Founders’ Day 2007 at Virginia Tech (held April 21) was a time for Metagenes actives and alumni to celebrate our future, honor our past, and remember the tragedy of April 16. With most college activities cancelled, we chose instead to meet at Mike’s Grill for lunch (best burgers in town!). On the clear and bright Saturday afternoon, Rick Jenkins, Jeff Kendrick and I wandered the Virginia Tech campus, visiting the old dorms, new buildings, and, of course, the bookstore. We spent a part of the afternoon viewing the many memorials on the Drill Field in the center of campus. The events of last Monday have brought an uncomfortable, unwelcome sort of attention to our campus, and I think that part of my reason for visiting was to restore my personal connection to my alma mater, separate from the very public images that now define Virginia Tech for the rest of the world.
All of the Metagenes brothers still in town planned a wonderful afternoon for us. We set up our picnic in a town park, and the active chapter brought out a feast of burgers and hot dogs, salads and desserts. The highlight of the event was a presentation by the chapter to Kim Clark, our beloved alumni brother and, now, recipient of the Dwight “Pop” Ely Award. Rick Jenkins followed by welcoming the graduating seniors into the Metagenes Alumni Association, and proud new mom and current MAA president Michelle LeTourner quickly offered them all the chance to take over board positions! Finally, alumni Ray Consoli and his wife, Joan, invited everyone to visit the Virginia Tech War Memorial Chapel after the picnic, to present flowers as a memorial from the Metagenes Chapter.
This was a most special day for the chapter, who insisted on holding the picnic in the wake of the tragic events. Together, actives and alumni were able to put the formal, public mourning time behind us, to celebrate with each other, and to discuss our plans for the future. At a time when Hokies most needed to come together, Founders’ Day offered the perfect venue for all of us to connect and move on. Happy Birthday, Alpha Rho Chi and Metagenes.
Brian Earle, Matt Williams’ shirt, Kim Clark, Kent McCullough’s hair (above Kim), Liz Norwood, Nate Williams, long-suffering spouse Bonnie Clark, Michelle Ringley, Allen McDonald, Hyewon Kim, Carlyn Luu, Lexa Rio, James Harte and, in back, John Shelor, Michelle LeTourner, Gary Ehrlich and Joan Pryde.