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Southern Virginia University

Posts with the tag: Alumni

  1. Graduate Creates New Arrangement of ‘Praise to the Man’

    May 20, 2015

    The Concert Chorale recently had the opportunity to perform an arrangement of the hymn, “Praise to the Man,” which blended the fast-paced, jubilant melody sung today with the original dirge written in honor of the life and death of the Latter-day Saint Prophet Joseph Smith. The piece was arranged by Glenn Williams, who received his degree in philosophy this month. Williams, who is currently staying in Buena Vista to play Inspector Barnes in the upcoming summer musical, “Bells Are Ringing,” hopes to go on to graduate school and to someday teach art history and cultural anthropology.

    “I could never have arranged that piece if it wasn’t for Southern Virginia,” said Williams. “Nowhere else would I have had the confidence to write something like that, let alone believe that it would be performed and recorded. … And my only hope with it is to share my testimony of Joseph Smith and help others feel something. If I touch one person, or help them, then I have done my job.”

    The piece was originally performed as part of the spring choral concert. For more information about and photos of the concert, check out the blog post.

    (Post by Madeleine Gail Rex ’16. Video by John Worthington ’13.)

  2. Photos: 147th Commencement

    May 15, 2015

    Last Thursday, May 7, we acknowledged and celebrated the achievements of Southern Virginia’s Class of 2015 and had the privilege of hearing from three graduating seniors, including the valedictorian and salutatorian, as well as founder and former Chairman Glade Knight.

    The event also included the traditional performance of “Shenandoah” by both former and current members of the Concert Chorale, which never fails to remind everyone just why we love it here in the midst of so much natural beauty and to be here among friends.

    For more details about the day, check out the recent news article. You may also watch the recording of the live stream. Photos of the graduates will be emailed to them along with a link to download other high-resolution Commencement photos.

    (Post by Madeleine Gail Rex ’16. Photos by Jordan Wunderlich ’16 and Eva Sorensen ’18.)

  3. Some Lessons on Love

    February 15, 2015

    Dr. La Rae Carter


    Tips from a 58-year-old marriage:

    Keep your love fresh and as exciting as it was when you fell in love.  Do for each other, little things as well as big.  Never let anyone come between you as a couple, not with advice or in your decisions.  Not Mom, Dad, or friends.   Never take each other for granted.  Put forth effort to renew your relationship every day by being interested in what your spouse has a passion for, whether it be work, recreation, or just plain fun.  With each child that comes, life becomes more complicated, and it is easy to put your spouse on the back burner.    Be unified in all your decisions about raising the children.  Then they will not be confused or manipulative as to the rules of the house or who is in charge.  They NEED you to be in control of the home, to be a parent, friendly, but not a friend.  They have enough friends.  The wife can set the tone of the home, whether she likes it or not.  If you exude a happy, positive and kind spirit, all of the family will pick up on it, have the same outlook, and feel secure.  And never downplay the importance of humor.  An important philosopher once said that if your intended has not laughter  or humor in his/her outlook, run from that person.  You will not be happy.  May I conclude with these words from an old popular song:  “Love Is a many splendored thing,” and its splendors will continue to broaden and amaze you all of your life if you are engaged in what love truly means and the depth, wonder, and possibilities it can open up to you and your spouse.

    Jeremiah and Alison Krites


    Don’t let your relationship become too serious. Learn to laugh during the hard times and be able to laugh at yourself. 

    Professor Morgen Reynolds and Daman Reynolds

    1. Always wear deodorant. Seriously. It matters.
    2. Sometimes, it is actually good to go to bed angry. Pray together before bed, but late night conversations sometimes don’t get anything settled as well as a good night’s sleep might.
    3. Don’t use the toilet while they are in the bathroom. This is my own personal doctrine. I will run out screaming “The magic is gone!!” I’m not kidding on this one. I will sing really loud if I have to do my business while he is in the shower. It’s all about the romance.

    Elizabeth and Tyler Laurent

    Tyler and Liz wedding (5 of 76)

    It is really important to not get offended! Also, take time to find activities that you both enjoy, but also encourage each other to do activities/develop talents individually. I’m sure someone has said this, but put your spouse’s needs above your own, and if they do the same, life will be much easier and more fun.

    Dr. Scott Dransfield and Andrea Dransfield

    wedding pics

    Always leave with a kiss; always return with one.

    (Post by Madeleine Gail Rex ’16.)

  4. Alumni Reflections on Southern Virginia

    February 9, 2015

    As alumni of Southern Virginia University, we each have many fond memories of our time in the classrooms of caring professors and the company of cherished friends. As members of the Alumni Association, we have the opportunity to reunite from time to time, give back to the university, and participate in the occasional contest or giveaway. Currently, the Alumni Relations Office is sponsoring a giveaway for alumni who update their contact information on the university’s alumni webpage. Alumni who update their information online before Feb. 28 will be entered into a drawing to win a box of Southern Virginia merchandise.

    Last fall, the Alumni Association sponsored an essay contest and fundraiser for the university’s alumni. The prompt? To write about a Southern Virginia memory or how you view the university 20 years down the road. The winners? Esther Harsh (’13), Stephanie Carlson (’09), and Camden Cooper (’07). If you’re interested in reading about the memories of some other alumni, or what they think the future of Southern Virginia will be like, take the time to read over the following essays.

    A Pattern to Follow

    by Esther Harsh

    Students come to Southern Virginia University with differing levels of desire. Some know exactly what they want, others are torn between the many paths before them, and then some have yet to believe that they merit the chance to walk on a path toward achievement. In every case a mentor is needed.

    On my very first day at Southern Virginia, I was filled with desires and glimpses of the kind of person I wanted to be, yet felt weak in my abilities and experience; constantly wondering how I could use my interests and dreams to make a difference for good. Upon hearing that rehearsals for the new musical were about to begin that same night, I somehow found myself asking the very occupied Professor Stoddard if I could play a part in the production. His told me that auditions had long passed, but was interested in why I wanted to be involved. I was a bit surprised to see that he was sincere in wanting to know my deeper interests and dreams in theatre. After listening closely with a kind smile, he cordially offered me the position of being his assistant director, giving me permission to lead out in areas of the production, with open freedom to give suggestions in directing.

    It was just one small moment, but it set a pattern for me to confidently use in every course. I remember thinking “If one professor is willing to entrust such opportunities in me, maybe the other professors will do the same, especially in the areas where I’ve felt so weak and inadequate.” I began asking each professor how I could get the most out of their class, not merely to get a high grade, but to learn what was needed for the experiences I wanted to pursue after university. The results were magnificent.

    Over time and hard work, the dreams of my capabilities turned into beautiful possibilities. I’m not sure if Professor Stoddard understood how significant that first moment was for me, that by taking the time (out of his very busy schedule) to listen and invest in my potential, I would gain the confidence to create and produce uplifting experiences for the hearts of others. Moreover, I wonder if any of my professors knew how their personal mentoring would lead to a successful completion in a rigorous British graduate program, where unprecedented opportunities would be created and given to this same SVU girl.

    My time at Southern Virginia was marked from the very beginning to cherished end with experiences of caring professors like unto Professor Stoddard: showing and expecting the very best from me, especially when I didn’t feel it was possible in myself. In each experience there is a pattern to follow, a pattern of taking time to mentor the one. Really it is the pattern of the master-servant, our Savior, Jesus Christ.

    The education at Southern Virginia University is awe-inspiring because of the many small moments where the professor is helping the student to recognize their own genius, thereby empowering them to see the genius in others. (more…)

  5. 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.)