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Southern Virginia University

Posts with the tag: Alumni

  1. 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.)

  2. 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.)

  3. 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.)

  4. 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.)

  5. Alumni Association Fundraiser and Essay Contest

    August 1, 2014

    The Southern Virginia University Alumni Association (SVUAA) is sponsoring a fundraiser in the form of an essay contest for all Southern Virginia alumni. By participating in this contest, alumni have the opportunity to give back to their alma mater, share about some of their most meaningful experiences at Southern Virginia, and enter to win an all-expense-paid trip for two to Homecoming this year.

    The Fundraiser

    In order to enter the essay contest, alumni must do one of the following:

    • Contribute a one-time donation of $50 (be sure to enter “SVUAA Essay Contest” in the comments section)
    • Sign up for the Alumni Association’s 5-Buck-a-Month program (select “Alumni Association,” then “5 buck (or more) a month program,” then indicate the amount — at least $5 — that you would like to have debited from your account each month)

    Alumni who already participate in the 5-Buck-a-Month program will not be required to make any additional donations. All funds raised through this essay contest will go toward improving Southern Virginia’s classrooms. These improvements could include installing new whiteboards, purchasing and installing projectors, painting, and other physical improvements that will help the university better meet the needs of all current and future students.

    The Essay

    Entrants for this essay will have 500 words or fewer to write on one of the topics below:

    • Write about a specific Southern Virginia course or professor who made an unmistakable impact on your life.
    • Describe a memory you have that you feel is quintessentially Southern Virginia — that takes you back to all you love and remember about your time spent there.
    • Southern Virginia has experienced amazing growth in the past 18 years. How do you picture the school 20 years from now? What do you think will change? What do you hope will stay the same?

    Please email your completed essay to by Aug. 22, 2014. All essays must be written in English. Include with the essay: your full name, your graduation year, your state or providence of residence, and a current photo of yourself. Entries will be judged by the Alumni Association Executive Council and the winner will be announced on September 5, 2014.

    The Prize

    The author of the winning essay, as determined by the Alumni Association Executive Council, will receive the following:

    • Two roundtrip plane tickets to this year’s Homecoming (Oct. 10-12, 2014)
    • Lodging for the duration of Homecoming
    • A rental car for use during Homecoming
    • A $300 gift card for food and miscellaneous expenses
    • The winning essay published on the official Southern Virginia University blog and social media platforms

    Authors of the second and third place essays will receive:

    • Gift cards to the Southern Virginia Campus Bookstore ($50 for second, $20 for third)
    • Their essays published on the official Southern Virginia University blog

    The Fine Print

    • Alumni who elect to participate in the 5-Buck-a-Month program agree to remain in the program for at least ten months, or until $50 of donations have been contributed.
    • Southern Virginia University is a Section 501(c)3 nonprofit and your gift may qualify as a charitable deduction for federal income tax purposes. Please consult a tax adviser or the IRS to determine the how much of your contribution is deductible.
    • All submitted essays become the property of the Southern Virginia University Alumni Association. By submitting an essay in this contest, entrants give the Alumni Association permission to use, alter, distribute, publish, broadcast, and display the submitted essay, the entrant’s name, and the submitted photo and residential information on the Southern Virginia University website or blog, elsewhere on the Internet, in advertising and promotional materials, and in any other format for purposes related to the Alumni Association.
    • The first-place winner will receive two tickets to and from an airport near Buena Vista, Va. We will make every effort to accommodate anyone who wins, no matter where in the world he or she lives. However, winners in remote locations  may be required to provide their own transportation to and from a major international airport. Should any major complicating circumstances arise (e.g. war, major strikes, natural disasters) in or near any locations the winner may need to travel through, we may not be able to complete travel arrangements as expected. However, we promise to make every reasonable effort to get the winner here, at our expense, no matter where his or her journey may start or end.
    • Plane tickets will be purchased to bring the winner in on Friday, Oct. 10, 2014 and fly the winner back home on Sunday, October 12, 2014. If necessary, we might be able to accommodate winners who would like to fly in earlier or stay longer; however, we cannot guarantee this as an option. No matter what the final dates are for the plane tickets, lodging and a rental car will be provided only during the duration of Homecoming.
    • In the event that the winning entrant lives close enough to Buena Vista that a plane ticket is not necessary, the winner has the option to forego the plane ticket and accept in its place a $50 gift card to the Southern Virginia University bookstore. All other prizes would remain as listed above.

    (Post by the Alumni Association Executive Council.)