Mike Cazares receiving CNC's Distinguished Service Medallion from President James C. Windsor at the 1975 Commencement. Looking on was Congressman Tom Downing.
RE: Mike Cazares Tribute series
FROM: Dalton Blankenship The thing Norman and I remember most about Mike happened just before classes were to begin in 1965, and it testifies beautifully to both his construction wisdom, and his understanding of human nature. Mike was being pressured to get sidewalks put in between Christopher Newport Hall and the new building, Gosnold Hall. The Powers that be wanted the sidewalks in prior to the start of classes.
Mike just smiled and said, "Give it a week or so. The students will show us where the sidewalks need to be!" We did. And sidewalks were summarily put in on the paths we had quickly worn.
FROM: LaVerne Merlin McDonaldThank you for all the wonderful articles. I especially enjoyed the one about Mike Cazares. He and his wife, Annie, were very close friends of my parents. I remember visiting them in that house he built for his family.
RE: Dave Spriggs Award article
FROM:Tom Oxner Congratulations, Dave. Well deserved award!
Editor: Over twenty people similarly congratulated Cap'n Dave.
RE: Latin Calendarseries
FROM: Barbara JacobsThree very fine articles, two of which must have taken a bit of time and research!! I always like your little histories, especially this one about the Latin calendar.
RE: Website in general
FROM: Joe HutchkoGreat job with the website! I look forward each week to reading the content that takes us back to the 1960s during the first years of CNC. It is a real treasure to have been a part of CNC during those growth years and your website has allowed me to not only remember the events from that period but also keep in touch with several good friends from that era. Great job guys!
Re: Actress Elizabeth Taylor at CNC:An Unforgettable Afternoon.
FROM Janie Wolf (widow of CNC English professor Dr. Bill Wolf): Bill was there, as was I. What an experience. I, too, was very surprised at how petite she was…she seemed toglide as she ventured forward into the auditorium. I was somewhat awestruck. Thanks for sharing your memories.
FROM Ellen Babb Melvin: Well, darn...I wish I'd gone to see her.
FROM C. MichaelBarber: I had the pleasure of spending three evenings with Elizabeth Taylor and Senator John Warner. Each time I saw her, she was polite, gracious, and generous with her time--even when she was in physical pain. The first time I was with her and Warner was at a private residence in Reston, VA., at a gathering of supporters of Senator Warner. Elizabeth had asked me personally to be a supporter.
The second event was a formal dinner at a lovely Richmond mansion. Elizabeth came rather casually dressed--heavy sweater, black slacks, and a camel colored cape. She had a gold chain around her neck that could have secured a good sized boat. She was not feeling well--hurting from back pain or possibly arthritis--so carried a black cane with a gold grip. The men all gathered around her, totally agog. The women peered in from the next room. At one point, before dinner, I walked into the dining room and saw two women standing on dining chairs for a better look. One of them in her best southern drawl said (from pure jealousy) that Elizabeth was acting like a whore, because she had every man's attention.
Later I also attended Warner’s swearing-in ceremony at the State Capital. At the dinner Elizabeth looked heavy--seeming in pain and tired. But at the swearing-in she was like a Phoenix rising from the ashes. She walked in wearing a beautifully tailored tweed dress and matching fox fur hat. She had lost considerable weight and her skin was radiant. She was a star on the stage and was more radiant than anyone in the room. It was an amazing transformation.
FROM Susan Tilson Moore Watson: If Barry Wood said Elizabeth Taylor was brilliant, I’d have loved seeing her at CNC. I think of him often with enormous regard and fondness. Nicky Robins and I both loved “Christy Tech” and were head over heels mad about our outrageously brilliant and inspiring English professor, Lawrence Barron Wood, Jr. Through him, I fell in love with writers like Alfred Kazan, Irving Howe, and Delmore Schwartz and my life became just reading and writing. Analyzing poetry and learning to write literary criticism were better than eating cake and ice cream to me.
My second semester, I managed to schedule Barry Wood not only for English 102, but also for Advanced Composition. Nirvana. Textbooks for Advanced Comp were The Personal Voice and Ten Contemporary Thinkers. I thought, all this and heaven, too. I took writing assignments as serious commandments. My friend Vicki’s father, Vic Mooza, always said I did the hell outta whatever I did. I was doing the hell outta Advanced Comp. Mr. Wood urged us, in his so cajoling voice, to get at ourselves through our writing, to use our subjects to explore ourselves. Assignments were to “get at yourself” though a painting or a work of art, then through a place, then through our parents. I thought about how little I really knew my father and set out to know him better.
FROM Belinda Ann Tocco Childress: I met Miss Taylor, when she was married to Senator John Warner, at Patrick Henry airport. I was dropping someone off. I recognized her immediately and got out of the car and introduced myself. She was gracious and hospitable like the wonderful woman she is. Had it been in this day and time I would have gotten a picture of her but unfortunately this was before cell phones. She was as beautiful in person as on film.
FROM Elizabeth Lankes: I remember when she came to visit the shipyard in 1979. One person in our department, who worked with video, got to meet her and came back to the office excited and absolutely thrilled to see Elizabeth Taylor up close, and told us she really did have blue-violet eyes!
FROM Ron Warren: I saw Taylor and Warner in the 1970s at the Foxfield Horse Races just outside of Charlottesville. Taylor was riding atop a horse-drawn carriage. Warner and I briefly chatted on the way to a group of port-a-potties. By then, Taylor had gained a lot of weight but she was still glamorous.
FROM Bob Mears: Jane, captivating history on Elizabeth Taylor story. Thanks.
FROM Jeff McGlohn: Could not believe that she was actually in Newport News and I missed her every move.
FROM Kay Rinfrette: In 1955 I went to the Carter Barron Amphitheater in Rock Creek Park in Washington, DC to see my favorite entertainer, Danny Kaye. During the show, he told the audience: "I want you to let me show you something special. I'm going to turn off all the lights just for a few seconds to give you a treat--don't get scared." One, two, three--off went the lights, and surrounding us in the darkness of the park were hundreds of lightening bugs around the trees, lots of lights just flickering. It was breathtaking! The audience gasped in delighted surprise. I held my breath--it was so magical! The audience applauded, the lights came back on, and Danny said, "I told you it was worth it!" I still remember over 60 years later.
FROM Paula Orphanidys:Wonderful childhood memory! Know my parents let them out of the jar when I went to bed!
FROM Nancy Carol Winall: A great childhood memory!
FROM Nancy M. Dickinson: I remember it was such a delight.
FROM Donna Crosby Adcock: In the South it's lightning bugs.
Re: How Dr. Richard Guthrie Taught Me Personal Responsibility in Thirty Seconds, by Alumna Mary Swift
FROM Janie Wolf: I found your July 6 publication very interesting. The words from Mary Swift about Dick Guthrie were so indicative of Dick’s ways and means of making a point. I could see those gestures and facial expressions. It was a fine memory!
Re:CNC Commencement Exercises, 1963 –1970: Programs, Photos, and Facts.
FROM Curtiss Pittman:Jane, Can help you withClass of '64 I.D. [photo above].1st row far rightwith hands together is Paul Hogge, fellow Circle K member.Going left: Charles King -- Margaret "Janie" McHugh -- I think this is James McIntyre --Michele Miller ? Over Paul Hogge's right shoulder isKenny Smith. I knew several more, but they are apparently on the first and second rows [other side of aisle] and are obscured from view. Hope this helps.
FROM Ken Smith: [Re: Identifications above]I agree with Curtis. BTW tell him "hi" from "Kenny"... you can always tell who my "old" friends are. They still call me "Kenny."
FROMEditor: Thank you, Curtiss and Ken! James Samuel (Sam) McIntyre and Michele Miller Meadors have now been identified also. However, I have no contact information for Paul Hogge and Charles King and all I have for Janie McHugh Gebhardt is an email address that is not valid. So I cannot contact these three for ID verification.
Re:50th Reunion of the Class of 1968: May 11 & 12, 2018 and More 50th Reunion Photos.
FROMSylvia Pearce (Scoggin) Rumsey: I was especially pleased to read about the lovely evening which the class members of 1968 enjoyed this past May. I'm assuming you will be doing the same next year, perhaps on May 10? That is if graduation is May 11. I would love to be included in the 50th anniversary celebration of my graduating class, if there is indeed going to be one.I graduated with an Associate of Arts degree.
FROMEditor: Sylvia, You are correct that 2019 will be YOUR time to come to CNU for the Golden Reunion of your Class of 1969, and you've correctly guessed the dates! The 50th reunions are always on the Fridays before the current commencements, which are always on the Saturdays before Mother's Day. Looking forward to meeting you May 11!
Re:Revisiting Ric Bahr:A Memorial Day Remembrance, by Wade Williams.
FROM Peg Fisher Meredith:Thank you for posting this, Jane. I wasfriends with Ric's sister Meri at Warwick High. I remember this like yesterday as I attended his funeral ceremony. Meri and I were juniors in high school at that time. What a wonderful and honoring article by Mr. Williams.... If I find out [where Meri is] I will surely share it with you.
FROM Kay Verser Forrest: I think Meri lives in Florida now. If you give me your information by FB messenger, I will send it to her sister Sheri and let her pass it on.
Editor:I have contacted Kay Forrest on behalf of Wade Williams, who wants this contact with Ric's family.
FROM Pamela Cridlin Cole: Graduated with Ric, Jimmy and Becky. Thanks for sharing this article.
FROM Jane Renn Eadie: Such a good high school friend. I have such great memories of Ric and of sweet Becky. Ric: considerate, thoughtful, witty, kind, insightful, friendly, intelligent, trustworthy. Becky: sweet, kind, warm smile, gracious, intelligent, gentle, considerate, modest.
FROM Dan Coleman: I remember Ric well from track.
FROM Michael Smith:RIP Brother. Welcome Home. Thanks for this remembrance, Jane.
FROM Alexander Bivins: It's a very appropriate day to post this since this is Memorial Day 2018.
FROM Joseph Madagan: Lest We Forget.
Re:The Memorial Day Poppy: A Tradition Born from a Poem.
FROM Charles Snead:Thank you.
Re:The Man Behind Christopher Newport's Mace: J.J. (Jan) Heuvel, Sr., by Sean M. Heuvel.
FROM Dr. Mario Mazzarella:What a surprise to see a picture of me holding the mace in the article on its creation.
Re: CNC's First Shoe Lane Building: Christopher Newport Hall.
FROM Donna Skipper Pultz:When I was at CNC in 1965-1967, I worked in the circulation section of the library on Saturdays. I had a key because I had to open and close it. It was open from 8 am to 12 pm. I also worked the reference library, which was housed inside the main building. I had experience working in the library at Ferguson High School, so Miss Mosteller hired me to help in acquisitions, also. She and Jean Garner Barger were wonderful to work for. I spent many hours "reading" the card catalogue, making sure that the cards were in abc order, and using a stylus to write the call numbers on book spines.
I also have very fond memories of the lecture hall. I had Mr. Usry for history. He taught in the lecture hall. I was also a member and president of the CNC Players with Frances Kitchin, who had been my drama teacher at Ferguson High School. We performed all of our productions in the hall. I was in the cast of Carson McCullers' Member of the Wedding in 1967.
FROM Editor: Wonderful memories, Donna! One correction: Mrs. Kitchin's group was called the Dramatic Workshop. English instructor Ron Stewart created the name CNC Players in 1971, when he revived the drama program.
Re: "Dr. Earth" on the First Earth Day, 1970.
FROM Michael Coburn: After reading the article about Harold Cones I remembered the class he started called "Pioneer Biology (or Ecology)." We studied all kinds of things such as where to place a homestead on a property, how much of our groceries are actually just packaging, raising animals, and eating off the land, and we made a trip to camp at Peaks of Otter off Skyline Parkway. It was a practical study and full of fun exercises and bonding. My wife and I attended, as did a number of friends with whom I'd later work on jobs. This came after the first decade and was a junior-level course, but Harold became a friend we will never forget. Between Harold and Jean Pugh, the school had two of the best professors we could hope for.
FROM Editor: Thanks, Mike, for this piece of CNC history!
Re: Website in general.
FROM Joyce Pearsall: Thanks for the informative newsletter! Happy Spring!
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Published May 11, 2018
Re: Forty-Nine Valentines: A CNC Love Story,by Mike Smith (62 FD)-- UPDATED with a Postscript by the Editor.
FROM Mike Smith: Jane, I cannot find the words to tell you how much I appreciate all the work you have done to honor the memory of my Doris. I am sitting here crying like a baby after reading the Postscript that you published with my story in the First Decaders Website. I has been a challenging 3 1/2 months since Doris died. My heartfelt thanks to you for doing this for me and Doris. Again thank you for the beautiful article and tribute to a beautiful woman who was the light of my life.
FROM Charlie Snead: Thank you for continuing our web site. The CNC/W&M love story is special and worthy of anchoring a collection for posterity.
Re: AlumnaPam Vaughan Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award.
FROM the Editor: Recently I happened to see on a Facebook site the above 1970s-era photo taken in front of the Newport News Shipyard Employees Credit Union. I emailed a copy of it to Pam Vaughan with this question: " Is that YOU in the photo?" Pam replied that she was indeed the woman in the photo and wrote, "Thanks, Jane! That’s how I got my Marketing and Public Relations start."
Re: Looking for 1968 Sophomores [25 not yet located]
FROM the Editor:
5 LOCATED so far: Danny Edgerton (Group 1), Patricia Edmondson Kimsey (Group 1), Annette Lane Steedman (Group 2), Stephen D. (Steve) Streker (Group 4), and Carolyn Watson.
2Reported as DECEASEDso far: Joseph Charles Phillips (Group 3) and Sandy Stewart (Group 4).
CNU is now preparing to mail out the 50th REUNION INVITATIONS to all 1968 sophomores for whom I have contact information. Any help in locating more students on theLOOKING FOR list will be appreciated. See LOOKING FOR tab on the website, left margin. Deadline for responding to invitations will be mid-April.
We welcome your FEEDBACK. Send to
or cnc6171@ cox.net.
Published March 16, 2018
Re: Our Peninsula's Frozen Rivers, 1780 - 2018.
From Katrina Gay: I am the woman featured in the last picture walking on the frozen James River. I'm also a '99 CNU alumni and part time photographer. I LOVED the article and thank you for featuring the photo.
FromJohn Hughes: Spectacular.
Re: Alumnus Joel Lewis's Visit to Poland. Part 1: Auschwitz.
From Charlie Snead: Joel’s segment was especially touching since he has been my friend since high school days.
From Bob Fulgham: We visited Krakow [near Auschwitz] while we were living in Romania in 2006. My wife Marie’s family roots are Jewish. She had eight family names to check for in the local phone directory. There were none listed. Poland suffered the greatest loss by far. Even after the war, those returning were not welcome and most left again for Israel.
From Joel Lewis:Thank you for the most positiive manner in handling my missive. I appreciate it.
Re: CNC's First Sorority: Pi Kappa Sigma.
From Joy Beard Schank: Thank you for writing the great article regarding the sorority!
From Candy Hixson Whitley: I heard the sorority went national. I was at CNU once in the late 90's, in the cafeteria. Ran into a girl who said the name Pi Kappa Sigma had changed but she knew PKS had started at CNC.
Editor: Check Wikipedia for the rather complicated history of Pi Kappa Sigma, Candy, which actually began in 1894.
Re: The CNC First Decaders Website in general
FromLarry Elmore: Jane, I have thoroughly enjoyed your articles. Who knew the word janitor was derived from the Roman God Janus? Having grown up a block from the James River I really liked your history of the frozen James. In the 50s I had the opportunity to stupidly walk out nearly to the channel on the ice. Guess god does look after children and fools.
From Barbara Jacobs: I always like reading the website's articles on history. This time I enjoyed the photos of frozen Virginia rivers and the descriptions and pictures of how the first three months of the year were named. Thank you!
FromBob Weatherman: Love your CNC news.
We welcome your FEEDBACK. Send to
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Published February 2, 2018
Re: December 8 issue.
From: Charlie Snead:I really enjoyed and learned a lot from this week’s post. Thank you for putting it together.
From: Joyce Pearsall: Another thoroughly educational and entertaining newsletter! As far as that [cartoon] cat starting to educate itself about attacking a Christmas tree…well…to our cat it's instinctual. No tree last year and no tree this year because he is young, curious and REALLY active. What is decorated is mostly outside or way out of reach of Leo the Lion-cat! Have a most wonderful Holy-day!
From: Nadine Lilley Mitchell: I almost fell off that bridge when I was 8. It was 1962 or 63. We had stopped for the drawbridge opening. I got out with my aunt to watch. I stepped up on the curb to see better, and my foot slipped. I was hanging on by my chin. My aunt couldn't hold me. I was a big 8-year-old. I was slipping. Still remember looking down and seeing the dark water way below me. We were up on the high part of the bridge, close to the draw. My Dad ran around from the driver's seat and pulled me up. I remember it like it was yesterday!
From: Claude Jones: My dad said if you paid 10 cents a truck would take you on the bridge at night and drop you off. People fished out there with long bamboo poles with a hook and a piece of pork rind, catching stripers. Then the truck would come back out and pick them up.
From: Wayne Stokes: When we used to go out on the bridge at night to fish ... we had lookouts!
From: Neta Collins Hastings: There was an article in the Times Herald dated 1982 about "bridging the James" that focused on my father and Charles Soter. My father, "Rip" Collins, who was a top-flight amateur boxer, was 5 feet 2 and weighed 105 pounds. He worked the high steel for the Roanoke Bridge and Iron Co. which installed the old lift span. He was hired at 35 cents an hour and after 2 weeks was raised to 65 cents an hour.
We welcome your FEEDBACK. Send to
Published December 22, 2017
Re: A Salute to CNC’s First Decaders Who Served in the Military.
From: Jim Fronkier: Jim has identified all of the men in the photo above of the First Veterans' Club at CNC (1967-68) as Tabe "Bud" Woolard (Secretary), Charles “Chuck” Bell, Jim Fronkier (President), Lynn Lindberg, Dan Clark, Charlie Sills, and foreground, Jim Walsh (Vice President). Fronkier is "sure about everyone" except "Bud," stating " I had a lot more contact with all of the others." Not yet located: Woolard, Clark, Sills, Walsh.
Jim wrote also that "We started the meetings at one of the class rooms but voted to move them to Das Waldcafe [German restaurant] on Warwick Blvd.," the setting of this photo.
Re:Road Names in Brandon Heights in Newport News.
From: PamFotiou-Davis (CNC, '84): I grew up on Stratford Road and went to Hilton Elementary. Beautiful area and so blessed to have grown up in Brandon Heights.
From: Mandy Laibstain Verastek: Thanks for posting! We're on Shirley Road and I want to visit the plantation now! So cool.
From: Cil Barbour: Any links to the Rivermont neighborhood? We were told our street used to be a landing strip.
Editor: That would be an interesting research project! Anyone want to volunteer to research Rivermont?
Re: Ancient Beliefs and Traditions Reflected in Old Halloween Cards.
From: Joyce Pearsall: This certainly was an informative newsletter! I really enjoyed the history of Halloween and seeing those cards. Well done!
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Published November 24, 2017
Re: Cunninghams' Daughter Visits ... First Presidential Mansion: Part 1
From: Ann Cunningham Stachura: Part 1 was excellent! Looking forward to Part 2! Thank you, Jane, for putting this all together! The visit was great fun!
From: Lauri Nosil: We enjoyed [Part 1 of] the article! It was wonderful!
From: Rick Griffin: J. Clyde Morris lived in Brandon Heights, on the corner of Strafford & Warwick Blvd. [Warwick City Manager & leader of Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel project]
From: Beverley Lynn Battle: Very interesting.
Re: Impacts of Hurricanes on First Decaders
From: Kathy B. Monteith: Jane, I appreciate your article about my mom and the impact of the hurricanes with other alum and their family members. Warmest wishes.
Re: Bodie Island Lighthouse
From: Jan G. Clarke: Ron, Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your article on the Bodie Island Lighthouse. Like your wife, I have a "Thing" for lighthouses too. I love that interior picture looking down from the top. It looks so much like a chambered nautilus and seems to be the best design ever for lighthouse stairs.
Photo by Ron Lowder
Published October 27th, 2017
Re: CNC's First Intercollegiate Sport: Men's Track.
From David Mike Williams: In the late seventies, CNC had the privilege of having former NNHS and state star athlete Doug Dickinson as the track coach at CNC. Doug led a rag tag group of athletes to the school's first conference championship and set a standard for the teams that followed. No big stadium or field house during those times and teams spent many days training at Ferguson High School's cinder track or running over to Todd Stadium to practice. At 60, I am much slower, but still cherish those times and the time with Coach Dickinson.
Editor: Thank you for this piece of CNC's second decade history, David.
From Norman Covert: Mr. Usry was a demanding professor. He was a different person out of the lecture hall, which then was in a classroom adjacent to the auditorium at J.W. Daniel Elementary.
Editor: You seem to be a CNC First Decader, Norman. Please read the "About Us" tab on this website and contact me if you want to join the group!
From Joey Fink:Thank you for the article. Raoul is my wife's first cousin.
Editor: Hope all in the family will enjoy Part 3.
Re: CNC's First Intercollegiate Sport: Men's Track. Part 1, The Beginning.
From Coach Raoul Weinstein:Jane, you did a good job on your initial story on the early years of our track team at CNC.
Editor: Thank you, Raoul.
From John Scull:The first name of the man listed as just "Malami" was Ralph.
Editor:Thanks, John! Do you know how we can contact him?
From Mike Payne: Part 1 brought back several vivid memories. Looking forward to Part 2.
Editor: You're both named and pictured in it, Mike.
Re: The New and the Old Shared Homes of CNC/U and PFAC.
From Jean Regone Henry: Jane, how do you vote "no" on the proposed facade of the fine arts building? Those giant bubbles look ridiculous stuck onto that glorious colonnade. My eyes hurt.
Editor: Jean, I'm afraid what's planned cannot be unplanned (apologies to Shakespeare).
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Published September 1, 2017
Re: WGH AM Radio articles.
Breaking News: About WGH-AM (1310)
Max Media is proud to announce the re-launch of the legendary WGH 1310 AM on July 28, 2017. WGH AM was one of the country’s first radio stations. It aired one of the country’s original Top 40 play list formats. We’ve retained the original call letters, dial position and ‘50s and ‘60s hit music. It’s a complete restoration that will honor the original WGH, while creating a fun, new and exciting spot on the dial that offers timeless music complete with audio flashbacks and recordings.
Max Media owners and original WGH Personalities Gene Loving and Dick Lamb will play a vital role in bridging the gap between the original WGH and its restored version.
Editor's note: Our website's 2-part WGH article (first published in December of 2013) sparked the memories of several hundred readers! In lieu of publishing all their comments here, I've posted the above news.
Re: New and Old Shared Homes of CNC/U and PFAC.
From Courtney Gardner (Executive Director, PFAC): Thank you so much for sending me your article. You did a wonderful job sharing the history of the relationship. I hope to see you soon at PFAC. Thank you again.
From Barbara Jacobs: Good job, as usual, Jane. I am always impressed with the amount of research that you do.
Re:Why the Name Shoe Lane? Historical Street Names in the CNC/U Area.
From William Winter (CNC Professor Emeritus): [Re: "Warwickshire"]
It might be of interest-- The English shires (American counties) employed "reeves," who served court papers and collected taxes, etc. They were called "shire reeves." We call them "sheriffs."
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Published August 4, 2017
Re: WGH AM Radio, Part 1: “Station of the Stars”in the Sixties and Early Seventies
From Curtiss Pittman: Jane, with all your connections, would you see if you can locate a copy of the WGH Top 30 sheet from, I believe, Nov. 1964 or near that date. I had won a Honda motorcycle from WGH and Dick Lamb called me at home with the news. I can relate all the details about the contest, the presentation, and all the rock and roll stars I got to meet when they gave me the keys. My picture was on the cover of the Top 30 sheet sitting on the Honda and receiving the keys from the Hondels, who sang the song "Little Honda."
Editor: Curtiss,I've not been able to locate that WGH Top 30 sheet with your picture, alas! Do you have any other photos of you and that Honda motorcycle? This event would make an interesting story for our website!
Re:Why the Name Shoe Lane? Historical Street Names in the CNC/U Area.
From Mike Coburn: Jane, a lady at your table raised the Shoe Lane namequestion as I was passing. I stopped and gave a partial answer based on my memory from many years ago of hearing the same question. After the reunion weekend at CNU I researched further and found confirmation and some additional facts. I've always enjoyed history. You did a nice job with the article and would have earned an A [if a CNC student in the sixties].
From Martha Stevens: I love to read city history and be able to picture in my mind the actual places described in the history. This was great. Thanks so much.
From Rachel Moore Deans: My grandfather Frank Moore grew up on the Moore farm that is now [a part of] CNU.
Editor:There were 34 pieces of land that made up the 70-acre purchase for the original CNC campus in 1963. Researching who owned all of them would be very interesting. Any volunteers?
Re: CNC's First Fraternity, Chi Psi Omega: A Long-Lasting Brotherhood.
From Allen Thompson: Great article about the fraternity. I was a member of Apprentice School fraternity Pi Sigma Phi in the early 70's and we used to play them in sandlot football at Huntington Park.
Re: Living with Professor Robert M. Usry
From Charlie Snead:Mr. Usry invited me to remain after class the day he returned our Western Civilization 101 exam which I'd barely passed. He invited me to a tutoring session at his home. He had several student boarders and sometimes offered them study suggestions. That evening I was camped out at his dining room table. He started with "How do you study? " An hour later I'd had a lesson that refocused if not saved my career. I started making A's on my history tests and almost had a solid A average. In late April my pattern was destroyed with a B on a test with all the right answers. My complaint was met with a straight face and dry comment: "A students can spell better than THAT !"I settled for a B and honor roll at CNC and later W&M. I certainly learned a lot more from Mr. Usry than not to drop my pencil in lecture hall and miss 100 years.
Re: Computer's Gender?
FROM Dalton Blankenship: Loved the computer discussion. But I would have voted for the guys!
We welcome your FEEDBACK. Send to
Published July 21, 2017
Re: CNC's First Fraternity (Chi Psi Omega):
FromJohn Norman: What a great article, thanks so much for sharing.
From Candy Hixson Whitley:Thank you for doing the article. Thank you for all that you do for all of us.
From Doug Duncan: Very nice article. Many thanks.
From Melinda Schenkkan: Great story, Jane!
From Henry Jones: Very nice. You can write about us anytime.
From Ron Haskins: Agree with Henry. [Re: deceased members] Need to mention Dickie Wartham and Mike Plott as ones holding frat parties in heaven. Can you imagine Patty [Giguere], 2 Dickies and Father [Jon] Grimes having Friday Happy Hour!
Re: Jim Windsor's Fortitude:
From Jan Giguere Clarke: I loved the wonderful story about Dr. Windsor--truly an Officer and a Gentleman, as well as a fearless leader.
Re: Pat Giguere(KIA in Grenada):
From Jan Giguere Clarke: I am so grateful to you for this newest article about Pat - and the additional information you added. I forwarded it to all our relatives.
Re: Pat Giguere, KIA in Grenada:
FROM Bob Fulgham ('71):I didn’t get to know Pat until CNC, as both he and his sister Jan were behind me at St. Vincent. I remember him as a warm hearted and friendly man. Jan was just as nice, which tells you what great parents they must have had.
FROMAl Reeder ('71): The piece about Pat Giguere was excellent. He was a good friend of mine when I was at CNC.
Re: Humor: Dave Barry's Colonoscopy
FROMAl Reeder ('71):Enjoyed the hilarious colonoscopy story.
Re: 50th Reunion, Class of 1967
FROMTom Lockard: Jane, Barbara and I enjoyed ourselves last night [May 12]. It was a marvelous affair! Thanks.
FROM John Morris: Thank you Jane and Katie for a First Class Party. My wife and I had a great time. Thanks for all you do.
FROM Michael Coburn:Thank you [Jane], President Trible, the alumni association, and staff for a delightful and fun evening we will remember. We were truly delighted and impressed. We loved seeing old friends and meeting new ones. I so enjoyed your presentation about things I had reason to know were true. I remember picking up my first CNC catalog from the Daniels school downtown... I waited [to enroll] until the Shoe Lane campus was underway. I visited often with Director Cunningham and Dr. Jim Windsor, Dean of Students at the time. They gave me permission to get the choir organized...I played flag football (broke a tibia) and otherwise became as involved as possible...I grew close to several faculty members over the years, attending again in 73 - 74. Sue and I were married beneath the pine trees behind Gosnold Hall. Again, thanks to all.
FROM Charlie Snead:I just viewed Facebook Memories from a year ago. Those pics reminded me of one of my happiest adult experiences, the 50th Reunion of my Class of 1966. THANK YOU for making it possible.
Re: Humor: Dave Barry's Colonoscopy
FROM Charlie Snead:My sentiments in words I don't possess. Thank you for lightening a loaded day.
Re: Humor: Woody Allen's Plan
FROM Pat Flowers Skinner:I'm with Woody Allen in "LIVING LIFE BACKWARDS PLAN." Great read.
on Some Possible 1967 Class Members
(CNC Freshmen in 1966)
KATHRYN RACKLEY LEIGH: FOUND through Candy Hixson Whitley.
CHRISTINE CARNEY CAPPS: FOUND through her sister, Gretchen Carney Blankenship.
BETTY JO SUDDITH SLIDER: FOUNDthrough Phylora Feeback Shrieves.
MICHAEL COBURN: FOUNDthrough Dr. Cones, plus Facebook & Isle of Wight County.
SUSAN WILLIS LOUKES is DECEASED. Reported by Jay Dunn.
FRED CUNNINGHAM is DECEASED (2012). Reported by Phylora FeebackShrieves
ROBIN VAN THIEL is DECEASED (2014). Reported by her brother, Bill.
ROSE ANNE WILLIAMSON is DECEASED. Reported by Dalton Kelley Blankenship.
ALICE YOUNG COLLIERis DECEASED (2001). Reported by Phylora Feeback Shrieves.
The search has not ended. It will HAVE to end by mid-April, however. The 50th Reunion of the Class of 1967 is May 12 & 13.
THANKS to all who have helped so far!
FEEDBACK: More Memories of Don Riley
Edited by A. Jane Chambers
FROM FORMER STUDENTS:
I'm so very sorry to see Mr. Riley has passed. I took one class from him in 1967 and it was memorable. I only saw him virtually speechless once during the semester. We were discussing personal budgeting and one, obviously very young and very protected young lady blurted out in class, "You mean you have to PAY for electricity?!?"
There was complete silence for almost two full minutes. Then he gave that smile he always had that suggested he knew more about, or was at least more interested in, what was being discussed than everyone else.
"Yes," he said, and moved along the discussion.
I wish I could have seen him once more. Dalton K. Blankenship
I had Don Riley for a statistics class. He was great at relaying complex concepts in a form that I could understand. I didn't know him personally, but he seemed to be a really nice guy. Ron Lowder
I am sorry to hear about Don's passing. He tried to teach me accounting, and I know what a great supporter he was of the First Decaders. However, being the Crabber that I am, I am distressed that he was Typhooner. Well, no one's perfect.
RIP, Don Ken Smith
I was sorry to hear of Professor Riley's passing. He was one of my professors and my guidance counselor. Danny Campbell Sr.
Sorry to hear about Mr. Riley's death. I had more classes with him than any other professor at CNU. Doug Duncan
Too bad about Don. I had him for Business. He was a very nice guy.
And this observation from a student who did NOT know Don Riley:
Thank you sharing this information regarding Professor Riley's death. I did not have any classes of his, and did not know him, but we have come to a time when many of the professors, staff (and students) of the CNC years are dying. It is so sad, albeit not unexpected, each time we learn of another death.
However, their legacies live on in every one of us who knew these people, worked with them and were taught by them. We were enriched by their dedication to teaching and to preparing us to carry on.
Also, you all built an extraordinary strong foundation (physical and mental) that nurtured and has sustained what has become one of America's great universities. I am so grateful to have been a FIRST DECADER.
Thank you! Jan Giguere Clarke
FROM FORMER COLLEAGUES:
The CNC faculty all knew each other during those early years and served on committees almost daily (or so it seemed). I always thought Don was a "cool" guy--great sense of humor, dedicated to teaching and the task he was working on, and a man about town. Although he often changed the nicknames he wanted folks to call him, I knew him as "old golden throat". Many of us were also admiring of his very attractive companion, Nellie Horton, who was, as I recall, a waitress at Sammy's at one time. I smile when I think of Don, which I think is a pretty good compliment (I don't smile when I think of xxxx). One more piece of history gone. Harold Cones
After one of CNC's out-of-town basketball games, I sat beside Don when we were riding back to the College on the old bus we called the "Blue Goose." The bus was almost totally silent; most of the players had fallen asleep after our food stop. Don and I got into a conversation about music. I learned that he had played the clarinet as a student both at Newport News High School and William and Mary. He told me that he loved playing it and that sometimes he wished he had become a professional clarinetist in a symphony orchestra. I knew he was quite a joker, but there was in his voice a tone almost of sadness, which told me he was not kidding. I saw a side of him I had not seen before. Jane Chambers
We welcome your FEEDBACK. Send it to
Published March 3, 2017
Re: Missing Possible 1967 Class Members
GLENNA TROXELL HUNDLEY: FOUND.
DIANNE DUFFIELD FLIPPEN: FOUND
KENNY SPENCER : FOUND
Re: Blizzard Photos
From: Jay Dunn
Mary Lee and I had the good fortune to be in Aruba during your snowstorm.
From: Barbara Rhyne Jacobs
I really enjoyed your writing and photos of the blizzard. I am sending them to Pat and will also share the snow pictures with my grandchildren. Such wonderful and magical winter scenes!!!
Re:Blue Star Diner Renovation
From: Renie Blentson Thanos
What a beautiful article!!! Thank you for sharing! So glad to have reconnected with you on FB!
Editor:Thank you, Renie! I have put you on my list of FRIENDS of the FIRST DECADERS so you will get the website updates.
Re: Thurber's "The Little Girl and the Wolf" & Cartoons
From: Dr. Mario Mazzarella: I LOVE James Thurber, especially his cartoons. Do you know his short story "The Catbird Seat?"
Editor:Along with "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," I taught Thurber's equally delightful "The Catbird Seat" for years in English 102 at CNC. Another favorite of his I taught in that course was "Courtship Through the Ages."
Published February 3, 2017
Re: Blue Star Diner Renovation
FROM Charlie Snead (Class of 1966):Loved the Blue Star update. I hope the diner reopens.
Re: Missing Possible 1967 Class Members
PHYLORA FEEBACKSHRIEVES: Found on Facebook. Name "Phylora" was misspelled as FYLORA in the 1966Trident.
PAIGE TRAYNOR:DECEASED. Information from Phylora Feeback Shrieves, who believes Paige died sometime in the 1970s.
FROM Charlie Snead (Class of 1966): I pray those missing alumni are found so they can be treated like royalty as we were last spring. You and CNC/U are special.
Published January 20, 2017
Re: Missing Possible 1967 Class Members
BARRY S. BYRD: FOUND. Connection not yet made, however.
JUDITH ANN COLLINS (BARNES): DECEASED (2015). Information from Jamey D. Bacon of Newport News.
JOHN MICHAEL (MIKE) JOYCE): FOUND. More accurately, reconnected with us via email. No longer living in Thailand, he has returned to the USA and is now living in Florida. He sent his new content information.
JOHN W. MOORE: FOUND, by recognizing himself. He wrote: "John C. Moore is actually John W. Moore. That is a picture of me and I was a sophomore in 1967, but did not get an A.A. until 1968." He is already documented and will, we hope, enjoy his Golden Reunion in 2018.
NAME CORRECTION: The photo labeled JOHN PITKINS is actually a photo of JOHN ATKINS, according to Jamey D. Bacon, who went to school with him.
Published January 6, 2017
Re: Missing Possible 1967 Class Members
BRIAN CHRISTENBURY: FOUND, thanks to Kecoughtan High School classmate Jane Barefoot. He has been contacted by email but has not yet responded.
NEIL VICKERS:DECEASED, reported by his CNC classmate Tom Oxner.
Published December 23, 2016
Re: Missing Possible 1967 Class Members
GEORGE FLOWE:FOUND, thanks to Bonnie Marshall. Email message sent. No response yet.
KEN PARGETER: FOUND, thanks to several sources, but has not responded to phone messages. Earned his BS in MIS at CNC in 1975.
DONNA SKIPPER PULTZ, 1967 AA degree recipient:FOUND, thanks to Linda Wilson Phillips.
TOM SMITH: FOUND, thanks to Michael Barber, but sent message through Michael that he wishes no further contact with CNC/U.
Published December 9, 2016
RE: Alumni House Named for... Alumnus Gregory Klich
FROM: William Winter (CNU Prof. Emeritus):
Hello Jane. Nice article on the Alumni house. I remember Greg very well, as a student of mine back in the day. What a fine young man and student he was. We had many chats in my office. I'm so proud of him, and I hope someone will tell him hello from me. I would love to hear from him. Thanks for what you do, and hope you are well. Best, Bill
Jane to Bill:I've forwarded your note to CNU officials, asking them to connect you with Greg Klich.
RE: Looking for Class of 1967 Sophomores
FROM: Joe Hutchko (FD):
Unfortunately, Sandra Brooks is deceased as of a few years back.
THANKS TO: Joe Hutchko, Bonnie Marshall, & Susan Heidt Siegelfor pointing out the 1966Trident yearbook's misspelling of Kenneth Pargeter's name & for getting his contact info for me. I've left phone messages but have not yet gotten a response.
Published November 25, 2016
RE: SEPTEMBER 18th PICNIC
FROM Jan Giguere Clarke (AA, 68): Hi Jane, Just a quick note of thanks for everything you and all the other "behind the scenes" folks did to host such a great picnic. The food was great and the company, even greater. Once again, you outdid yourself! Your allegiance and tireless efforts to ensure that our CNC history is preserved are remarkable. Can't wait for the Alumni House and museum to open.
FROM Donna (Kay Lass) Carter (AA, 68): Thanks so much for organizing the lovely picnic yesterday. I wanted to thank you in person but you had lots of folks around you when we left so I didn't want to interrupt. I was particularly pleased with the involvement of the CNU people. It sounds like they are really interested in involving the First Decaders with the University.
RE: SEPTEMBER 16 - 29 ISSUE
FROM Barbara Rhyne Jacobs: I was most impressed with the research that Jane Chambers did on the articles about Grace White Sherwood (Witch of Pungo) and Tucker Carwile (Roads Taken).
MORE RE: the Witchduck Road & Witch article
FROM Melinda Schenkkan (BA, 75): I found this so interesting! I was amazed they pulled her out of the water before she drowned; that was not always the case. In Salem, Mass., people often were accused of witchcraft by neighbors interested in acquiring their land.
FROM Susan Earhart: Have always wondered about the name Witchduck. Never knew. Very interesting.
FROM Camille Donne: I used to tell ghost stories in colonial Williamsburg and I always told Grace Sherwood's story. I love it!
FROM HG Fuller: I used to docent at Thoroughgood house in Virginia Beach. Because of stories about Mrs. Sherwood, sometimes people would come out at night and vandalize the graveyard. The ducking part--you couldn't win either way.
FROM Mary Mertl: Well isn't that interesting! Never knew that!
RE: SEPTEMBER 02 - 15 ISSUE
FROM Charlie Snead (AA, 1966): I really enjoyed the article on William Styron. Never knew that. Also liked the Intercourse joke. I have Blue Cross as well.
FROM Pat Shaughnessy Morrell (AA, 1965): Jane, I enjoyed every word. Thank you for keeping this website going.
We welcome your FEEDBACK. Send to
Published September 30, 2016
Re: Driving the TwoRiversideHospital Buses
FROM Sharon Wiseman Porter:
Great article! What a great career you had, Fran Newman!
FROM Brenda Drummond:
Awwww... memories of riding the bus....Ms. Lokey had graduated before I rode the bus.
FROM Phyllis Jordan (RSPN Class of 1964):
I know that the bus driving of nursing students was a part of the CNC history, but the bus driving has a long history with Riverside. Enjoyed this article.
I was in the class of '64 and drove the bus during my first year and some other times after that. The school gave new students a day in Williamsburg and other places. Driving for our college classes was to Norfolk to the then William and Mary extension, now ODU. We had many fun times going back and forth through the tunnel. We drove a smaller white bus and the Green Monster. It was always fun to park the big old bus at the college with college guys watching us and laughing when we were backing into a space but looking rather sheepish when we parked and got out of the bus. Many memories of good times!
FROM Fran Lokey Newman (Subject of the article):
The article is wonderful. Thank you so very much.
Re: Anglo-Saxon Place Names in Tidewater
FROM Ken Smith (AA, 1964)
I enjoyed your article on the origins of names of some of Virginia's communities. I learned a bit more. As I have traveled the country, I have found it interesting to see the names of counties, towns, and cities that probably had their origins in England and western Europe. Often the word "new" is added. Here in central Virginia, we have New London, which played a significant part in the American Revolution.
Founded around 1750, New London became Bedford County's first county seat in 1754. Situated at the cross roads of the Great Wagon Road and the Wilderness Road, its stores, shops, and mills provisioned early pioneers. By 1775, New London village was an arsenal and produced gunpowder, cartridges and accouterments for patriot solders. It became a Continental arsenal with musket repair shops and produced artillery shells for Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina forces. The arsenal remained in use until at least 1814.
Undoubtedly some of my ancestors benefited from those brave souls who left their homes in Merry Old England and settled in Indian country. Their families, hearts and thoughts were probably prominent in their decision to name this wilderness New London. The name probably brought a lot of nostalgia but helped the settlers (particularly the women folk, who probably were reluctant to leave their former homes) make the transition to a new way of life.
We welcome your FEEDBACK. Send it to
Published September 2, 2016
Re: What's in a Name? Anglo-Saxon Place Names in Tidewater
FROM Patty Lottinville Kipps (CNC AA, 1963):
I can remember as a child talking with my friends about all those "sex" names and wondering to what they may have referred! I do enjoy etymology articles. Always interested in word/place name sources. Would enjoy other similar pieces.
FROM Sarah Kleinman:
That was a really cool read!
FROM Janie Wolf (widow of CNC Prof. Wm. D. Wolf):
This article was most interesting and entertaining. Bill loved etymology. He would have liked this too!
FROM Barbara Rhyne Jacobs:
This history is fascinating. I too have an interest in ancient place names. Now I understand why Massachusetts those names for their counties. I would definitely be interested in more etymology history. So, keep that research going about language. I am probably one of your best readers!
Articles on the RSPN students: (1) Riverside Nursing Student and CNC Instructor with a "Cute Butt" and (2) Riverside Nursing Students at CNC in the Early Years.
FROM Donna Schroer James (RSPN Class of 1967)Had to take our labs downtown. Loved every minute of that time so long ago. Fifty years for my class next year.FROM Karen FlanaganHow neat! So glad you posted this. Beth Mollick was one of my instructors many moons ago.FROM Denise Roxann Roane Machamer (RSPN Class of 1974)I was once the Green Monster bus rider from Riverside to CNC... embarrassed and glad to change into cutoffs out of long skirt to feel normal on campus.FROM Fran Lokey Newman (RSPN Class of 1971)I drove the bus [Green Monster] from 68 to 69 back and forth to CNC! This picture is from the class ahead of me. The male nurse [Jim Lowell] is now a physician. Loved my time at Riverside.FROM Brenda Banks Drummond (RSPN Class of 1973)Thank you. Great memories.FROM Sandra Jordan Frost Murray (RSPN Class of 1970)Thanks for the chance to see old classmates.
July 8 Website Issue
FROM Patricia (Pat) ShaughnessyMorrell(AA, 1965)
I have just had the pleasure of reading the articles in this issue because I am at Massanutten for a vacation and have time. I loved it all and cried because I did not make a bigger effort to see my friends Windsor and Wood. I see Mr. Wood now lives in MD. Thank you for all you do. I enjoyed all the articles and humor.
FROM Wilma Dotson (AA, 1965)
These are wonderful stories. Thank you so much for keeping us informed and in touch. I especially enjoyed Mr. Wood's memories of Dr. Windsor.
Remembering Bill Wolf
FROM Dr. Theodora Bostick (Emerita Professor of History)
Thank you, Jane, for the really nice article on Bill Wolf. It brought back many memories and refreshed others.
FROM Janie Wolf (Bill Wolf 's widow)
That is a beautifully written article and expressed your own personal emotions for CNC (now CNU), Bill, and our family! Thanks for taking the time to do this. You are an inspiration to many!
Track Shirt Mysteries
FROM Joe Hutchko (owner of the 2 CNC t-shirts)
I was also on the track team in the years 1970-1974 so maybe, just maybe, Jim Hubbard may rememberif the [blue] shirt was used during that period.As far as the light grey shirt I am still at a loss to explain that one. Thanks for your efforts to correctly determine another bit of CNC history.
Editor's Note: So far we have received no response from Coach Hubbard.
Re: Blue shirt with orange lettering:
FROMJim Dossett(on cross country team Fall, 1966)
I do not recall the tee shirt version (#32), which looks like a practice shirt (which the cross country team did not have).
Re: Gray shirt with shoe image:
FROMDouglas Dickinson(coached track at CNC 1977-80)
Why does a track t-shirt have a high top basketball shoe on it? Could it be a basketball shirt and not a track shirt? It is possible that it was part of the basketball program that was headed by Bev Vaughan.
I remember the discussion some of us students had in 1962 regarding the school colors. I think the majority of us who voted for the blue and gray were greatly influenced by Mr. Usry and his riveting lectures on the Civil War. I recall in a conversation with him that he said the Blue and Gray would be fitting colors because of the importance that Newport News played during the Civil War.
$200 Psycology Lab article
FROM Dr. Bill Winter (professor emeritus):
Nice story by Sam. Thanks to him for the memories.
FROM Danny Peters (Class of 1971):
Very nice article by Sam Bauer.
FROM Dr. Sam Bauer (author):
Jane, I think this is the first time I have expressed nice things to an editor! You did a great job shortening and editing the "Lab" piece. Sorry that I had no picture of my lab, but your file pictures did the job. Keep up the good work.
P.S.: I set the pipe aside in 1981 and never looked back!
Golden Reunion, Class of 1966
Jane, Thank you ... for being persistent in soliciting my acquiescence to attend. I had some reluctance in doing so for it has been 50 years since I set foot on the Christopher Newport campus and my seeming collegiate attachment was/is to Old Dominion University. I was on the advisory board there for 7 years and had the honor of being selected alumnus of the year in 2005. I finally agreed to attend partly due to your persistence and partly out of curiosity. I expected an interesting evening and one that would pass by pleasantly but nothing memorable. Goodness was I ever wrong. I do not have sufficient command of the English language to express just how impressed I was with the University, from the beautiful buildings, to the immaculate grounds, to the enthusiasm of the students, administration, and to the atmosphere that is fostered. I never thought for even a moment driving down that in any way, fashion, or form could my heart be won. But it was. Gail and I left with a sense of awe and an afterglow that will linger for some time. While Old Dominion will remain number one in my life, Christopher Newport will be a close second now. In that regard, may I request a favor from you. I would like to make a donation to the University and therefore ask for your assistance. Thank you again for what you do and how well you represent the University. Joel Lewis
Editor's Note: Now considering himself "a proud alum of both" CNU and ODU, Joel has donated to CNU's Alumni House fund and the Cunningham Scholarship fund.
Jane, Thanks for all the hard work in getting our class together last night. It was just as good as you had forecasted it would be. My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and from the conversations I had, everyone else did also. Thanks again for everything.Woody Compton
Editor's Note:Charlie has shared with us the email below that he addressed to Alumni Relations OfficerKatie Monteith:
Wow ! What a wonderful event. I pray all those involved can some day know the joy of being treated so well. I now feel I am and want to be an active part of our university--CNU (C). I surely will see many of your smiling faces when I return to visit the alumni house and stroll our beautiful facilities. Everyone went far beyond the call and I'll always treasure the memories. CNU's current students really are special. They represented our school well. Manners, appropriate dress, smiles and sincerity were obvious everywhere I looked. May God bless each of you. Charlie Snead
Jane, I would like to thank you for all your efforts to keep all the First Decaders up to date on the happenings at Christopher Newport. I am confident without those efforts our spectacular class reunion would not have occurred. It was truly a very special night. Attached is a short editorial I sent to the Daily Press to express my thoughts on the evening:
Special CNU Reunion
The Golden Celebration for the CNU 50th Reunion class of 1966 was held Friday May 13, 2016 at Christopher Newport University. For the returning alumni this was a very spectacular event that far exceeded all our expectations. The remarkable growth of our college, the beauty of the campus and the incredible quality of the buildings were only surpassed by the gracious hospitality of President Paul Trible, Professor Emerita Jane Chambers, Professor Emeritus Barry Wood, Master of Ceremony Scott Millar and all additional staff and participating students. It was an unforgettable experience and left the attending alumni with a sense of pride that we had been part of the initial years of this great university. Many thanks to all who made this such a wonderful evening.
Cowles M. “Buddy” Spencer
We had a wonderful time and felt like important folks, for sure! Only disappointment was for the Class of 2016 Seniors who didn't get to have their candlelight ceremony due to the storm. We can't wait to do it all again next year!! Dalton and Norman Blankenship
Dear Jane, We are fortunate to have an individual of your dedication and passionate commitment to our cause, a person who so much understands what the CNC experience of the 60's was about. The reunion weekend was beyond special. It gave me a long overdue sense of caring for the institution and the people. My only regret is that others were not there. I intend to maintain contact and wish you the best health and circumstances. My best, Jim Paxton
I really enjoyed the reunion. I give a special thanks for all the people who had something to do with planning the affair. The reunion was first class. Many thanks to the bartenders, waiters and waitresses who were extremely helpful and whose service was excellent. I enjoyed the entertainment selections. Those musicians and singers were very good and have great futures. The young man who drove the golf cart was very polite and answered all my questions. A special thanks to you, Jane, for all your efforts to keep the Christopher Newport College Alumni up to date .Your efforts are greatly appreciated and thank you. Thank you for all the people behind the scenes that made the 1966 Reunion a special day. Ted McFalls
We welcome your FEEDBACK. Send to
Published May 27, 2016
Responses Following the Death of Dr. Windsor,
CNC's Second President
Editor's note: Over 40 former CNC students and faculty emailed heartfelt responses to me after learning of the death in early April of Dr. James C. (Jim) Windsor and/or after looking at the photo gallery and articles about Dr. Windsor posted on our website in April and May by professors emeriti Harold Cones (Windsor Stories), Barry Wood (In Memoriam), and me ( Photo Gallery linkand Windsor as Marine in Korea). Obviously there is not enough room here to quote all of these statements. Below is a memory from Kenneth Flick that reflects Jim's character, followed by 10 comments by others.
Hi Jane, I thought I might share a story about Jim Windsor with you. Sharon, my wife of 43 years, and I met at CNC in the fall of 1972. Eleven months later we were planning on getting married, but being of different faiths we were having difficulty in finding someone other than the justice of the peace to perform the ceremony.
Someone, I do not remember who, suggested we talk to Dr. Windsor because, as president of the college, he might be able to perform the ceremony “like the captain of a ship.” When I called him he jumped at the chance, saying, “Just let me check to see if my license is still valid.” He called me back within twenty minutes, saying that he would be “honored” to perform the ceremony.
On September 9, 1973, at the home of my new in-laws and in front of mine and Sharon’s families and friends, Dr. Windsor performed a very moving and SPECIAL ceremony that Sharon and I will never forget. It’s not every day that two people are wed by the president of a college.
Through the years we periodically kept in touch with him on special occasions. In fact, at the dedication of the new clinic at CNU named in his honor, a couple of pictures from our wedding album featuring him performing the ceremony were flashed on a movie screen. What memories that brought back to all of us.
Dr. Jim Windsor was that kind of man; we will remember him always. Kenneth Flick (BA, 1972)
I had him for psychology and found him excellent, not only as a teacher but also as a person. Joel Lewis (1966 Class)
Dr. Windsor was a wonderful and thoughtful teacher. I was very fortunate to be in his classes in 1963 and 1964. Mary Warren (1964 Class)
President/Professor Windsor was inspirational to me. Loved taking his psychology class. Never had any instructor make a subject so compelling. He truly loved it and that transferred to those in his class. John Kelly (BA, 1972)
I loved Dr, Windsor when I was at CNC and I'm so glad that I have had some opportunities to see him over the past few years at our reunions. Ellen Babb Melvin (AA, 1966)
He was truly a fine human being. Jean Regone Henry (AA, 1965)
My heart is heavy but I know he is teaching in the heavens to anyone who will listen!! Ellen Powell Lasher ( 1963 Class)
Thanks to your efforts with our web site I was able to meet with Mr. Windsor and thank him for steering my career at a critical point in my life. The red cheeks he acquired as he dashed to our class were connected to a smile and kind words for all of us eager students. A good instructor, fine administrator, and GREAT man who will be dearly missed...until we meet again. Charlie Snead (AA, 1966)
I remember him as a kind and wonderful man....well loved. Mary Ann (Kearns) Schoultz (1964 Class)
Jim wasa very special person to all of us. Marshall Booker (Professor Emeritus)
I knew that this day would eventually come, but still find myself in deep sorrow. I'm just glad that I had the opportunity to know him. I hope there will be some kind of event to honor him at CNU as well. Sean Heuvel (Current CNU professor)
Regarding the May 27th Issue of the Website
This is a wonderful issue. Excellent tribute to Jim. Thanks. William (Bill) Winter(Professor Emeritus)
Golden Reunion, Class of 1966
Dear Dr. Jane, Sherry and I so enjoyed the Class of 1966 Reunion. It was great to see you and Barry Wood and to renew friendships and make new friends with classmates I did not get to know as a student. The CNU Alumni staff made us feel welcome and an important part of the CNC-CNU story.
Thank you for being our keeper of the spirit of the First Decade.
I also had opportunity to look back on the significant contribution my 3 semesters at CNC made to my life. I was given a second chance at college. I received a great education as well as developed lifelong interests and friends. CNC was definitely the right place at the right time for me.
Again Thank you! Godspeed. Jim Collie
P.S.: I hope to be around for the 60 year Reunion!
Future First Decaders Featured in Newport News High School's Beacon
This article is amazing...I knew Charles Milne and Steve Kiger very well. Charles played in NNHS graduate Howard Conn’s band “Howie and the Blazers” as did I. That was in the early 60s as I recall. Howard is now a very successful plastic surgeon in California. I got him to play guitar on a tune that CNC attendee Jimmy Crank and I wrote recently.
Steve Kiger and I shared an apartment back in the 60s when we both attended CNC and worked together at the Peninsula Boys' Club before that. Our apartment was in Christopher Newport Apartments, which occupied the real estate fronting Warwick Boulevard which now is approximately where CNU's new athletic building sits.This all takes me back down memory lane!
CNC FD Webmaster Ron Lowder
Portrait of Mr. Usry Found
I was a student in Mr. Usry's Western Civilization 101-102 in 1964-65. Without a doubt he was a major reason I became successful in college. I cruised thru high school being somewhat successful by listening most of the time and staying out of trouble. There was no history of academic pursuits in my rather large extended family. In fact I was the first child or grandchild to finish high school and I really had no idea what college was except a barrier to marrying Thommy.
A few times during my first semester in Western Civ I dropped my pencil and lost 50 years of history. By exam time I was carrying a low C average and concerned that college might not be my thing. After our exams were returned and the questions reviewed I tucked my head and started to slink out of that lecture hall when I heard my name called. I had always tried to be anonymous and shook when identified or called on for an answer or to defend an opinion. "Yes sir?" was all I could muster.
Mr. Usry wanted to know if I'd like some pointers to improve my grade. He said he had some students over often to study and he'd be glad to meet with me if I cared to stop by one afternoon. While I was only a mediocre student I was no fool and with an offer like that one I only asked, "What time?" Our meeting began with an inquiry about how I studied. I said I read the assigned chapters. He repeated the question and I mumbled something like "uh...." I had never been taught how to read for learning content or how to review and study for a test. That evening Mr. Usry taught me life lessons that took me from C's, D's and even F's to A's on those weekly quizzes.
I had an A going into the last few weeks when I was shocked to receive a B- on a quiz. My usual poor spelling had been "red marked" and penalized. Mr. Usry explained that an A student needed to be able to spell like one. I made a B in that class and learned another life lesson: if you're not sure of the spelling, change to a word you know how to spell. I became a very successful student after that kitchen table class Mr. Usry offered me on a cold January evening. He was a truly wonderful man.
Charles Snead (AA, 1966)
Published April 16, 2016
Portrait of Mr. Usry Found
As a member of the first decade class, I was delighted to see the portrait of Mr. Usry has been uncovered. He was a wonderful mentor. We were invited to play pool at his home in the early 1960's and he was always there for students. There is a memorial brick in his name. I thought he had been forgotten and that was the least I could do. Wonderful memories.
Judene Branch Hartless (AA, 1963)
Photo by Judene B. Hartless.
I loved the announcement of the discovery of the lost portrait of Mr. Usry. I was a student of Mr. Usry at CNC in 1965 - 1966 and felt so blessed to be in his history class because I had always dreaded history class previous to having Mr. Usry as a professor. He made every history lesson come alive with excitement and profound implications for the future. I will always remember Mr. Usry with admiration, respect and love. I look forward to seeing his portrait in the future.
Thank you for the wonderful info this month. It's amazing how the CNC/U site has grown and served us so well. I can hardly contain myself as I anticipate May !!! Charlie Snead (AA, 1966)
Just discovered your website (thanks to Harold Cones). Wonderful job, and a great idea! I enjoy tracking your website and it's nice to keep up with events, etc. at CNU. Miss my colleagues from yesteryear, and would love to hear about what mischief they are up to. Would appreciate it if you would post my e-mail address to your mailing list. That would be great. Keep up the good work! [Dr.] Bill Winter (Prof. Emeritus of Government)
Enjoy the weekly CNC updates. FYI—my daughter, Jaclyn, is helping with the stoles for the CNC 50th reunion (Josten’s). Ginger Smith (66)
C&O LOCOMOTIVE ARTICLES
These 2 articles were very popular, as evidenced by the large number of website "HITS" (218) and many reader responses, including the below.
Jane, thanks for the information. I always just drove by the old train. Even used to go to the park back in the 70s with a few of my old girl friends. The train was always there. It looks like the old girl is getting a face lift in time for future generations. That's a good thing. I am just glad that the old train is getting a new life.Robert Stutts
I can remember this engine being moved. My Dad worked on the crews that helped move it across Warwick Blvd. and put it where it is today.
Anne Boucher Keatts
I helped bring the Train across Warwick Blvd. Herman Thomas
The snow makes that awkward white primer look nice. Great photo! Thanks for sharing.Steve Silsby
The man in the photo that looks like he's painting is not. He is actually water blasting off the old loose paint and rust, along with dirt, so the first coat of primer will stick to the surface. Monrickie Culotta
Correct. It's a high pressure water-laser. They can also hook up a hose that feeds a sand slurry into the stream to take off heavy-duty rust. It's very effective. And dangerous. I spent my career working for an electric utility. When we went through power unit overhauls, we sometimes used these water-lasers to clean steam-turbine condensers. We had an accident once, where a worker shot himself in the leg with it and, in an instant, filled his leg with sand and water. I don't know what ultimately happened but I do know that he had multiple operations to remove the sand. It was a horrible accident. Mark Van Noy
This [article] is for my children...fond memories. Linda Fulghum
It's a beautiful locomotive. C. Michael Barber
James Sikora [AA, 1966] has passed away. Google James Sikora, Poquoson, Va and his obit should come up.
Ginger Smith (66)
Thank you for this help, Ginger!
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Published February 26, 2016
JAN. 29, 2016
LOOKING FOR...1966 (See article near the bottom of this page)
FOUND: GAIL MATHIS (NOW Phillips).
Contact info sent by her Warwick High classmateTony Williamson (BS, 73)
FOUND: BARBARA WEINSTOCK.
Contact info sent by her childhood friendMichael Barber.
One of the missing people you cited is incorrectly identified as "Karen August." The correct last name isAUNGST. I don't know her whereabouts, but maybe the corrected name will assist in locating her.
Dave Hall (BA, 73)
JANE PILLOW article (See under FIRST DECADE HISTORY tab)
Thank you! I enjoyed reading the article. Both Jane and Graham Pillow contributed to my success!
Wilma Riden Moore (AA, 70; BS, 72)
Just finished reading the article on the Pillows. I remember Mr. and Mrs. Pillow. What a wonderful life they have had.
Linda McKenna Sivilich (73)
MYSTERY PEOPLE: 1975 HOMECOMING(see article under MYSTERY PEOPLE tab under the WEBSITE ARCHIVES tab)
A number of readers disagreed with Sofos Takis (BA, 74) regarding the identities of the 2 men in this photo. Sofos thought they were Paul Babcock (front) and CNC basketball player Jerry Allen (back). Henry Jones ( BA, 75), who also played basketball for CNC, wrote that neither man was Paul or Jerry. Former CNC basketball coach Bev Vaughan agreed. Billy Gleve Goad wrote: "Wendy Murphy and Donnie Green, her future husband, are the first couple in the pic."
Several readers identified that same girl, in front, wearing the white dress, as Wendy Murphy. They included readers MaryCatherine Reynolds Harris, Debra Parker, John Norman, Roman Schenkkan (BA, 74 ) and Raymona Shannon Hanson.
Published January 29, 2016
FEBRUARY 12, 2016
LOOKING FOR...1966 (See article near the bottom of this webpage)
FOUND:RONALD BROCK. Ron actually found us by finding our website, which included his picture in this article. He has also made a generous donation to the Alumni House Fund. Thank you, Ron!
JANE PILLOW article(See under FIRST DECADE HISTORY tab)
I thoroughly enjoyed reading the Jane Pillow article. Both she and Graham, but primarily Jane, had a profound influence in my life. She was my sixth grade teacher at John Daniel Elementary. By the time I arrived at John Daniel in the mid- 1950s, it was on the decline and considered a “tough” school in which to work. Jane, not long out of college, had the unfortunate experience of taking over a class that was way too large, very diverse, and in need of considerable remedial help. Amazingly, she weathered the storm and managed to make a difference in virtually every child’s life.
I had Graham as an eighth grade science teacher at NNHS. He too managed to spark some an interest in science in an adolescent more focused on Friday night football and the girl sitting next to him in English class. Unfortunately for Graham, he again saw me in an Introductory Physics at CNC only to discover that the spark he ignited in the 8th grade for science had long been extinguished. Needless to say I had a short life in the physical sciences.
While I was at CNC, Jane was the Registrar. I talked with her often and she did her best to encourage me to apply myself and stick with obtaining a degree. After several years of struggle, things fell into place, my grades improved, and I ultimately transferred to William and Mary (and later advanced degrees from the University of Chicago and UNC-Charlotte). About the time of my departure from CNC, she sent me a handwritten letter, which I still have, expressing her congratulations. But more importantly, she told me that she had never doubted my ability. That is the Jane Pillow that I knew.
PS: Barry Wood once told me that if I stayed at CNC any longer they were going to name a building after me. I’m still waiting.
Larry Elmore (69)
MYSTERY PEOPLE: 1975 HOMECOMING (see article under MYSTERY PEOPLE tab under the WEBSITE ARCHIVES tab)
Melinda Schenkkan (76) identified 4 people in this photo, one of whom has definitely been verified--the 1975 Homecoming Queen, Martha Fulcher Kelly, who wrote on the FHS Alumni FB page that she is indeed this lady. However, Martha cannot recall who the 1975 King was. Christine Plethos Ferguson wrote (and I agree!) "We must find Prince Charming!" Who is he?
Melinda Schenkkan also believes that "Donna Walkup is the cheerleader right behind Martha" and that "Tom and Jeannie Klump" are the couple "at the top of the bleachers to the right of Martha's head." Can anyone verify this information? Thanks also to Frannie Fran, the first to suggest the 1975 Queen was Martha, and Marilyn Bennett, who also recognized Martha.
Published February 12, 2016
Re: Article onAlumni House, Part 1
From Ray Otte: Very interesting and beautiful! Who is financing this fine building?
Editor Jane’s Reply:By Virginia law, alumni buildings cannot be financed by state funds; therefore, the building will be financed entirely by donations. I'll give a fuller report on that in a later article on the website. Stay tuned!
Re: Website Photo Incorrectly Identified
From Andrew Jelonek (CNU class of 2015):The "1st Decade Campus" page (http://www.cncfirstdecaders6171.com/1stdecadecampus.html) incorrectly labels one picture as Ratcliffe Hall [photo below left]. It is actually a picture of the [back of] Captain John Smith Library, the side that faced Shoe Lane. You can see the road curving on the left-hand side of the image which is shown in the map lower down the page.
Editor Jane’s Reply: You are absolutely correct, Andrew! I recognize the curved roadway of that faculty parking lot (to the left--not visible in the photo) and the small brick structure on the left that housed (I think) heating and air conditioning equipment. Thank you! The caption has now been corrected. We copied this photo from p. 25 of the picture book Christopher Newport University, by Sean M. Heuvel, which identified the building as Ratcliffe. Mistakes happen. No one seems to have a photo of Ratcliffe. If you know of one, please contact me.
P.S.:Andrew sent the color photo of Ratcliffe(below right) that was in the 1973 CNC Time Capsule opened at CNU in 2010. The unknown photographer took that picture from inside a vehicle. If anyone has a better photo, please send it to us!
The back of Smith Hall, with the administration part to the left and Captain John Smith Library to the right, beginning with the 2-story center. From p. 25 of Sean Heuvel's book Christopher Newport University, incorrectly identified there as Ratcliffe Hall.
Front entrance and left side of Ratcliffe Gymnasium in 1973, apparently photographed from a vehicle. Notice reflection on the right in what seems to be a vehicle's outside rear view mirror. White stuff at bottom looks like plastic bag material, not snow. Photographer is unknown.
Published February 13, 2015
RE:OfNew Years, January, and Janus:
From Danny Peters (BS, 71): Many thanks for doing the article on Janus. I have forwarded it on to others who will certainly enjoy your efforts too!
RE:Archaeologist Patrick Garrow Honored:
From Pat Garrow (AA, 63): Great article Jane! Thanks!
RE:CNC Commencement Exercises [Program for1966]:
From Dalton Kelley Blankenship: (AA, 71; BA, 85) Wow! I had completely forgotten that Norman and I were part of the CNC Choir that sang for that commencement in 1966. It was a thrill to 'perform' in front of an audience! In August of 1967, we were honored to have Tony Auby, the Choir's Director, sing at our wedding. Such great memories!
From Ellen Babb Melvin (1966 class): I just wonder why I didn't get my AA degree, how I missed out on it. What were the requirements? I don't know why I didn't do/get this. These were my peers, my year!
From Charlie Snead(AA, 66)re: AA degree requirements: Vaguely remember [degree requirements]-- 60 semester hours, core courses like English, math, science, history, and foreign language...minimum gpa may also have been included. Jane may remember since she was closely involved for many more years than my 2.
From Editor (Dr.Jane) to Ellen and Charlie: The oldest catalog I have with me is the one for 1971, which states only this about the AA degree: A student must fulfill the general degree requirements set forth in the catalogue [sic] which is in effect at the date of his entrance to the College.
The CNU library might/might not have the catalog for 1964. I will check.
Published January 30, 2015
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