Dear Alumni, Faculty, Staff and Friends,
This is a busy month! My husband, Jay, and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary in Italy and, of course, I had to have my picture taken in SU apparel. I am proud to be counted among the alumni of Shenandoah University, especially when I see all that SU is doing. On Tuesday, Sept. 6, The Learning Channel (TLC) aired an episode of its television show, “Cake Boss,” that included the creation of a Steinway cake. If you remember, last September, we celebrated Shenandoah Conservatory becoming an All-Steinway School with a life-sized Steinway Model B cake handcrafted by the “Cake Boss,” a.k.a. Buddy Valastro of Carlo’s Bakery in Hoboken, New Jersey. Over 100 students showed up at the viewing party to watch the episode and the cheering in the room was deafening when Shenandoah came on the TV. If you were not able to catch the episode in real time, it can be downloaded for $2 on Amazon. (Season 12, episode 5: Wine and Waltzes)
On Sunday, Sept. 11, students participated in an Interfaith Unity Walk to commemorate the 15th anniversary of 9/11. The Spiritual Life sponsored walk was neither a parade nor a protest; but rather an educational opportunity to hear about practices surrounding speech and unity from different perspectives. The walk started at First United Methodist Church, continued to Centre Meeting (Quaker Meeting House), then to Beth El Congregation (Jewish Synagogue) and St. Paul’s African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), and ended at the Green Space at Our Health at which participants were in community with Muslim friends. Once again, when I hear what SU is doing, I feel a sense of pride.
On Friday, Sept. 16, I had the pleasure of attending the Dedication & Housewarming of Caruthers House. Preston Caruthers and his late wife, Jeanne, were recognized for their support and donation that funded the construction of the first of five units being built at The Village. Their son, Stephen Caruthers, served on SU’s board of trustees from 2006 to 2015 and their granddaughter, Ashley Caruthers German, is a 2004 SU graduate. I had the opportunity to meet the students that have moved into Caruthers House as well as take a tour of their space. Also, at the event, the name of the second house was released, Roni’s Roost, which is named after Roni Flett Wilkins. Roni is the wife of James “Jimmy” Wilkins, Jr., a member of SU’s Board of Trustees since 1990. His father, James Wilkins, Sr., was instrumental in relocating SU from Dayton to its current location in Winchester.
Now that we are near the end of September, it is time to focus on Homecoming. Join me in showing your school spirit by coming back home. Homecoming registration is OPEN and lots of fun activities are planned. The Alumni Celebration Dinner will take place on Friday, Oct. 21 at 6 p.m. in the Ferrari Room at the Brandt Student Center. Distinguished Alumni Awards are presented and reunion classes are recognized. There is an event planned for everyone, so go to the SU Homecoming website to register for one or all of the events (Alumni, Special, Athletic and Conservatory).
I hope to see you at Homecoming!
Becky Merriner ’01
President, SU Alumni Association