Friday, August 12, 2011

Growing with our University, Reflecting on 55 Years of Memories

Each fall during Family & Alumni Weekend, alumni who attended Wilmington College 50 or more years ago are invited back to campus to celebrate at the Golden Wing Society Reunion. During the brunch, alumni share stories and reminisce about days when the university was Wilmington College and held classes in the Isaac Bear building on Market Street. After relaying fond memories, the group enjoys a trolley tour of the campus as it stands today, nearly 650 beautiful acres on College Road.

Bettie Strickland '56 and her husband Tom '57, attended the event last year and look forward to the upcoming reunion in September. While they have such sweet memories of dances in Isaac Bear gym, where Bettie served as Social Chair, and cheering during basketball games with Coach Bill Brooks, the couple is proud of the university's progress. Since their graduation, the university moved and vastly expanded, integrated into the North Carolina state system for higher education, and became UNC Wilmington.

Bettie and Tom, who are Wilmington natives, bought their house in the Myrtle Grove area of Wilmington before the university's renowned Center for Marine Science was in existence. They love touring the neighboring facility almost as much as watching the developments to the main campus.

Reflecting, Bettie states, "...Shorthand and Typing with Dorothy Marshall, Biology with Zebrowski (known to us as Uncle Zeb), English Lit with Catherine Noyes, and also English with Shannon Morton - all played a huge part in giving us the skills we would need in our careers and life and bless us even today!". She used her experience to work as a legal secretary and then with Wachovia. Tom worked in the insurance field, first as a salesman, then manager and later as an instructor.

As they are now both retired, they enjoy attending the monthly Wilmington College luncheon at Jackson's BBQ, cheering on Seahawk athletes in Trask, and watching shows and plays in Kenan Auditorium. Bettie and Tom are excited to reconnect with fellow graduates from the class of 1961 and earlier, at the Golden Wing Society Reunion on September 24.

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