Skip to content

Five-Star Festival Weekend Recap!

September 13, 2011

A fantastic schedule of Five-Star Festival events over the September 8-10 weekend took place in surprisingly gorgeous weather, as heavy rains early in the week gave way to sunny skies for our alumni who have already had their 50th reunions.

The Five-Star Generals were the first to enjoy the lovely new side terrace at Lee House, followed by a celebratory banquet in Evans Hall. Class chairs Ted Van Leer ’51 and Jimmy Gallivan ’51, and Charlie MacIntosh ’56, received awards for attendance and support of the Annual Fund from Vice President for University Advancement Dennis Cross.

Five-Star Festival Reception at Lee House

Five-Star Festival Reception at Lee House

Earlier that morning, University Provost Bob Strong led a panel on academic life in Stackhouse Theater, with his faculty colleagues Alison Bell, associate dean of the College and professor of archaeology, and Marc Conner, professor of English. These professors highlighted Spring Term as an example of the vibrancy and distinctiveness of the learning experience.

The panel on academic life featured Interim Provost Bob Strong, Associate Dean of the College Alison Bell, and Professor of English Marc Conner.

President Ken Ruscio delivered a stimulating talk on University priorities and what he called our “tradition of innovation.” He summarized the Colonnade project, plus our plans to remake duPont Hall into a global learning center and to build a new indoor athletic center. He quoted a letter from a current senior and another by Frank Gilliam (1917), Rupert Latture (1915) and Sid Coulling (1916), when they were student leaders! A wonderful group of eight current students participated in the “Meet the Students” panel, and answered questions about athletics, Greek life, music, service, the arts, multicultural life and leadership activities.

Christina Benedetti ’12 speaks to Five-Star Generals during the student life panel presentation.

Christina Benedetti ’12 speaks to Five-Star Generals during the "Meet the Students" panel.

Unhindered by rain, our wine-tasting event at Rockbridge Vineyards, antiquing excursion at Thornhill Estate and walking tour of Lexington provided wonderful memories for those in attendance on Friday afternoon. It was a perfect time for reconnecting with old friends and classmates.

Rick Wolf ’77 speaks to Five-Star Generals and their guests at his antique shop on Washington Street.

Rick Wolf ’77 speaks to Five-Star Generals and their guests at his antique shop on Washington Street.

Otey Professor of Religion and Shepherd Poverty Program Director Harlan Beckley officiated at a poignant memorial service and celebration of life on Friday evening. Then, the Class of 1951 celebrated their 60th reunion at Ted and Sue Van Leer’s house. Fifty-five attendees, including 31 alumni, celebrated well into the night. There were five trustee emeriti present, Ted Van Leer, Tom Wolfe, Jimmy Gallivan, Sam Hollis and former rector Steve Miles. The Class of 1951 set a 60th reunion attendance record.

His four other 1951 classmates and trustees emeriti gather with host Ted Van Leer at his home. From left: Tom Wolfe, Van Leer, Steve Miles, Jimmy Gallivan, and Sam Hollis.

His four other 1951 classmates and trustees emeriti gather with host Ted Van Leer at his home. From left: Tom Wolfe, Van Leer, Steve Miles, Jimmy Gallivan, and Sam Hollis.

At the same time, about 75 alumni and guests from the 55th reunion class of 1956 and a good number of non-reunion alumni dined in the Kamen Gallery of the Lenfest Center. They were entertained by the male a cappella group Southern Comfort after dinner. After these reunion dinners, the merriment continued back at the Hampton Inn hospitality cabin.

The University was once again fortunate to have acclaimed alumnus Tom Wolfe ’51 in attendance for his 60th reunion. On Saturday morning, Five-Star attendees and other members of the community packed the Stackhouse Theater to hear Wolfe’s talk: “No-Hands Art, Tenure Art, and the American Art World Today.” In splendid and biting fashion, Wolfe’s remarks and Powerpoint gave us an energetic critique of modern art and a peek behind the curtain of the curious world of art today. It is available online for your enjoyment.

Tom Wolfe ’51 speaks about Andy Warhol during his talk on modern art for the Five-Star Festival.

Tom Wolfe ’51 speaks about Andy Warhol during his talk on modern art for the Five-Star Festival.

In brilliant sunshine on Saturday afternoon, festival attendees enjoyed a wonderful luncheon on Cannan Green, and many stayed to see a rousing football victory as the Generals defeated Sewanee 31-14.

Past Sports Hall of Fame inductee Gibby McSpadden ’56 speaking with Secretary of the University Jim Farrar ‘74 at the Sports Hall of Fame and Five-Star Generals luncheon.

Past Sports Hall of Fame inductee Gibby McSpadden ’56 speaking with Secretary of the University Jim Farrar ‘74 at the Sports Hall of Fame and Five-Star Generals luncheon.

The new Five-Star Festival is established as our specially created event to celebrate our beloved senior alumni. We are grateful to those who made the trip and look forward to the next one, on September 13-15, 2012.

Advertisements
3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 14, 2011 2:24 pm

    Associate Dean of the College Alison Bell, depicted in the second image above, is a member of W&L’s Class of 1991.

  2. hswhite permalink
    September 14, 2011 5:47 pm

    From beginning to end, this was a superb event! I loved W&L when I was there 55 years ago. It is now a much stronger and vibrant University to which I would be proud to refer family and friends.
    Congratulations to all who have made this happen and Thank You!
    Headley”Lee”White Jr.56A

  3. Bert Hudnall permalink
    October 29, 2014 2:03 pm

    Isn’t the 1916 class date for Sid Coulling an error in the notes about President Ruscio’s remarks? The Sid Coulling I knew in 1959 was a rather youthful English professor; perhaps this is his father who is being referenced…..?
    Bert Hudnall

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: