More Than A Vacation Celebrates Silver Anniversary

Posted by Brent Treash

It’s a classic love story. The love for a college coupled with the desire for life-long learning. Yet, how do you put a name on it?

That was the challenge 25-years ago as volunteers for Emory & Henry College met to work on the revival of an event called “Alumni College.” As they agreed on a name, they had no idea how difficult “More Than A Vacation” (MTAV) would be to remember.

It might have been a rocky start, but attendance numbers grew and soon MTAV became a tradition. And while it was created to bind alumni to the College, participants became bound to each other and an unintended but treasured family grew.

“In 2018, we will celebrate our 25th anniversary for the little event that could,” said Monica Hoel, alumni director. “Some folks will be new and some have been here for every inch of the journey. What a blessing both of those groups are.”

For four days each summer, at the end of July, alumni and friends of Emory & Henry College gather on campus to continue their commitment to the pursuit of knowledge.

As it so happens, they also manage to have a great time and make great friends in the process. This year’s silver anniversary event will be held from July 25-29.

The program is built around a theme that is fairly common for MTAV: Stories We Never Knew. The event will explore new ideas, share fascinating backstories and urge participants to look deeper at the College.

Events scheduled for this year include a birding program led by an alum who serves with the Center for Conservation Biology, a discussion of microplastics with an alum who is a physicist trained at NC State, a children’s book discussion with a former E&H faculty member, and current events presentations by two former E&H presidents. In fact, every living E&H president is participating in some manner this year to honor the 25th anniversary.

See the Full Schedule

Hoel hopes participants will go home to share their MTAV experiences with friends and family.

“We want everyone to rave about the beauty and culture of Southwest Virginia and the surrounding region. We hope they’ll share facts learned at the event and discuss viewpoints never before considered.”

She credits the success of MTAV to all of the people that have served as leaders, volunteers or attendees.

Jeannette Reynolds Kendall, a member of the E&H class of 1974, says the event opened her eyes.

“More Than a Vacation introduced me to more than the Emory & Henry I knew; it took me over the river, through the woods, beyond the mountains and valleys that surround this wonderful college,” said Kendall. “It brought people to us and took us places that help me better understand the Southwest Virginia I never knew while attending Emory & Henry.”

Nearly every review of MTAV comes back with two thumbs up. No matter what you call it (we get “Better Than A Weekend” all the time), make it a part of your summer tradition. After all…it’s a fun event…but…it’s “More Than Just A Vacation.”

To register for the event please contact Monica Hoel at mshoel@ehc.edu or click on the link below.

Register

  • In 2016 participants hiked to the E&H radio tower to enjoy a view of Southwest Virginia they ...
    In 2016 participants hiked to the E&H radio tower to enjoy a view of Southwest Virginia they hadn't seen before.

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