1. UPDATE: Use of either the Board Room in David Student Union or (ifattendance is over 50) a larger room in Ferguson Center.
2. UPDATE:Parking in LOT M (next to the Alumni House) and golf carttransportation to and from the parking lot and where the event will be.
3. UPDATE:Tours of Klich Alumni House during thenoon hour (about 20minutes per tour) before the lunch and possibly after it, if there aresome who want to see the house but have not yet been able to do so.
4.Services of the university's food staff and Alumni Office staff.
1. Each FD (or FD professor) is allowed to bringone guest ($10 fee).
2. SIGN-UP & PAY by DEADLINE: Wed., SEPT. 5th. We have togive Catering Service the HEADCOUNT by Friday morning, Sept. 7th.
3. The PLANNING TO ATTEND LIST posted belowwill be updated August 3, 17, & 31. Sign up if you PLAN to attend. Ifyou have not paid ($10 per person) by Sept. 5th, we will know you areNOT going to attend and will remove your name from the list.
SIGN UP SOON!
Dr. Jane at
email@example.com or (757) 238-9629
or Cap'n Dave at
firstname.lastname@example.org or (757) 409-2799
Mail your CHECK for $10 or (if bringing a guest) $20,
made out to CNC First Decaders,
to Sonny Short,FD Treasurer, 12738 Daybreak Circle, Newport News, VA.
We look forward to seeing you Sunday afternoon, September 16!
1ST DECADER LUNCHEON
PLANNING TO ATTEND
First Decaders Indoor Luncheon at CNU
Sunday, September 16, 2018
1:00 - 4:00 p.m.
FIRST DECADERS .............. and.................GUESTS
1. Donna Skipper Pultz ......................... Richard Pultz
2. David Spriggs
3. Sonny Short
4. Cecelia Short
5. Ron Lowder ...................................... Maureen Lowder
6. Wade Williams
FACULTY ........................... and .............GUESTS
1. Jane Chambers ............................... Kay Rinfrette
2ND DECADE HISTORY
Actress Elizabeth Taylor at CNC:
An Unforgettable Afternoon
by A. Jane Chambers
“Elizabeth Taylor Warner Charms CNC Audience” –The Captain’s Log (10/18/79)
“An electric day at CNC. She was brilliant.” –Barry Wood
“Overall, she was delightful.” – James C. Windsor
In mid-October of 1979, the last year of James C. Windsor’s presidency, actress Elizabeth Taylor came to ChristopherNewportCollege. It was the first time anyone of world-wide fame was on our small campus, and it was an event that none of us who were there will ever forget—especially those of us among the twenty or so CNC administrators and faculty who enjoyed having lunch with her in the fairly new CampusCenter.
What brought Elizabeth Taylor to our little-known college? She was invited by history professor Dr. James M. Morris to speak at a two-day program in the William Parks Lecture Series, named after CNC history professor Dr. William Parks, who had died unexpectedly in 1978. Two events in the Gaines Theatre preceded her arrival. The day before she came, a professor from Dartmouth College read his scholarly paper about her, followed by discussion with the audience. His paper’s title—“Who’s Afraid of Elizabeth Taylor?”—alluded to the controversial black and white movie for which she had won her second Oscar for Best Actress at the Academy Awards in 1967. The evening after that event, there was a free showing of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” A lecture by the actress was to be the highlight of this program.
Since her fee for speaking at the College was, of necessity, quite nominal, some people believed then, and some still believe, that her main motivation for coming to CNC might have been, at least in part, to advance the political career of her current husband, Republican Senator John Warner, a wealthy gentleman horse breeder in Northern Virginia whom she had wed in 1976, before he ran for the Senate. They were then in the third year of what would be a six-year marriage. However, Warner was in only the first year of his first term, so there was little reason for him, or her, to be campaigning then. Maybe she came to the Tidewater area just for a change of scenery, having grown bored with being the farmer’s wife. Or maybe she found the request that she talk about acting to be a pleasant change from the subject of politics. We will never know precisely why she agreed to come to our campus. But some clues might lie in what she said and did while she was here.
Elizabeth Taylor & John Warner (L) with President Gerald Ford, meeting England's Queen Elizabeth (R) at the British Embassy in Washington, in 1976. Warner, then Secretary of the Navy, was chairing the Bicentennial Commission. Ford asked him to escort Taylor that evening. Six months later they were married.
Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in a scene from "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" (1966). They were in the second year of their first marriage during the filming. Both were nominated for Oscars in 1967. She won. He lost.
It was a clear, pleasantly cool fall day. As I walked toward the Campus Center, a car pulled up and stopped at the front of it. Two women got out, opening their own doors. The driver was a middle-aged blonde. Her passenger was a very brunette Elizabeth Taylor, still strikingly beautiful at age 47. So ordinary was this arrival, however, that I don’t think anyone nearby, except me, even noticed it. No limo. No entourage. No photographers. Just two middle-aged women exiting a sedan.
The woman then idolized by millions was dressed simply, in a dark green plaid, or perhaps tweed, business suit (matching jacket and skirt) and a high-necked green blouse. She wore those calf-high, medium-high-heeled boots popularized by the Nancy Sinatra song. She and her driver, seemingly a friend, chatted as they walked right past me, only a few feet away, and entered the StudentCenter. I was surprised to see how short she was. Even in those high-heeled boots, she was much shorter than I –perhaps no more than five feet tall.
The small, unadorned room upstairs in the Campus Center was comfortable and well-lit, but there was nothing in it that could be called magnificent other than our famous guest. The tables, arranged in a U shape, were of the church basement variety and covered with white tablecloths.
As CNC President, Jim Windsor sat beside Elizabeth Taylor at the small head table. He was her age. Recently I sent him my memories of this luncheon and asked him what he remembered. He emailed back:
“Thank you for reminding me of the day we dined with Elizabeth Taylor. You helped me recall one of our pleasant memories of the second decade. I note that you were impressed with her height and hands. I checked out other parts of her anatomy. She was very attractive. Her eyes appeared purple rather than blue. She was intelligent when talking about her political life, but said, ‘Don't tell my husband, but I'd rather be doing something else.’ Elizabeth had gained a few pounds and said that she had to be disciplined when the lunch was served, but she consumed everything, and when the dessert was offered (pie), she pushed it away, but as we talked she ate her pie and half of mine. Overall, she was delightful.”
Elizabeth Taylor in 1979 on the cover of HARPER'S BAZAAR.
Barry Wood, then Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, sat directly across from her, along with his wife, Ann. He and I were both five years younger than the star. Barry recently shared with me his memories of this meal. He was struck by how relaxed, how casual the whole experience was—he, Ann, Jim and Elizabeth chatting back and forth “like ordinary people” over a rather ordinary meal: a “chicken-salad type” luncheon, not a feast. At one point, when the topic was her husband, Barry asked her what had been the worst thing about being married to a senator. “The number of times you have to shake hands,” she replied. One might sense, from that answer, and her comment above to Jim, a longing within her to get back to “something else”—such as acting.
I sat some distance down from the head table. When desserts had been eaten, but all of us were still sipping our iced tea or coffee, I approached our guest with a blank 5x7 index card and asked for her autograph. She smiled graciously, took the card from me, and held out her left hand, looking up at me with those famous violet eyes. It took a moment for me to realize she was waiting for me to hand her a pen. To my horror I realized I had forgotten to bring one! Thankfully, Jim Windsor quickly came to my rescue, handing her his pen.
"To?" she asked, her gaze again meeting mine.
"To?" I responded.
"To whom? How should I address it?"
"Oh! ...To me. To Jane."
She wrote "To Jane" and something else (I've since lost that card, alas!) and signed it "Elizabeth Taylor Warner." I remember that her hands were small and lightly freckled. I thanked her and quickly returned to my chair.
She spoke at 3:00 that afternoon, on a bare stage, with just a podium and microphone, and I believe virtually all of the 389 seats of the Gaines Theatre were filled. There was no performance—no reading or reciting of a prepared speech. Instead, she simply opened the floor to questions from the audience about acting. And as Barry recalls, there was never any hesitation, “not a moment’s pause for reflection,” between someone’s question and her answer. She was, as Barry says, “brilliant”— someone he “would have been honored to have” in one of his classes. She annihilated the stereotype of the Hollywood actress as beautiful but dumb. She was not only poised and clever, but also, somewhat to my surprise, quite witty! The audience loved it when she mocked Method Acting, a technique then popular in many drama schools. And when one man raised a too-personal question, she deflected it skillfully.
The John Gaines Theatre in CNCís Campus Center ó built in 1973; demolished in 2008. DAILY PRESS photo in MEMORIES OF CHRISTOPHER NEWPORT COLLEGE, p. 142.
Overall it was, as Barry says, “an electric day, a great day.” And a learning experience. We came that afternoon to see an icon, a somewhat-unreal being from the celluloid world of Hollywood. We left having met a person whom, under other circumstances, we might happily have counted as a personal friend. Perhaps she had “too much” jewelry and “too many” husbands, but she was an extraordinary human being: gifted, gracious, witty and charming. And in her latter decades, she gave much of herself and her wealth to help lessen the sufferings of others. She contributed significantly to the betterment of humanity, fighting for human rights and for the eradication of the world-wide disease AIDS—therefore exemplifying the meanings of justice and mercy. The world is somewhat better for her having been here.
The face of the actress at age 32, shortly before filming "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"
Her face with makeup for her character in the movie. Taylor also deliberately gained 30 pounds for the role of the middle-aged, frumpy Martha in "Who's Afraid."
We welcome your FEEDBACK. Send to
Published November 1, 2013
Republished July 20, 2018
Deities, Rulers, and Wrong Numbers:
Our Latin Calendar
Part 3 of 4
by A. Jane Chambers
When Julius Caesar ruled the Roman Republic (October of 49 BC - March 15 of 44 BC) perhaps his most important achievement was reforming the ancient Roman calendar, which had only 10 months and 304 days, with the new year beginning in March. Under his direction, in 46 BC astronomers replaced that lunar calendar with a solar calendar based on Earth's revolutions around the sun. This Julian calendar, with 12 months and 365 days, and Leap Years of 366 days, was the major western world calendar for 15 centuries, until refined and gradually replaced in 1582 by the Gregorian calendar, under the direction of Pope Gregory XII.
After Julius Caesar's assassination on March 15, 44 BC, four months before his 56th birthday, the lower and middle class Romans, who loved him, rioted, and a civil war quickly followed. During this unsettled time, there was another calendar change. When reforming the 10-month Roman calendar, which began with Martius (Latin for Mars), Caesar had kept Quintilis as the name of the month after Junius (June). So the name of Caesar's birth month was Quintilis ("fifth"), even though Quintilis was then the seventh month. In honor of Caesar, his birth month was renamed Julius--in English, July.
Marble bust of Julius Caesar made posthumously (44 - 30 BC) and located in Museo Pio-Clementino, one of the Vatican Museums.
Head of the Augustus of Prima Porta statue, a high marble statue of Augustus Caesar from the 1st century AD. Discovered in 1863 in the Villa of Livia at Prima Porta, near Rome, the statue is now in the Vatican.
Julius Caesar had no living legitimate children under Roman law, so shortly before his assassination, he had made his grandnephew Gaius Octavius, son of his niece, his sole heir. Only 18 years old when Caesar died, the youth (called Octavian) inherited all of his adoptive father's property and lineage and changed his name to Gaius Julius Caesar. He was then usually called "Caesar." However, most historians refer to him as Octavian between 44 BC and 27 BC to avoid confusion between the two Caesars, as I will do here.
After Julius Caesar's death, Octavian joined Mark Antony and Caesar's close ally Marcus Lepidus in defeating the assassins of Caesar, after which they divided the Roman Republic among themselves and ruled as military dictators. Not surprisingly, the ambitious three soon fought among themselves for more power. Lepidus was driven into exile and Antony committed suicide after he was defeated in battle by Octavian.
A gifted politician as well as warrior, In 27 BC Octavian appeared before the Roman Senate and offered to retire from active politics and government. The Senate rewarded his seeming modesty by increasing his powers, making them lifelong, and awarding him the title of Augustus ("Great" or "venerable," from the Latin augere, "to increase"). He took the name Augustus from that time forward. Historians use this name to refer to him from 27 BC until his death, in 14 AD.
In the year 8 BC, the Romans honored the memory of Augustus by renaming the month of Sextilis (meaning "sixth") as Augustus (in English--August). As in the case of Quintilis, discussed earlier, Sextilis was the old Roman calendar name that had not changed in the switch from the 10-month calendar to the 12-month Julian calendar, so the month name and number do not match. The Romans picked this month, the eighth, because several of the most significant events in the rise of Emperor Augustus to power, culminating in the fall of Alexandria, occurred in that month. Augustus also had died in that month.
SOURCES for Part 3: Personal knowledge--plus Wikipedia and Internet photos.
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Published July 6, 2018
MEMORIES BOOK BIT
A Memories Book Bit:
How Dr. Richard Guthrie Taught Me Personal Responsibility in Thirty Seconds
Alumna Mary Swift's Memory
Excerpts from pages 174 - 175*
My sojourn with Christopher Newport began in the summer of 1967, when, fresh from Hampton High School, I "tiptoed" up to Professor Guthrie to ask, "Where should I sit?" Hurling himself into high animation, all arms and eyes and teeth, gathering his frame to his feet to make his parade, forward he strode from desk to desk spewing German, which I now know, was meant to obviate the necessity of my question. I didn't need to know a word of German to get his drift, "Girlie, you are on your own! Choose and live with it!"
Mary Swift in the 1969 Trident, when she was pursuing her first of three CNC degrees.
Richard Guthrie in the 1970 Trident, as Assistant Professor of Modern Languages.
Instantaneously transformed and locked forever within the freeing jaws of personal responsibility, I decided to take my place....The lesson I learned in thirty seconds with Professor Guthrie ... is the lesson, I feel, which is crucial to an understanding of what an education can mean. Our little "commuter college" remained large on that intangible during my forty-year sojourn. Christopher Newport University, "How are you measuring up to the immeasurable? NOW?"
*“Wheeling Horizons: An Introspection," by Mary Swift, in Memories of Christopher Newport College: The First Decade, by A. Jane Chambers, Rita C. Hubbard, & Lawrence B. Wood, Jr. (Hallmark, 2008). TO ORDER BOOK: Send check for $20 made out to Jane Chambers to: Dr. Jane Chambers, 15267 Candy Island Lane,Carrollton, VA 23314. The money (minus mailing cost) is donated to the CNC First Decaders' Treasury.
We welcome your FEEDBACK. Send to
Published July 6, 2018
FROM Kay Rinfrette: In 1955 I went to the Carter Barron Amphitheater in Rock Creek Park in Washington, DC to see my favorite entertainer, Danny Kaye. During the show, he told the audience: "I want you to let me show you something special. I'm going to turn off all the lights just for a few seconds to give you a treat--don't get scared." One, two, three--off went the lights, and surrounding us in the darkness of the park were hundreds of lightening bugs around the trees, lots of lights just flickering. It was breathtaking! The audience gasped in delighted surprise. I held my breath--it was so magical! The audience applauded, the lights came back on, and Danny said, "I told you it was worth it!" I still remember over 60 years later.
FROM Paula Orphanidys:Wonderful childhood memory! Know my parents let them out of the jar when I went to bed!
FROM Nancy Carol Winall: A great childhood memory!
FROM Nancy M. Dickinson: I remember it was such a delight.
FROM Donna Crosby Adcock: In the South it's lightning bugs.
Re: How Dr. Richard Guthrie Taught Me Personal Responsibility in Thirty Seconds, by Alumna Mary Swift
FROM Janie Wolf: I found your July 6 publication very interesting. The words from Mary Swift about Dick Guthrie were so indicative of Dick’s ways and means of making a point. I could see those gestures and facial expressions. It was a fine memory!
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