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Southern Virginia University

Posts with the tag: Alumni

  1. Travel to London with the Sowells!

    January 15, 2015

    london-fProvost Madison Sowell and his wife, Professor Debra Sowell, specializing in Italian culture and performing arts, respectively, will direct a Travel Study trip to London, England, this May. Unlike the Travel Study trips that the university regularly offers to students, this trip is intended primarily for alumni and friends of the university.

    The trip includes nine nights in four-star accommodations, fine dining, and countless excursions in one of Europe’s oldest and most influential cities. The Sowells, with their shared love for and knowledge of European culture, will take travelers to all the essential London sights, from The British Museum to St. Paul’s Cathedral to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.

    During their stay, participants will also travel to other parts of the country to visit Stratford-Upon-Avon and Oxford. While there, they will have the opportunity to visit historic locations such as Anne Hathaway’s cottage and participate in a tour of Christ Church College at Oxford.

    The Sowells have traveled extensively and have led more than a dozen study abroad programs in Europe. Additionally, they lived in Italy for several years and served as study abroad directors in London during three separate semesters.

    The trip runs May 11-20, 2015. A small portion of the total cost will be used as a donation to Southern Virginia to fund Travel Study scholarships for students with financial need. To learn more about the trip and to register, visit the university website or view the brochure. Registration ends Feb. 1.

    (Post by Madeleine Gail Rex ’16.)

  2. Homecoming Quiz Bowl & Celebration

    October 30, 2014

    On Saturday, Oct. 11, I had the opportunity to participate in the Homecoming Quiz Bowl and the Pre-Game Celebration. The Quiz Bowl was my one of my favorite Homecoming activities this year — right up there on my list with the beautiful, inspiring Homecoming Concert. I mean, what’s more fun than testing your knowledge among fellow Southern Virginia alumni and students, and learning about the things you don’t know?

    For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Quiz Bowl, it’s basically Jeopardy except with Dr. MacDonnell instead of Alex Trebek; in other words, far superior. There are a few other differences, like playing on teams instead of as individual competitors, but it’s essentially a competition with the goal being to correctly answer as many questions on a variety of topics including history, literature and science. Though both teams made a noble effort to answer the difficult questions, the alumni team beat the students by a wide margin. This was in large part due to the vast knowledge and skill of the several alumni who were veteran members of the Quiz Bowl Team during their time at Southern Virginia.

    Following the Quiz Bowl, I headed over to the Stoddard Activities Center to have a little fun at the Pre-Game Celebration, where there was a mechanical bull to ride, a bouncy house for kids, a pie-eating competition, face painting, refreshments, and of course, the chance to throw pie at your beloved Southern Virginia professors. You know, because some alumni write thank you letters to their professors and some pay to throw pie at them. Only to support their alma mater, of course.

    (Post by Hannah King ’13. Photos by Bronwyn Himes ’17 and Jordan Wunderlich ’16.)

  3. 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.)

  4. 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.)

  5. 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.)