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Wow, girls! Could it really be since 1958 that we wore those glamorous beanies and sang those sentimental words, especially the second verse?
“Whene’er we have to leave you
We never will forget
The lessons you have taught us
And all the friends we’ve met.
And we your sons and daughters
Will hold your name on high,
So here’s to Mary Washington,
Our love will never die!”
What a resounding success our 50th reunion was! Missing were our youthful singing voices and the sound of the pipe organ that adorned George Washington Hall.
On Friday evening, despite a big thunderstorm, the expanding campus and Brompton grounds looked beautiful, and the hors d’oeuvres served in the new Tennis Center were delicious. Giant applause goes to Mark Thaden ’02, the new director of alumni relations, and his staff. They did a great job working with members of our class’s reunion committee, Nancy Powell Sykes, Kathleen Sprenkle Lisagor, Betty Stewart Kienast, Margaret Walker MacAllister, Jane Walshe McCracken, Marsha Lynn Wilkins, and Emily Lewis. Our class was able to establish a scholarship in honor of our 50th reunion. It’s an investment fund that keeps growing. Contact Emily for more information.
Our once-in-a-lifetime event included tours, classes, speakers, a Friday night banquet, and a dance and presentations in the Jepson Alumni Executive Center on Saturday night. A picnic Saturday on Ball Circle included tents for all classes. One of the most touching parts was a reverent reading of the list of all our dear classmates who have passed on.
At our Friday night dinner, Maggie MacAllister introduced our guest speaker, William B. Crawley, professor emeritus of history, who entertained us with photos and memories of rules, dress codes, and more. He and wife Theresa Young Crawley ’77 have given their hearts and souls to UMW. Bill’s book, University of Mary Washington: A Centennial History, 1908-2008, is a masterpiece. The Saturday evening dance event featured President Richard V. Hurley’s toast to our 50th reunion and presentation of awards. He and wife Rose have had a positive impact on UMW. They’re awesome on the dance floor, too! We missed those who couldn’t join us, but UMW Magazine is a great way to keep in touch.
Classmates at the reunion came from Virginia, California, Oregon, Michigan, Ohio, Louisiana, Texas, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Kentucky. Beverly Sulpice Percell helped several classmates get to the train station and airports.
We appreciate our past class agents. When Kathleen called Pat Mackey Taylor to get pointers on preparing news, she discovered Pat had lost husband Bob in June, then fallen and broken an ankle. Our heartfelt sympathy and wishes for a speedy recovery go to Pat, whose fourth granddaughter was due on Christmas!
Nancy Powell Sykes uses saltwater pools to help her heal from knee replacement surgery. Neither daughter lives nearby. We thank Nancy for representing our class on the Alumni Board all these years and for her leadership for our reunion.
Jane Walshe McCracken was recovering from a stroke and was brave to fly from California to be at the reunion. She said Emily Lewis, Ann Tench Huml, Helen Alexion James, and Judith Lewis ’61 had a mini-reunion in September at Emily’s home on Afton Mountain. Ann missed the reunion; she and her husband were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary on a cruise.
Many of us were married soon after graduation. Congratulations to all the 50th anniversary couples! Joyce Wilborn Lacy and husband Lou celebrated their 50th anniversary in August by hosting their three children, spouses, and seven grandchildren on a trip to The Homestead. Their eighth grandchild, the first Lacy baby boy, was expected Christmas week. Kathleen Sprenkle Lisagor, Louise Couch Girvin, and Ella Waller Nargelle were in their wedding party. Joyce and Lou still divide their time between Hilton Head, S.C., and Winchester, Va. Louise and John visit Kathleen en route from Kentucky to his sister’s place in Falls Church, Va. Louise, Peggy, and Kathleen were freshman roommates. Peggy Downs Gerber of Wilmington, Del., and Joan Akers Rothgeb spent the night at Kathleen’s to help tie up reunion details. Peggy and John celebrated the birth of their sixth grandchild. Joan’s daughter, Shannon Rothgeb Powell ’92, her husband, and granddaughter Katie came to the picnic Saturday. Joan and Kathleen met outside Charlottesville in October to discuss the reunion.
Carolyn White still leads spiritual youth groups and revived her violin playing. Rosalie Alico Turner has scheduled speaking tours for her sixth book, March With Me, grounded in Birmingham, Ala., during the civil rights movement and due to be published this year. Faye Grear Metzl moved to Kershaw, S.C., near her two sons, one of whom is a TV station photojournalist. She likes visiting wildlife refuges in the southeast.
Nancy Cheek Mitchell of Winchester, Va., recently had lunch with Joan. Nancy and Bob planned to visit one of their sons in China. Lucy Ritter Todd travels extensively with her husband, who does archaeological digs and research. Carolyn Powell Piotrowski and Sandy Cox Jones, who went to U.Va. for nursing, live in Charlottesville. Betsy Carper Cole and Sue Grandy Farrar planned a fall Viking river cruise on the Danube. Marcia Kirsten Fitzmaurice’s daughter, Carey, created Teal Toes to publicize the symptoms of ovarian cancer.
Sandra McGregor Craig and husband Ken of Virginia Beach made their annual cross-country drive, visiting San Diego for a Navy ship reunion. They saw suitemate Judy Wolfe Allen and husband in La Jolla. Sandra’s and Judy’s husbands were USNA classmates. Aney Melton Massie retired from teaching. She and her husband enjoy grandchildren on their Washington County farm. Aney stays in touch with Ame Garthright Anderson, who retired. She and Ken are still connected to Virginia Tech.
Joyce Hartley Mitcheltree retired after teaching 43 years, does church work, and is grateful for Alan Jackson’s fundraiser concert to repair damage in Mineral, Va., caused by the 2011 earthquake. Retired teacher Kakki Perry Aydlotte of Powhatan, Va., keeps in touch with dear friend Bonnie Platt Larsen of New Jersey. Pat Barrack Gibson, who retired as dean of the Trident Technical College Learning Center in Charleston, S.C., travels abroad and enjoys her two young grandsons nearby. Pat attends the same church as Ruby Hodges Holcomb ’61.
Our sympathy goes to Julia Shumaker Bailess, who lost her 94-year-old mother, who was still living in her own home. Julia was expecting her fifth grandchild and enjoying her new beach house in Emerald Isle, N.C. She and Bob, the exciting Spotsylvania football coach she met as a UMW student teacher, celebrated their 50th anniversary.
On a sad note, Kathleen Sprenkle Lisagor lost her youngest brother, Clarence Sprenkle, on Sept. 11 after a battle with sarcoidosis. He’d been a great support to her since Barry’s long illness, but she likes to dwell on her blessings, especially her eight grandchildren and her cocker spaniels, Buster and Blossom.
What a treasure to have longtime friends. As Myrtle Dean France said, you smile every time you picture us at the banquet trying to move these bodies to The Twist. Hopefully our 50th reunion will help keep our bonds alive. Thanks to all who participated. Keep the news coming! If you don’t do email, our home addresses are on that green postcard.