The Blog @
Southern Virginia University
  1. Southern Virginia to Hold Paul K. Sybrowsky Memorial Oct. 24

    October 23, 2014

    sybrowsky_memorial_poster

    Southern Virginia University will hold a memorial in honor of the late Paul K. Sybrowsky, immediate past president of the university, on Friday, Oct. 24, at 4 p.m. on the northwest lawn of the Von Canon Library.

    At the memorial, the university will plant a dogwood tree in honor of Sybrowsky, who served Southern Virginia for two years and passed away on Sept. 10, 2014. Community members and Southern Virginia students, faculty and staff are encouraged to join with members of the Sybrowsky family including Lynne Sybrowsky to show their respect for the former president.

    (Post by Hannah King ’13.)

  2. Homecoming Scavenger Hunt: From Hogwarts to Main Hall

    October 21, 2014

    It’s been a dream of mine for a long while to go on a grand adventure. To escape from the Shire and venture into Middle Earth, to step onto Platform 9 ¾, to burrow into the wardrobe.

    I’m still waiting on those things, but I did have the opportunity to explore the humble town of Buena Vista, Va., recently, thanks to the Homecoming Scavenger Hunt. Not quite as romantic, I’ll admit, but it was still entertaining, and anything outside the library feels like a grand adventure around midterms.

    I was a tad late to the hunt and ended up having to scavenge for my team as well. The alumni were certainly doing a better job of representing. After recruiting students Angela Stone (’17) and Tanner Blatter (‘18), I ran down the hill yelling, “I’m going on an adventure!” (Kidding, but I kind of wish I had.)

    The hunters were given a series of riddles related to destinations both on and off campus. They varied in difficulty levels (we were pretty darned stumped by “Today, I’ll be happier than a bird with a french fry,” I confess). We were lead all over Buena Vista, visiting everything from the public library to the colored school.

    Some of the riddles were clearly geared toward alumni, others toward current students. A few alumni were kind enough to clue us in, as we were ignorant of facts like the location of Pebble Beach. This might have weakened their chances to win the scavenger hunt if it weren’t for the fact that the alumni were two teams stronger than the students.

    In the end, my team managed to throw the ring into Mount Doom/defeat Lord Voldemort/save Narnia from the White Witch, finishing as the team with the most points, though the alumni won overall due to greater forces.

    The scavenger hunt was one of the events involved in the Student-Alumni Competition. Throughout Homecoming weekend, particular events and competitions contributed to alumni and student scores. At the end of the festivities, the winner would be awarded former president Rodney Smith’s green chucks. The victors were announced at the Homecoming Dance Saturday night.

    In the end, with the aid of points from the Pre-Game Celebration and the killing they made at the Quiz Bowl on Saturday morning, the alumni did emerge champions, claiming the coveted chucks.

    (Post by Madeleine Gail Rex ’16. Photos by Jordan Wunderlich ’16.)

  3. Coming Home: Homecoming Concert & Jammin’ in Jonzzey’s

    October 20, 2014

    Concerts have a magical ability to make me totally giddy — and I’m not talking about the fist-pumping, jumping-up-and-down type of concert, either. I’m talking formal black attire and classical music.

    Okay, so maybe not everyone feels the urge to dance/hop around the room after a night of singing “Homeward Bound,” but Friday night’s turnout at the annual Homecoming concert, titled “Coming Home,” was a testament to its appeal. Southern Virginia’s flute choir, Concert Chorale, Bella Voce, and orchestra performed, and the audience consisted of students, faculty, alumni, and members of the Buena Vista community.

    As a member of Concert Chorale, I had the opportunity to sit onstage the entire time, which provided both a delightful experience of melting under the stage lights and the ability to see the reactions of the audience to every performance. I saw people’s eyes widen as Reva Rogers (’16) hit that A flat in “I Want Jesus to Walk with Me” and laugh hysterically in response to David Riska’s (’15) quite entertaining portrayal as the handsome toreador from “Carmen.”

    The orchestra played a number of exciting pieces (Professor Mark Taylor’s conducting is remarkably enthralling), and the flute choir played two pieces under the direction of Professor Launa Whitehead.

    The concert concluded with a performance of “Shenandoah.” Alumni flooded the stage and joined the choirs, as is Homecoming tradition.

    After the concert (and after I changed out of that dress), I joined the throng waiting for homemade donuts from Mamma Crockett’s Cider Donuts — a donut, hot chocolate, and apple cider shack run by the same alumnus and current student who brought us the Shaved Ice Shack this summer — and hit up Jonzzey’s to listen to some more music. Student performers, including the band Hills on Fire, played as music permeated campus and wrapped up the first night of this year’s Homecoming.

    (Post by Madeleine Gail Rex ’16. Photos by Jordan Wunderlich ’16.)

  4. Homecoming 2014: Day One

    October 16, 2014

    Maybe Homecoming just means more to me now that I’m about to graduate and betake myself, but I thought that this Homecoming was outstanding.

    The first event of the weekend was Rodney K. Smith’s devotional. Rod Smith was the president of Southern Virginia for seven years, including the year I was a freshman, so I felt that he was a particularly meaningful choice as the Homecoming devotional speaker. His message centered on investing in learning and becoming a lifelong learner. He compared his own experience as a young college student to those of us at Southern Virginia — choosing to attend a small college where our professors know our names, when we might have attended bigger and older colleges. It was a fantastic address. You can view the full speech below.

    After the devotional, I attended a mini-class taught by Provost Sowell. The class focused on religious iconography in annunciation paintings, and it was an eye-opener. Who knew that the presence of pentagons in said paintings could symbolize the crucifixion of Christ? Not this guy. Professors Jones and Crawford also taught mini-classes, titled “Science, Skepticism and Epistemic Humility” and “The Last Picture Show: Great Lessons from Great Art,” respectively.

    The Von Cannon library hosted an open house event with snacks, an opening of the archives and a new display of pictures showing a dozen or so faculty and staff members as young(er) folk. It was surprisingly hard to identify a few of them. I figure that everyone either aged well, or took somebody else’s photo as their own.

    At 4:00 p.m., the Ballroom filled with students, alumni, friends and Dominoes pizza. While chatting and socializing, the alumni organized themselves to share networking opportunities and career advice with current students. I got some good advice from Morgen Reynolds, alumna and adjunct instructor of English at Southern Virginia.

    To cap the afternoon off, I went to the campus bookstore, where The Fading Point hosted a release party for their new EP album. They sang a number of songs, including a few featured on the CD. The bookstore was filled to capacity, both with listeners and with awesomeness.

    (Post by Stephen Taylor ’15. Photos by Hannah King ’13, Jordan Wunderlich ’16 and Eva Sorensen ’18.)

  5. Photos: First Football Home Game!

    October 15, 2014

    The Football program at Southern Virginia University began in 2003. The Fields were constructed in 2008 in hopes of one day becoming a state-of-the-art football stadium and center of a Southern Virginia sports complex. Years later, one more step has been taken toward achieving that dream. The Southern Virginia Football program had its first-ever home game. No better weekend to hold the first home game than homecoming weekend when alumni could join in embarking on a new Southern Virginia University tradition.

    As a student, I didn’t have a car and walking two miles and then hiking up a huge hill to the high school field for a game was not something I was eager to do. So I had to try and catch rides with people I knew. Not all students were able to easily find rides. Now that the games will be on campus, it will be easier than ever to support the team from the stands. There is no excuse for low game attendance (except maybe rain) because it’s a short walk to The Fields.

    There is a sense of pride when competing, supporting and cheering on your team at home. Looking around, seeing your colors all around, knowing your field like the back of your hand, and seeing your friends, professors and community members is a feeling like no other. As a former Knight, I am grateful for Parry McCluer High School and their willingness to let us borrow their fields, but we are more than ready to step away from the blue and white and onto the green and white.

    As an alumna I had an opportunity to experience a tradition Southern Virginia University has been anxiously awaiting since the football program started. The stadium still has a ways to go, but progress has been made and as a former scholar-athlete I couldn’t be happier to experience the growth first hand.

    (Post by Laura Workman ’13. Photos by Jordan Wunderlich ’16 and Bronwyn Himes ’17.)