Whirlwind alumni tour
The snowbird tour is underway. Davis & Elkins College is “hitting the road” to meet with alumni and friends across the country. Along with colleagues from the Advancement Office, I recently returned from a few days in New Mexico and Arizona and will head to a whirlwind tour of Florida in a few days. While it is always nice to escape the cold weather in Elkins, it is even nicer to spend time with alumni and friends whose lives have been influenced by a unique Presbyterian college in Randolph County, West Virginia.
In the Desert Southwest we met alumni who graduated in 1951, 2019 and many years in between. We met parents of former students and friends of the College who never attended, but have an affinity for our mission and impact upon our region. The stories were plentiful, the anecdotes both funny and poignant, and the outpouring of love and pride for D&E on full display.
At one of our events, each of those gathered were sharing a brief synopsis of their lives since college days. As I listened to one after another, I was struck by the depth and breadth of their life experiences. Davis & Elkins College graduates have excelled in their chosen fields. We heard about engineers and doctors, military officers and lawyers, educators and business leaders. From a small college in the West Virginia mountains, the reach of Davis & Elkins Senators across our land is astounding. Without fail, they talked about the quality of their academic preparation, influence of professors and the depth of friendships with classmates that have been sustained over the years and miles.
We also encountered significant numbers of couples who met a spouse at D&E. These D&E lovebirds know that if not for their wise choice of attending college in Elkins their lives would have been vastly different. The hundreds of marriages resulting from collegiate years have also produced myriad children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, all of whom owe a bit of thanks to dear ol’ D&E.
Now that I am back on campus following the trip to the Desert Southwest, and anticipating the upcoming trip to Florida, I find myself interacting with our present student body daily. These young men and women who have come to Elkins from across West Virginia, more than half of the states across the country, and 26 countries spread over six continents are experiencing the opportunities of a collegiate life similar to that of our alumni. As they search for their vocation in life, our faculty are providing them with a high-quality education. They are deepening friendships that will last well beyond their years on campus. Many are dating fellow students who will become lifelong partners; and children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren will result from the love that has blossomed at D&E.
In short, the cycle repeats again and again. The central mission envisioned by our founders in 1904 continues to influence and transform lives 116 years later. The impact of today’s students on communities across our country will be equally as significant as the alumni being encountered on the snowbird tour.
What an inspiring opportunity and a compelling reason to invest in a college that builds its promising future on its track record of success over the decades.
The journey continues…