Members of the Class of 1967 celebrate their Golden Reunion
“We are very happy and honored to have members of the Class of 1967 here tonight,” said President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D. as he welcomed alumnae from the Class of 1967 to the Governor Tyler House to celebrate their Golden Reunion. “All of our work is built upon the work of our alumni. The work of you,” President Hemphill continued.
The dinner, which was hosted by President Hemphill and his wife, Radford University First Lady Dr. Marisela Rosas Hemphill, on Saturday, Oct. 7, featured more than 50 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.
One of the alumnae who had not been back to campus since her graduation included Julia Short Greer ’67, M.S. ’70, who received quite a surprise while she was on the shuttle bus on the way to the event.
“When the Alumni Relations staff was handing us our name tags, I heard a voice from behind me exclaim ‘Julia!’” Greer explained. “When I turned around, I saw a friend who was in the band with me 50 years ago!”
Greer was not the only person who was reunited with old friends at the dinner. Janeanne Chamness Sleeman ’67, of Titusville, Florida, was seated next to her college roommate, Mary Ellen Murray ’67. “We have been in one another’s weddings, and have kept in contact off-and-on,” Sleeman said about her and Murray’s post-graduate interactions. “It is great to be back here. It is amazing how much Radford has grown.”
“I am proud of my University and what it has become,” added Murray.
While the night celebrated members of the Class of 1967, they were not the only alumnae enjoying the evening. Dorothy Haden Burcham ’66 explained that she was unable to attend her Golden Reunion ceremony in 2016, and made sure that she attended this year’s ceremony with her friend, Delores Nester Smith ’67.
“After I got married, I actually lived in the house on the corner from the Tyler House,” Burcham said. “I always admired this home – now I’m having dinner here.”
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.
“My favorite part of the weekend has been interacting with today’s students,” said Emily Hayden Richardson ’67. “They are such fascinating young people. So kind and helpful. I love to hear their plans for their career. At this morning’s breakfast, I sat with a young man who was so passionate about his future in special education.”
Following dinner, President Hemphill joined Laura Turk ’87, MS ‘90, executive director of Alumni Relations, in officially inducting the Class of 1967. Each alumna was awarded a Golden Reunion medallion in honor of their 50th reunion..
As the evening drew to a close and the alumnae gathered for a group photo, many of the women spontaneously began to sing the University’s Alma Mater. That song immediately merged into an era-specific song with more “colorful” lyrics. Unsurprisingly, the second song drew more participants.