Friday, October 12, 2018

This week was “homecoming” for our alumni. We welcomed many back to the Holy Hill for Class Steward meetings, Alumni Convocation, and the Alumni Association Executive Committee (AAEC) meetings. During Convocation, we welcomed two wonderful speakers, Brian Clarke and Kiki McGrath. Thanks go to Barney Hawkins, co-director of the Bicentennial Campaign, for helping secure these amazing keynoters. The Evensong service was lovely with a great preacher, AAEC President, the Rev. Ginny Wilder ‘12.
 
From the mums in the ground by the sidewalk leading to the Refectory, to the special meal set ups in Scott Lounge, many staff, faculty, and students worked tirelessly to make everything happen. It takes many hands for such complicated events to appear seamless.
 
Linda Dienno and the Institutional Advancement team including Shelagh Casey Brown, Ann Roebuck, Monina Pangan, Jennifer Greiner, Elizabeth Osborn, Debbie Townsend, and Devin Jacobsen headed up the events.
 
The Communications department—Curtis Prather and Elizabeth Panox-Leach—along with Pete Burgess and Shawn Evelyn, helped promote and capture special moments. They worked closely with the Audio-Visual team of Reggie Gravina and contractors Duane Lomis and Danny Olewine, who made live streaming possible.
 
Ruthanna Hooke and Bill Roberts headed up Worship and Music along with the Episcopal Community Choir, Jon Musser, and Margie Baker. Our fabulous Sacristan team members -- Andrew Arakawa, Stephen Crippen, Jeryl Mitchell, Andrew Rutledge, Randy Sellers, Dave Wyly -- were a huge help as well. Thanks also to Jason Abel and Thomas Smith, our organists for the events. The special attention paid in choosing music and scripture for the celebration of naming Red Bud the Pauli Murray building was deeply appreciated.
 
IA worked with Jim Mathes, Monica Sloan, and Rachel Holm in Academic Affairs & Student Life to coordinate the Honorary Degree recipients.
 
The Library, Archives, and AAEHC staff with Peggy Parker devoted much time to making sure the Allan Rohan Crite exhibit was up in time for Convocation and then made themselves available for those visiting the exhibit. Thanks to Mitzi Buddy, Chris Pote, and Ebonee Davis. 
 
It is essential for our guests and those returning home to VTS to feel welcomed. We give our thanks to Jeff Harre, Teresa Canales, Santino Dut, Reggie Gravina, Taryn Habberley, Cristina Hurtado, Vannessa McCormick, Christina Messenger, Margaret Messenger, and Ana Portillo.
 
The facilities and grounds of VTS are always lovely. But the team works especially hard to prepare for the many guests we welcome to campus during times like Convocation and Commencement. Colleagues, we are grateful to you: Dave Mutscheller, Stuart Dahlinger, John Erbe, Fritz Friton, Victor Hurtado, Roberto Johnson, Timothy Lawhorn, Tom Leake, Nathan Neufer, Jose Reyes, Ronnie Saunders, Steve Slominski, Griffin Warder and Wesley Warder. Special thanks to John Erbe for taking the lead on set-ups this week with the many spaces needing to be rearranged and attending to those details.
 
And of course, we must keep the people hydrated and fed! Under the direction of Sara Thompson, Meriwether-Godsey provided excellent care in the way of food and beverages. Thank you to the whole team including Andrew Gilmartin, Sheena Brown, Milton Burgess, John Clark, Quantina Edwards, David Clements, Treana Curry, Star Goodwin, Marcellos Johnson, Michael Williamson, Ana Parada, Antonio Hendley, Jack Cotting, Theo Singleton, Carl Tardy, and Lee Valerio.
 
Colleagues, we are grateful for all that you have done to make this week possible. Even if I failed to mention you here, your contributions matter! Wearing your nametag, parking further away, staying a few minutes later than usual to set up a special display, providing hospitality and directions to our guests are important matters. Please accept my sincere gratitude.
 
The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham
Dean and President
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