It’s that time of year once again…our third fall journey to D&E to see our son play college soccer. We like to come when we can catch two home games. This year our trip coincided with Parent’s Weekend which has been a real treat! One of my favorite things about a small school such as D&E is running into faculty and staff who recognize us and the resemblance to my son before we can even introduce ourselves. I also love that Wes is not only well known for his soccer abilities but for his class participation and for taking photos of campus activities for various school publications.
After a great game against Salem International on Thursday, our family–including Wes’ girlfriend Bethany–had a fun philosophical conversation at the Elkins Pizza Hut. With three college students taking philosophy classes at two different colleges, the conversation was very lively and thought provoking. “But how do you know this is REALLY a chair. What MAKES this a chair?”
Friday was spent around campus playing ping pong, eating at Caddy Daddy’s snack bar and roaming around the different facilities. Beth and Bo performed an impromptu bongo seranade in the chapel.
Whitney was able to sit in on one of her brother’s classes and made an alarming discovery.
It was a treat to tour the Stirrup Gallery at the Myles Center for the Arts and hear my 16 year old son and 18 year old daughter, say things like “woah…cool!” and “My teacher would love this!” The gallery includes everything from ivory narwhal tusks, to an armadillo purse, to guns from the 1700s, as well as a signed Picasso and a 1900 year old solid gold Roman coin.
When Bo commented on the Native American pottery, the curator offered to take us into the refurbished art studio one flight down and introduce us to the professors. Downstairs we had the great pleasure of meeting Art Professor Michael Doig who showed us around the pottery and painting spaces.
Michael spent a significant amount of time sharing about D&E’s approach to the care and keeping of Art Majors. We were all inspired and grateful for the personalized attention, the wealth of information, and the exhilarating tour.
We trekked back across the hilly campus and hung out in the common room of Wes’ suite playing Mario Cart for a few hours, then it was off to Halliehurst for a cookout.
Burgers, hot dogs, cupcakes and brownies with caramel coffee were served with additional sweetness. We finished the evening with a rousing game of Bingo (Beth won a Tshirt) and s’mores by the fire pits.
On Saturday we enjoyed the Flynn Planetarium show and heard some amazing stories and how to navigate the night sky. Then it was back to Nuttall Field for a great afternoon of Senator Soccer.
An especially spunky student in the stands brought the Senators some serious mojo on the field. Fueled by Skittles and perhaps Mt. Dew, this dedicated student learned the names of the opposing players and yelled for them to pass, shoot, stay on their feet, and FIX YOUR SOCKS!! After a blowout by the ladies team, we had a ball cheering on our Boys in Red. After double OT, we held Ohio Valley to a tie. There were so many fun activities planned for Parent Weekend, we were unable to enjoy them all — including Family Feud, The Amazing Race around campus, a hike at Timberland Resort, concerts, paintball and a worship service.
We feel really blessed to get a taste of our son’s Home Away From Home at Davis & Elkins College. The mission of D&E is abundantly clear and certainly effective:
“To prepare and inspire success and thoughtful engagement in the world.”
What an amazing place to spend four years. Thank you to all the faculty, staff, coaches, and student body for cultivating such a special place and a wonderful weekend to experience it.