Gail Lewis, who live in Henrico and got into such bad traffic on I-64 East that it took them three hours to get to CNU. Alumnus of the Year in 2005 at ODU, after his wonderful time at his CNU reunion Joel now considers himself "a proud alumnus of both" CNU and ODU and has donated to the Alumni House and Cunningham Scholarship.
Dr. Barry Wood (Photo L) addresses the group, some of whom were his students fifty years ago. A short informative speech was also given by Dr. Jane and, at the conclusion of the feast, by Director of Alumni Relations Baxter Vendrick. A standing champagne toast to the Class of 1966 followed the meal's Third Course: Triple Chocolate Amaretto Mousse. In the second photo, you can see this wonderful dessert and the glasses of champagne. Charlie Snead (L) seems a little sleepy after the filet mignon feast. The ladies (L-R) are his wife, Thommy, and former classmates Ellen Babb Melvin and Marie Boudreau Smith, both of Hampton. The Sneads, who live in Hendersonville, NC, and Ellen, rarely miss the September Picnics of the First Decaders.
On display at the 1966 Reunion was this portrait of H. Westcott ("Scotty") Cunningham, by Agnes McMurran Johnson, a well-known Peninsula artist. Recently donated to CNU by the Cunningham family, it will be displayed in the Alumni House, along with other Cunningham memorabilia.
Amy Boykin and staff, of Trible Library, also provided an interesting collection of 1966 - related memorabilia for the Golden Celebration, including several issues of the Captain's Log, the 1966 Trident yearbook, a student directory and other items. The CNU Music Department provided entertainment during the evening: the String Quartet, during the Cocktail Hour, and during Dinner, individual soloists and the student singers CNU Voices. All in all, this 50th Reunion, like the three before it, was an unforgettable experience for all who attended.
Class of 1966 members and professors posed in front of Luter Hall before Commencement 2016 began: (L - R) Jim Paxton, Dr. Barry Wood, Jim Collie, Norman Blankenship, Ellen Babb Melvin, Charlie Snead, and Dr. Jane Chambers. Except where otherwise stated, all photos here are by CNU's Alumni Relations staff.
The Golden Reunion good times continued on Saturday morning, May 14, although only five of the twelve honorees, plus the 2 professors, attended the commencement part of the reunion. The seven gathered at 9:00 a.m. inside the main entrance of Luter Hall, home of the School of Business, to enjoy a very nice continental breakfast and to don their academic regalia.
The left photo shows four happy people--(L- R) Dr. Jane, Jim Paxton, Dr. Barry, and Jim Collie--in front of Luter Hall's first floor staircase. The right photo, courtesy of Ellen Babb Melvin, shows how Luter's first floor entrance was transformed into an eatery for the honorees and their guests, with assorted Danish pastries, fresh fruits, and various breakfast beverages. Looking at the camera are (L- R): Jim Collie, Ellen Babb Melvin, and Charlie Snead and his wife, Thommy.
The first photo above shows all seven of us (L - R): Charlie Snead, Ellen Babb Melvin, Jim Paxton, Dr. Wood, Dr. Chambers, Norman Blankenship, and Jim Collie. The lady in pink behind Charlie is his wife, Thommy. The second photo is a delightful close-up of (L - R) Charlie, Ellen, and Jim Paxton.
As usual, our white canopy tent and chairs were located just a few steps from the entrance to Luter Hall, making it easy for us to go in and out of Luter if we needed to. A table with more food and beverages was next to the tent for those who wanted more to eat or drink. We had a view of the new Newport Hall on our left, with the commencement stage in front of it, plus a view of most of the 1,300 degree recipients and several hundred faculty seated near the stage. CNU estimated about 10,000 people attended the event..
In the left picture are professors emeriti Wood (L) and Chambers (R), with their almost-matching transition lens glasses. The lady partly in view behind them is Dalton Kelley Blankenship, wife of class member Norman Blankenship. In the right photo are Norman (L) and Jim Collie (R), standing during the academic procession.
High praise goes to CNU's Alumni Relations staff, who did so much both Friday and Saturday to make the Class of 1966 and their guests feel like royalty. These next two pictures include some of them. The left photo shows (first on left) Alumni Relations Officer Katie Monteith and her boss (last on right), Baxter Vendrick, Director of the Office of Alumni Relations, having fun with 1966 alumni Charlie and Ellen. The right photo, courtesy of Ellen, shows Ellen with sophomore Ken Kidd, a student intern with the Alumni Relations Office. Ellen wrote of him on Facebook: "He really looked out for me and I can't say enough about what a nice and thoughtful young man he was. He drove me all over the campus in a golf cart and led me to places I was supposed to be both last night [Friday] and today [Saturday]."
All in our little group stayed through most of the program, including the address by the speaker (left photo), Dr. Christopher Howard, President of Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh and former president of Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia. A Rhodes Scholar and Bronze Star recipient for his military service in Afghanistan, Dr. Howard delivered an animated speech with this message: "Be yourself. Be accountable. Be courageous." By the time the 1,300 degree recipients began moving toward the stage to receive their diplomas one by one (right photo), many of us (this author included) quietly returned to Luter to remove our academic regalia and leave--but with many warm memories of the 2016 Golden Reunion of the CNC Class of 1966.