It’s Christmas in July for Alumni!

Posted by Jamie Smyth
More than a Vacation is an event Emory & Henry does every summer for our wonderful alumni. Now in its 26th year, the alumni gathered July 24-27 to learn and reconnect with each other and our campus.

For four days each summer, alumni and friends of Emory & Henry College gather on campus to continue their commitment to the pursuit of knowledge. This year, participants in More than a Vacation (MTAV) returned to campus July 24-27 to take tours of new facilities, participate in various cultural activities around the area, and take part in learning discussions. Alumni came from as far away as Arizona and as close as Marion, Va. 

“It’s wonderful to be back,” said Lynda Hawkins (’66). Hawkins is a retired school teacher who studied psychology and history while a student at Emory & Henry. “This place is my second home. I love it here.”

Twenty-six years ago, volunteers met to work on the revival of an event called “Alumni College.” The name was changed to More than a Vacation (MTAV), and the event has slowly grown into a new tradition that brings alumni together.

“This is our 26th year to do this event, and every year we’re amazed by the great presentations we hear every time we get together,” said Monica Hoel, alumni director. “We hear from E&H alumni and E&H faculty members and even renowned authors and news-makers who are passionate about their projects.” 

Hoel hopes participants will go home and 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.”

The theme for this year’s MTAV was Christmas in July, named for the new book From Heaven to Earth: Christmas for old believers, new believers, and non-believers, by alumni Rev. Wil Cantrell (’01) and Rev. Paul Seay (’01), who spoke on Saturday with other notable alumni. Other discussions held during MTAV included topics such as the life and crimes of Georgia Tann held by Barbara Bisantz Raymond on her book, The Baby Thief. Librarian of Virginia Sandra Treadway spoke on Thursday morning about the Virginia Women’s Monument in Richmond and Ron Peterson discussed the mysterious and infamous murder of Gina Hall in his book Under the Trestle.

“We’re already making plans for next year because there are still so many great topics to explore,” Hoel said. “I owe the success of MTAV to all of the people that have served as leaders, volunteers or attendees.”

For information on More than a Vacation or other alumni events, email Monica Hoel at mshoel@ehc.edu.

  • Alumni gather together in front of a poster discussing the life of Georgia Tann.
    Alumni gather together in front of a poster discussing the life of Georgia Tann.
This place is my second home, I love it here.
-Lynda Hawkins

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