The fifth Annual Picnic of the CNC First Decaders (FDs) was as always a good time event, with chef Wade Williams grilling burgers, hot dogs, and marinated chicken and the other FDs providing assorted side dishes and desserts. Fifty voices filled Shelter 20 at Newport News Park with chatting and laughter as classmates and professors reunited and new attendees were welcomed, including our special guests--members of CNU's Alumni Relations Office. Posing with our CNC banner in the above photo (courtesy of Ellen Babb Melvin) are (L - R) Charlie Snead, yours truly, Ellen Babb Melvin, and Gail Latta Pearce, all of the Class of 1966.
Regular attendees Charlie Snead (AA, 66) and wife, Thommy (above L), drove 8 hours from Hendersonville, NC, for our gathering. Although Charlie also earned two degrees from William and Mary, he feels more devoted to CNC than to W&M. Our 3-legged mascot Annie and her owner, Mary Ellen (Cissy) Wilkinson (above R) also came as always, riding down from Richmond (Photos by Ellen Babb Melvin).
We were pleased this year that two gentlemen from CNC's first fraternity, Chi Psi Omega, and their wives attended: John and Elaine Norman and Roman and Melinda Schenkkan. The above photo shows Roman and Melinda (R) with our FD webmaster Ron Lowder and his wife, Maureen (L) and CNU guest Baxter Vendrick (M), Director of the Alumni Relations Office (Alumni Relations staff photo).
This year we had as special guests members of CNU's Alumni Relations Office, who are the wonderful people who provide us yearly with an outstanding 50th Anniversary Celebration during Commencement weekend, and the Chair of the 1961 Historical Preservation Club. Above left we see our FD leader, Capt. Dave Spriggs, introducing two of them (Alumni Relations photo). The middle photo, by Ron Lowder, is of Baxter Vendrick, Director of the Alumni Relations Office, addressing our group, and the right photo, also by Ron, is of Dr. Sean Heuvel,1961 Club Chair, speaking to us. Don't miss the delightful photo of the office's entire staff in the article following this one.
Newport News historian Fred Mays, whose wife, Patty Andrews Mays, attended CNC its first year (1961-62), brought along some of CNC's Trident yearbooks and newspaper articles about CNC. These were of interest to many of the attendees, including (above L) Dr. Bob Saunders, Professor Emeritus of History, and (R) early First Decader Jo Berry Sinclair (Alumni Relations staff photos).
There were all sorts of wonderful foods to enjoy, but the dish shown above left was done with special care. I've not been able to identify the maker of it, alas! The other photo shows some attendees enjoying the food. Standing in the green shirt is Dr. Bob Saunders, talking with Becky Mazzarella, wife of Professor Emeritus of History Mario Mazzarella, seated front left (Alumni Relations photos).
Finally, two more pictures that reflect what these gatherings are mainly about--fellowships old and new, making new friends and renewing old friendships. On the left, Barbara Trippe-Crute (standing), 1968 FD and wife of Bill Crute (BA, 1971) chats with friend of the First Decaders Kay Rinfrette (Alumni Relations photo). On the right, long-time Class of 1966 friends Ellen Babb Melvin, Charlie Snead, and Gail Latta Pearce enjoy a group hug (photo courtesy of Ellen).