It’s been a very busy start to October here at Shenandoah! If you couldn’t come to Homecoming this year, you really missed a treat! One of my favorite events is the Alumni Celebration Dinner. Traditionally held on Friday evening, it never disappoints. It is always fun to watch classmates reunite with friends they haven’t seen in a long time! Celebrating their 50th college reunion, the class of 1969 was particularly exuberant! A huge thank you to Bob and Jane Beery for organizing their class reunion. The purpose of the Alumni Celebration Dinner is not only to recognize class reunions, but also to honor alumni receiving awards. The stories the honorees shared were deeply inspiring and occasionally very humorous (Dr. Sue Boyd and her beanie). We have so many accomplished alumni doing wonderful work – please consider nominating a classmate for an award!
One of the highlights of my fall was attending the National Symphony Orchestra concert at Wolf Trap. Guest conducted by our own Thomas Wilkins (C ’78), it was a wonderful evening with near-perfect weather. As always, the NSO was amazing. The guest artist that evening was Jennifer Hudson, who opened the second half of the concert with an acapella arrangement of “How Great Thou Art” which literally raised the roof of Wolf Trap. After the concert, a small group of alumni, friends, Shenandoah President Tracy Fitzsimmons and her husband, Knox Singleton, Senior Vice President and Vice President for Advancement Mitch Moore, and Executive Director of Alumni & Donor Relations Emily Burner, gathered backstage to greet Thom. Imagine our surprise when the stage door flew open and Jennifer Hudson walked out to greet us! Her first words to us were “Oh, you are Thom’s friends! I’m so happy to meet you.” We gave Thom a gift bag of Shenandoah swag and we posed for pictures with Thom and Jennifer! It was absolutely a night to remember!
Enjoy the cool nights and warm days of October!
Susan Wyatt Helsley (C ’76, ’85)
Alumni Association Board of Directors President