Members of the Emory & Henry College community have a sacred trust to preserve the values of the institution while seeking boldly newer horizons that enrich a commitment to students and the people they serve, according to E&H President Rosalind Reichard.
Reichard delivered the keynote address during the College’s annual Founders Day celebration Thursday, March 21, in Memorial Chapel. The day also was marked by honors given to members of the community and E&H alumni in recognition of their service and accomplishments.
The event also was highlighted by the unveiling of a new college logo, which was the culmination of a branding process that identified significant advancement in the institution’s reputation over the last decade.
“The gift of life and the talents we are given are sacred trusts that we should use to our fullest and ’til the end of our days,” Reichard said.
Reichard, who retires as E&H president in June after seven years of service, recalled earlier speeches at the College in which she exhorted the E&H community to work cooperatively as it thinks boldly about its future. Quoting Alfred Tennyson, Reichard added, “Come my friends, it is not too late to seek a new world … to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”
Known as the “Building President,” Reichard has presided over new or planned construction on campus totaling more than $50 million, including two new residence halls, a new athletic field house and a visual and performing arts center. Among her chief accomplishments in academic programs has been the establishment of an E&H campus in Marion for a doctoral program in physical therapy.
Reichard said she has always believed as president that she has a sacred trust to “every single individual” connected to the college. She has sought to provide challenges to individuals, “to stretch you, so that you can know both your strengths and your weaknesses.
At the same time, she has had a sacred trust to the college as an institution, “to foster a community of integrity, dignity and pride … and a place where people believe that they can do whatever they set their minds to and to succeed.”
Reichard’s speech was followed by the awarding of Founders Day Citations to Dr. Rachel D. Fowlkes, for her leadership as the executive director of the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center in Abingdon; Dr. Henderson P. Graham, who led efforts to establish the E&H doctoral degree in physical therapy in Marion; and the Glade Spring Presbyterian Church, for its historic support of the College.
Distinctive Alumni Awards were given to Dr. Felicia Mitchell, an E&H English professor who was honored with the James A. Davis Faculty Award; Jay Webb (E&H Class of 1999), a meteorologist for WDBJ7 in Roanoke, who received the A.L. Mitchell Young Alumnus of the Year Award; Ben Jennings (E&H Class of 1968) of Abingdon, who has been a leader in supporting the arts, who received the Distinguished Achievement Award; and Becky Kurtz (E&H Class of 1984), the director of the Office of Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs in Washington, D.C., who was honored with the Carl and Ruth Looney Humanitarian Award.
In addition, three alumni from the Class of 1968 who served the Henrico County (Virginia) Schools for numerous years were honored with the Fred Selfe Distinctive Service to Emory & Henry Award: Ellis Sasser, Betsy Farris Hulcher and Ruth Anne Farley Davis. The three were instrumental in the inauguration and success of the E&H alumni college, More Than a Vacation.