Throughout 2016, University of Lynchburg alumni, students, faculty, and staff gave each other much to be proud of. Here is a look back at some of our favorite moments of the year — in no particular order.
Ethics Bowl earns big victories
University of Lynchburg enjoyed a great year at the Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl in 2016. In February, LC’s team debated in the national championship tournament for the first time, having won second place in the 2015 regional tournament. But these students gave us a new reason to celebrate when they went back to the regional tournament in November 2016 and won first place — beating teams such as University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of North Georgia, among others. This victory earned them another spot in the national tournament, which will be held in February 2017.
John Eccles retires
His career at Lynchburg was as long as his beard, but his legacy is even longer. John Eccles spent 30 years at LC, including 22 as the student development dean. His sage advice, his sense of humor, and his caring for individual students touched countless lives.
When John announced that he and his wife, A.J., a longtime mathematics instructor, would retire, we knew we’d have to throw a party, so we did that on the Day of Eccles. We also celebrated his career with a story in University of Lynchburg Magazine, and the senior class asked John to give the 2016 Commencement address, in which he dispensed timeless advice and stories from his decades of service to the College.
Sandusky partnership expands
Our longstanding partnership with Historic Sandusky has blossomed over the past several years. In 2016, we made that partnership permanent by accepting ownership of the historic site. History students, at the undergraduate and graduate level continue to conduct research and organize educational events at the historic home.
Although Sandusky is best known for its role in the Civil War, when it served as a Union General’s headquarters during the Battle of Lynchburg, LC students and faculty are also working to improve awareness of the many other facets of the home’s history, including the lives of slaves who worked there.
Hornets net three ODAC championships
Three Hornet teams claimed Old Dominion Athletic Conference championships during the year. Both the men’s and the women’s basketball teams claimed their conference crowns after a record-breaking season. The women won their first ODAC title, while the men claimed their championship for the first time in more than 30 years.
The men’s soccer team then won its ODAC championship against Washington & Lee University in November.
English professor shortlisted for major prize
Every year, the Stanford University Libraries choose some of the best new books by emerging writers for the Saroyan International Prize for Writing. This year, they put “The Gender of Inanimate Objects,” a collection of stories by LC English professor Laura Marello, on the shortlist in the running for the prize. Just making the shortlist is considered a feat and an honor.
This was just one of the latest literary accomplishments for Professor Marello, whose books have been making it to print quite frequently in recent years. A story in the Fall 2016 LC Magazine highlights how she sets a great example of persistence and dedication to the craft of writing.
Nursing graduate boosts Red Cross efforts after Appomattox tornado
A powerful tornado ripped through Appomattox County, Virginia, in late February. Within hours, Dana Woody ’00, ’12 MSN was one of the first Red Cross volunteers on the scene, ready to assist the people impacted by the storm in the community she has called home for her entire life.
Immediately, Dana helped set up an emergency shelter, and in the following days she helped Red Cross officials conduct a census to ensure all storm victims were helped. Eventually she won two statewide awards for her volunteer service.
Read more about her compassion in the University of Lynchburg Magazine.
2016 grad chosen as Major of the Year
The Society of Health and Physical Educators (also known as SHAPE America) selected Morgan Singer ’16 as a Major of the Year, an annual award that recognizes outstanding undergraduate students in the fields of health, physical education, recreation and dance. Morgan makes us proud for her dedication to helping others achieve great health, whether by working to provide clean water in Uganda or teaching K-12 students about choices that will lead to long-term fitness.
Student presents at international sports physics conference
This summer, Chad Hobson ’17 traveled to the Netherlands to make a presentation about the sports physics research he has conducted with Dr. John Eric Goff. Every year, they make some astoundingly accurate predictions about the Tour de France, and Chad’s paper about how they confirmed the accuracy of their predictions model was accepted for an international sports physics conference. They also have worked on research about the aerodynamics of the Brazuca soccer ball.
Give Day brings out Hornet pride
In March 2016, many alumni received a mysterious red postcard. “Stay tuned, LC Family,” the card said, hinting at the date of April 6. Shortly before that date, its significance was revealed: University of Lynchburg was holding its first annual Give Day, with a few anonymous donors offering $40,000 of dollars in additional donations if the College secured gifts from 1,000 people in one day. As the day progressed, an additional challenge promised an additional $60,000 if the donor total passed 1,500.
The day was celebrated with events such as painting a chair to mark progress towards the goal, coaches dancing on Shellenberger to celebrate the Give Day enthusiasm, and John Eccles climbing a tree and threatening to stay there until additional donations came through.
In the end, more than 1,700 people stepped forward to make gifts to LC, bringing in more than $163,000 to support scholarships, athletics, and other important ventures at the College.
Tom Bentson ’04, director of annual giving, described Give Day in greater detail in an article in LC Magazine.
Dust Devil stirs up attention on Moon Field
A whirlwind stirred up the dust on Moon Field during a softball game in April, and the video (captured by the Lynchburg Hornets Sports Network) went viral. The incident received airtime on national and international news broadcasts.
Music education graduate exemplifies teaching excellence
No one was surprised when Alice Watson ’90 won the McGlothlin Award for Teaching Excellence. Her passion for teaching shines through her interactive teaching style and her devotion to helping students love music — not just understand it. In addition to teaching her elementary school students in Campbell County, Alice helps future educators build their foundations by working with LC’s music education students, including many who pass through her classroom during their student-teaching experiences.
President Garren gains the national spotlight
On the heels of appearing in a front-page Wall Street Journal article about colleges making their voices heard in the halls of Congress, LC President Dr. Kenneth R. Garren continued to play a role on the national stage in 2016. He was chosen for the W.L. Foreman Award by the Council of Independent Colleges, and he was elected to the Board of Directors of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. Making a difference in the world is part of being a Hornet, and President Garren has modeled this for LC students for more than 15 years.
Snidow Chapel and organ renovated
Thanks to two generous alumni who spearheaded fundraising efforts that eventually totaled more than $220,000, LC was able to renovate Snidow Chapel and its pipe organ in time for the building’s 50th anniversary. The renovations restored the organ to pristine performance and made the chapel more comfortable and suitable for a variety of musical performances and diverse spiritual practices. Read more about the upgrades in LC Magazine.
Not far from friendship circle, the LC LOVE sculpture has quickly become one of the most popular sights on campus. Thanks to efforts spearheaded by Housing Coordinator Rhonda Johnson, we became the first college in Virginia to join the ranks of locations around the state boasting one of the popular LOVE signs. The sign was installed in September, and already it has served as a backdrop for countless photos.