This past Homecoming weekend was a very special occasion in the history of the College. On Friday at 2PM, we inaugurated our 15th president, Robert R. Lindgren. The inauguration ceremony lasted roughly two hours and was dotted with speeches by the Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources, the Mayor of Ashland, and several of President Lindgren’s close colleagues from Johns Hopkins University, where he used to work. Each speech was endearing and from the heart. The highlight, in my opinion, is when the job of the President of a College was compared to that of an undertaker at a cemetery. The President, like the undertaker, has many people under him, but none of them listen to him. It was also quite amusing when one of the speakers misnamed President Lindgren as President Lincoln.
Accompanying the ceremony was an inauguration dinner. It was an R-MC event to which none can compare. The three best Chartwells chefs were carted in from Washington DC just for the occasion. There was an open bar, sushi on a sculpted ice tray, and an Irish Cream Bash dessert to die for. Everyone in attendance was dressed in their best attire. The decorations and table settings transformed the Brock Center from the gym where I play intramurals to an elaborate banquet hall. Frequenting the tables were quite a few noteworthy people. I had the pleasure of dining with the College’s attorney, Rusty Ryland, and his lovely wife. The other student who was at the table – the wonderful Sophomore Class Senator Diane Blackburn – and I wowed our fellow diners with our stimulating conversation. It was an event I will not soon forget.
The next day was our annual Homecoming football game, this year against the Guilford Quakers. After a brief Homecoming parade (the float I was on, the Residence Hall Association/ Resident Assistant float, came in third), the football game commenced. Many of my friends who graduated in years past were in attendance. It was a real treat to be able to see so many people I missed. Neither of the people I voted for won Homecoming King or Queen, but I feel that Margarita Tobar and Steven Ahonen are a deserving Homecoming couple to win nonetheless. Our football team was not able to pull off a victory, but I feel most people enjoyed themselves anyway. It’s always good to see old friends and catch up.
Next year’s Homecoming, which will be my last, may not stand up to this year’s events. There will be no delicious inauguration dinner or classy inauguration ceremony. However, it will by my senior year Homecoming. I’ll once again get to see all of those people whom I truly miss. And who knows, maybe I’ll walk off the field wearing that snazzy Homecoming Queen sash.