Saturday, March 29, 2014

Professor Beckley's Retirement Party

Robyn got an email a few months back announcing Professor Beckley's retirement.  There was going to be a party in his honor and she asked me and Meg if we wanted to go.  Meg had a race in Charlottesville, but I said that I'd go.  Any opportunity to go back to my undergraduate university, sign me up.

We headed out around 9:00 and made it in time to get there for lunch.  We had big plans to go to the Mexican restaurant in town, but when we got there, we noticed there were very few cars in the parking lot.  We drove up closer to the front door and noticed there was a sign that said something about their plans to relocate and needing to close the restaurant for a few days to prepare.  We went to Salerno's instead where I got a roast beef sandwich.  They were definitely not skimpy on the portion sizes.  I could only eat half and thankfully the hotel had a refrigerator so I could keep the other half cold.
The university was also doing a day of volunteering, but unfortunately the SPCA event that Robyn and I signed up for was cancelled due to the weather.  We spent some time socializing in the Commons and after that hung out at the hotel and Walmart (so Robyn could get her steps in on her Fitbit).

The dinner this evening was really nice.  I had to break out of my introvert shell and talk to folks (and man, was that tough!).  But, in retrospect, alumni are generally very nice and willing to talk.  I caught up with a girl that I went to middle school and high school with, which was nice.  We didn't run in the same circles in college, but we jumped into conversation like it was no big deal.  Dinner was the typical WNL barbeque pork, cornbread, chicken, coleslaw, etc.

The speeches given to honor Professor Beckley were very heartwarming.  I think he's done an amazing job building up the Shepherd Poverty Program at school.  His dedication, compassion, and kindness to everyone is definitely something to aspire to.

Professor Beckley got the last word in of the night, and afterwards, the band played a song for him and we sang the lyrics that were given to us at dinner.  :)


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