NOTE: To see more of the 53 photos taken by CNU photographers during this reunion, refer to the CHRISTOPHER NEWPORT ALUMNI page on FACEBOOK.
A good time was had by all who attended the 50th Reunion of CNC's Class of 1969. The above photo, taken at Gregory Klich Alumni House at CNU on May 10th, shows (from the left) the three AA degree recipients of 1969 who attended: Bob Hines, Sylvia Pearce Rumsey, and Jesse Wallace. Attending also were other 1969 class members who elected not to seek the AA degree but to pursue the first bachelor degrees at CNC in 1971. Three emeriti faculty also attended: doctors Ron Mollick, Mary Lu Royall, and this writer--plus various CNU administrative officers and staff and CNU student musicians, as well as our webmaster and talented musician Ron Lowder.
They're off to see the campus! A pleasant and informative afternoon tour was offered to all who had not seen their alma mater in decades. CNU students were their driver and tour guides as they explored campus buildings new and (below) old.
The shuttle tour included a look at this two-story part of Gosnold Hall (left)-- the only original Shoe Lane building still standing on the campus. In front of it, where once there stood tall pine trees, stands the impressive new science building named in memory of the mother of medical doctor Sarah Forbes, a major donor to CNU. Gosnold is used now primarily for storage and temporary offices.
Above are, at the back, Charles Cook (1969 class president) and Jesse Wallace (1969 degree recipient). In front is Jesse's wife, Pat. The three are signing in and picking up their name tags in the indoor sitting room in Klich Alumni House after their campus tour.
Cocktail Hour provided time to explore all the rooms downstairs in Klich Alumni House. Above are degree recipients Sylvia Pearce Rumsey and Bob Hines examining 1969 memorabilia displayed in the downstairs Conference Room by new CNU archives librarian Matt Shelley.
Stationed in the Alumni House Library were musicians Ron Lowder (playing the sax) and CNU alumnusSteven Field, who entertained everyone during the Cocktail Hour. Dr. Mary Lu Royall (holding the book) is showing 1969 Trident photos to her guest, Diane.
In the Reception Hall, the center of the party, Alumni Relations Director Baxter Vendrick talks with guest Wade Williams (Class of 1968) and Charles Cook (1969 Class President and 1971 CNC BA recipient) during Cocktail Time.
The above is a delightful photograph of Dr. Lois Wright, the first and only graduate of Christopher Newport its first year. She transferred to the newly opened CNC as a sophomore, earned the AA degree in Spring of 1962 (it is on display in the alumni house), then went to William and Mary for more degrees. She retired from the faculty of the University of South Carolina-Columbia as Distinguished Professor Emerita. She attends all of our 50th reunions as a special guest and delivers the prayer before the meal.
The location of this picture is the glassed-in sitting room in Klich Alumni House. Wade Williams (seated left) is talking to Dr. Ron Mollick (standing) and (on the couch) 1969 class member Bill Mann and his wife, Elizabeth.
The setting of this photo, and the following three, is the central room in the building, the Reception Hall, where the evening's program and outstanding dinner took place. CNU Alumni Relations Director Baxter Vendrick is the speaker. On the wall behind him is a photo of the first faculty at CNC, in the opening year, 1961- 62. Seated far right in that old photo is the very young instructor Barry Wood.
President Paul Trible was unable to attend this reunion. The speaker here is Bill Brauer, a CNC Second Decader who grew up to become CNU's Vice President. Featured in the slide show behind him is a photo of the Alumni Relations staff a few years back, looking out of the second floor front windows of Klich while it was still under construction.
The handsome young man seated at the table, in the center of the above picture, is CNU Alumni Society President Chris Inzirillo, who attended the reunion to preside over the pinning ceremony, during which the 1969 class members officially became CNU alumni, receiving their membership certificates and attractive 50-year pins.
Here is an overall view of the reception hall with everyone seated for the program and meal. The Golden Reunion, which began at 5:00 p.m., closed at about 8:00, to give people time to transition to the Great Lawn for a short but moving outdoor program at 8:30 called the Candlelight Service. It is a CNU tradition during which the students who will receive their degrees the following morning (May 11, Saturday) gather the night before, wearing white shirts or blouses (or dresses), for a program that ends with the lighting of over a thousand candles.
If you look closely beyond the lovely ladies with lighted candles, you will see on the stage a group standing on the left. That group is the Golden Reunion attendees of the Class of 1969--honored not only by being on the stage, but also by beginning the candle lighting service. This year, it was Bob Hines who had the honor of lighting the first candle. He is standing on the stage to the left of Sylvia Pearce Rumsey, who is wearing the blue top and white skirt. There were about a dozen of us in that group, including some of us professors, and fortunately, except for the few minutes it took for the candle lighting, we were comfortably seated. The night was lovely...until the fireworks went off! I was prepared for that, however, having attended the previous six CNC 50th Reunions.