Virginia Taylor Rushton, center, Class of 1930, was honored with an award given to alums representing the earliest class at Lander University's Alumni Reunion Luncheon. Rushton, a 101-year-old resident of Greenville, is pictured with Lander Presidential Ambassadors Katie Reeves, left, of Moncks Corner and Victoria McDonald of Cheraw.
Hugs and tears, remembrances of years past and a sense of pride in their alma mater were a few of the themes during Lander University's 2010 Alumni Reunion Weekend, which began on Friday, Sept. 24, with a 50th reunion dinner at Lander on the Square, followed by an alumni happy hour at T.W. Boons, both in Uptown Greenwood. On Saturday, Sept. 25, events focused on 60th-, 50th-, 40th- and 30th-year reunions for the classes of 1950, 1960, 1970 and 1980. Several alums from various graduating classes were also in attendance, including a 101-year-old alumna from the Class of 1930, Virginia Taylor Rushton. Rushton was accompanying her daughter Virginia Lynne Rushton Ouzts, who was on campus celebrating her own 50th reunion with fellow Class of 1960 alums.
"We're excited to welcome alumni from as far back as 1930, and it means so much to all of us at Lander to have our alumni and friends back on campus," said Ralph Patterson, Lander vice president for University Advancement. "Alumni classes from 1930 to 2010 were represented, and it is fantastic that so many of our alumni that love Lander took the time to join us for a great weekend."
The weekend's events also included meetings of Lander's Young Alumni Council and the Alumni Association Board. On Saturday, attendees were treated to a luncheon prepared by Old Main Catering, and given updates on Lander's current goals and initiatives. Following the luncheon, alums had the chance to take a bus tour of campus to get a first-hand glimpse of how the university has changed. The tour also featured a trip to the university's newest feature, the Jeff May Complex, which is expected to open next year.
"It's so important for alumni to reconnect with each other," said Patterson. "As soon as they step on campus the memories come roaring back. We hope that many who came back, and others who could not, will find a way to support Lander right now. We appreciate our alumni so much, and Lander definitely needs their support."
With Alumni Reunion Weekend behind them, staff members in Lander's Office of Alumni Affairs are quickly moving forward with other fun and exciting activities in which alums reconnect with their alma mater. The next event on the alumni calendar is Fall for Lander, in conjunction with Fall for Greenville, on Oct. 8, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. The event will be hosted by F3 Concepts at 415 West Washington St. in Greenville. On January 28-29, 2011, Lander alums are invited back to campus for the university's annual Homecoming festivities. Further into 2011, Alumni Affairs will: take a road trip to visit Columbia area alums; host grads for alumni Earth Day activities; and continue their annual event in which alums are invited to take in a Greenville Drive baseball game.
For information about alumni events contact Lander's Alumni Affairs Office at 864-388-8351.