LC in History: Welcome Home, Westover

Dr. Clifton W. Potter Jr., LC History Professor~

Last weekend, the weather was unpredictable at best with threats of downpours, thunder, lightning and even the promise of dime-sized hail. Despite all the forecasts of foul weather, the staff of the Alumni Office was able to create a memorable three-day event for the members of the Westover Society who were in reunion.

The classes of ‘52, ‘57, ‘62 and ‘67 gathered to reconnect with old friends and remember classmates who are no longer here. Needless to say, the smallest group was celebrating the 65th anniversary of their graduation, and the largest their 50th.

Many of those attending had not been on campus since they received their diplomas. Umbrellas at the ready, they took the campus tour on Friday afternoon and marveled at the changes that have taken place, since they packed their cars and headed home so many years ago.

Friday evening, the Alumni Welcome Home Reception and Dinner was held in the Memorial Ballroom. As the old grads passed through the chow line, there were the usual remarks about how much better the food is today, but there were some who “longed” for the cold cuts and peanut better of yesteryear.

Live music was provided by the band Together Again, and as old tunes like “Misty” floated through the ballroom, couples left their tables and took a turn again in the space where college dances were held.

Personally for me, the years melted as I held my college sweetheart in my arms.

The students who were part of the wait staff seemed to enjoy just watching us.

On Saturday, the rains came in earnest, and the scene in Drysdale Student Center was controlled chaos as participants in the walk for multiple sclerosis were trapped, by the weather, with alumni on the way to their next event.

Dr. Julius Sigler, ’62, who is the former Academic Dean, presented his annual slide show which was geared toward the classes in reunion and featured pictures of the campus, faculty and staff, as well as classmates from every group in reunion. This is an hour of memories to which we all look forward each year.

Then there were the formal class pictures, followed by the Alumni Luncheon in Memorial Ballroom and the chance to reconnect with more old friends.

President Kenneth Garren had the chance to share his vision for the future with the representatives of Lynchburg College’s past.

Food plays an important part in alumni events, and that evening there was an elegant meal for each class.

The crowning event, and one that was long-anticipated, was a concert by Taylor Rodriguez, ’21, an Elvis Presley Tribute Artist and his excellent back-up band. He was playing to the original “Rock and Roll Generation,” and they responded with enthusiasm.

At first, the audience was restrained and clapped politely, but as the two-and-a-half-hour concert progressed, folks began­ to dance to the music, their feet recalling long-forgotten steps.

However, we were all put to shame by President and Mrs. Garren who really love to dance—I wish that we all might have their energy! It was the perfect end to an extraordinary weekend.