The Class of 1966 celebrate their Golden Reunion
“We are honored to have you in our home tonight, to hear your amazing stories and find out just what Radford University means to you,” said President Brian O. Hemphill as he welcomed 30 alumnae from the Class of 1966 to the Governor Tyler House to celebrate their Golden Reunion. The dinner, which was hosted by President Hemphill and his wife, Dr. Marisela Rosas Hemphill, on Saturday, Oct. 15, featured over 60 guests, including alumnae who have previously celebrated the 50-year milestone, as well as alumnae who have not been back to campus since their graduation.
“There have certainly been some big changes,” said Sandra Curtis ’66 about the campus she was seeing for the first time in 50 years. “The changes are good to see, except they did build over our ‘passion pit.’”
The ‘passion pit,’ as it was known to the students of the then all-female institution, was a stretch of lawn that featured benches and shade trees that served as a favorite romantic rendezvous point for the ladies and their male suitors.
Dating – or more specifically, the rules surrounding – was a hot topic of discussion during the dinner, as Nancy Dyer Manning ’66 was able to find some of the ‘yellow slips,’ or date cards, that students were required to fill out if they wished for some time with members of the opposite sex.
“I even had to fill one out for my now husband,” Manning says. “It is funny to think that there is probably a box full of these slips somewhere on campus right now.”
Some of the questions the women were required to answer about their prospective beaus included where they met, how long they’ve known each other, and whether or not he has “called” at their home. There was also a references section, just in case there were further questions regarding the qualifications of a potential suitor.
Manning was also able to find her 1963-64 rulebook, which spelled out to students their required classroom and social attire, pet restrictions and – most notoriously – where they were allowed to walk.
“No student was ever allowed to walk on the grass,” said Manning, reciting the much-maligned decree. “In fact, at least one member of our class was ‘campused’ because she was caught walking on the grass between classes.”
To be ‘campused’ meant that a student was not allowed to leave the campus for a set amount of days.
While much of the evening’s discussion centered on their days attending the former Radford College, the alumnae were very complimentary of today’s campus and its students.
“I am so impressed with how polite and friendly the students are,” said Carol Sealock ’66. “My husband and I were attempting to find the new Center for the Sciences building and a few students noticed we were a bit turned around and came right over and led us to the building.”
Sealock and her former roommate, Alda Draper ’66, also managed to find their old room in Moffett Hall.
“It has changed so much, but it was still good to see,” said Draper. “It is just so nice to be here.”
Following dinner, President Hemphill joined Laura Turk ’87, MS ‘90, executive director of Alumni Relations, and Melissa Wohlstein, vice president of University Advancement, in officially inducting the Class of 1966. Each alumna was awarded a medal in honor of her alma mater.
“I now give you permission to wear pants, walk on the grass and speak your mind,” Turk said after officially inducting the class. “But please, stay out of the ‘passion pit.’”