Saturday, February 26, 2011

Randolph Wins, Advances in ODAC Tournament

The Randolph College WildCats men's basketball team knocked off Guilford College 75-72 in their opening game of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference tournament. The WildCats will meet #1 seeded Virginia Wesleyan in the semifinal round on February 26.

This marks the first ODAC Tournament win in program history in only its second tournament appearance.

ODAC Coach of the Year Clay Nunley has built the fledgling program from scratch over the last four years. Randolph first admitted it's first male students in 2006 after more than a century as a women's college.

Read the story of the rise of the WildCats in the News & Advance > > >

WildCat Den-Men's Basketball > > >

Friday, February 25, 2011

Randolph's Clay Nunley Named ODAC Coach of the Year

Clay Nunley, Randolph College men’s head basketball coach, has been named the Bob Johnson Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Coach of the Year. Nunley received the honor Thursday, February 25 at the ODAC basketball banquet.

Colton Hunt ’13, (Buford, VA/Smoky Mountain) was also selected as the 2011 ODAC/Farm Bureau Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

Nunley’s WildCats finished the 2010-11 season with a 16-9 overall record and a 9-7 conference record. He also led the WildCats to a fifth place finish in the standing this year. Randolph’s men’s basketball team is headed to Salem, Virginia this weekend for its first ever appearance in the ODAC quarterfinals. The team will take on fourth-seeded Guilford College at 3 p.m. at the Salem Civic Center.

In addition to receiving the ODAC’s top scholar-athlete award, Hunt was also selected to the conference’s first-team. Hunt, a business major with a minor in physics, currently maintains a 3.95 grade point average. On the court, he averaged 15.4 points and 5.1 rebounds per contest this season, while shooting 51 percent from the field and 41 percent from downtown. His 56 steals are currently tops in the conference.

Cameron Shepherd ’11 (Roanoke, VA/William Byrd) also earned a spot on the ODAC Sportsmanship Team.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Show: Fist Pumping Like Champs wows Randolph community

Images courtesy Jennifer Bundy '12, Christina Hua '11, Tung Ha '14, and Jeff Heinfeldt.
“It is a curious thought, but it is only when you see people looking ridiculous that you realize just how much you love them.” – Agatha Christie

Once every four years, Randolph College faculty and staff put on The Show. Not just any show, mind you. The Show. A production so big, so memorable, that it only happens once every 1461 days. Dubbed the “non-talent” show, the production involves a variety of skits, performances, and appearances from staff and faculty members.

This year’s event, The Show: Fist Pumping Like Champs, did not disappoint thanks to the work of numerous volunteers. The event featured everything from a choreographed performance to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” to songs, skits, belly dancing, and poetry. The Energizer Bunny even made several special appearances.

“The Agatha Christie quote captures the spirit of The Show,” said Tina Johnson ’93, grand poobah for the event. “We’re willing to look ridiculous in order to share an evening of fun and laughter with students and colleagues. I still remember acts from The Show my first-year at R-MWC, and this is the fourth production for me on stage. It’s one of my favorite traditions at the College.”

Work on The Show lasts months and often involves intricate choreography and costumes.

“It is amazing how many faculty and staff, a majority of those on campus, put in countless hours of time to put on The Show,” said Peter Sheldon, sub-vice-pequeno poobah for the event. “For a non-talent show, the acts certainly displayed a phenomenal amount of talent of our faculty and staff. It has really brought together groups of faculty and staff on campus to form new bonds. The commitment and dedication is all for the students, and they seem to really appreciate our efforts. There was something for everyone. It was an amazing experience to be involved in, and I am afraid to think about trying to better it four years from now.”

Proceeds from The Show support the College Club philanthropies and production costs of the event.

Win A Free DVD of The Show: Fist Pumping Like Champs!

Did you miss The Show: Fist Pumping Like Champs? Wish you could see it again? DVD copies will soon be available for sale.

The Office of College Relations wants five lucky people to have a copy for free! The contest is simple. Send an e-mail by March 18 to with your guess of who was in the Energizer Bunny costume. Make sure you include your name, address, and cell phone number. We will randomly choose five lucky winners from the correct entries. The winner will be announced March 21.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Students Compete in Ethics Bowl

Front row: (l-r) Wyatt Phipps '13, Lindsay Wood '11, Caleb Moxley '11, Rhiannon Knol '11. Second row: (l-r) Susan Klein, Randolph College President John E. Klein

Four Randolph College students participated in the 12th annual statewide collegiate Wachovia Ethics Bowl on February 13-14, on the campus of Virginia Wesleyan College in Norfolk/Virginia Beach.

The Randolph College team competed head-to-head against other highly qualified student teams from Virginia’s 14 leading independent colleges and universities, debating a variety of case studies highlighting privacy-based dilemmas. The Randolph College student team members were Rhiannon Knol ’11, Caleb Moxley ’11, Wyatt Phipps ’13, and Lindsay Wood ’11.

Faculty sponsors for the team were Gordon Steffey, assistant professor of religion, and Laura-Gray Street, assistant professor of Engllish.

Many notables from the business sector, law, education, finance, journalism, and other fields listened to team presentations and offer reactions to the students’ presentations.

The event was sponsored by the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges (VFIC).

Founded in 1952, the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges is a nonprofit fund-raising partnership supporting the programs and students of 15 leading independent colleges in the Commonwealth: Bridgewater College, Emory & Henry College, Hampden-Sydney College, Hollins University, Lynchburg College, Mary Baldwin College, Marymount University, Randolph College, Randolph-Macon College, Roanoke College, Shenandoah University, Sweet Briar College, University of Richmond, Virginia Wesleyan College and Washington & Lee University. For additional information on the VFIC, visit

Monday, February 7, 2011

Randolph College Students, Faculty Explore Mexico During Winter International Studies Seminar

Students participating in Randolph College's winter International Study Seminar to Baja California Sur, Journaling Global Change, learned more about stingrays than they were expecting.

On the first full day of the trip, the group of students and faculty members were swimming in the Balandra Bay when Alexandra Williams '13 felt something sting her toe. Not knowing exactly what it was, she swam back to shore where the guide said it was a stingray sting, an unusual occurrence in that area.

“I just kept trying to keep myself calm,” Williams said. “I didn’t want to make it worse for everyone, but they were all great.”

With Williams in severe pain, the group kayaked the half hour back to their van, and then traveled back to the kayak outfitter’s office. “We saw the best of Randolph College students in action,” said Karin Warren, an environmental studies professor who helped lead the course with Laura-Gray Street, an English professor. “Instead of this being a bad omen, it set the stage for good camaraderie and adventures.”

Journaling Global Change was an interdisciplinary course that merged global change science and creative nature writing and journaling. During the winter break, the group traveled to Mexico where they studied the geology, climatology, ecology and culture of Baja California Sur while learning to communicate their experiences through creative writing and journaling. The group spent time in La Paz, where they went sea kayaking through a mangrove lagoon, and also spent a week at the Center for Coastal Studies on the shores of the Magdalena Bay, which is operated by the School for Field Studies.

They were able to visit an oasis ecosystem, where a small town has lived sustainably for centuries. They also explored mangroves estuaries, sand dune islands, and searched for gray whales in the Magdalena Bay.

During the trip by boat in the Magdalena Bay, the group was shocked to see a gray whale swimming toward them. The whale swam under the boat and lifted her head out of the water just in front of them.

“Seeing the sea lions, dolphins, and gray whales was the best part of the trip,” said Justin DeSmith ’12. “How many people can say they have been within a foot of a gray whale? Along with that, I had the opportunity to see the Pacific Ocean for the first time in my life. It was simply awe inspiring to know that I was standing on the other side of the continent.”

Warren has taught this course before and said it often is life changing for students. After the last trip in 2007, a student who was a math major ended up studying environmental issues in graduate school because she realized she wanted to work in the environmental realm. Another used the experience for her senior honors paper, which was eventually published.

“The best part is seeing the students experience a wonderful combination of exploration, adventure, and interdisciplinary learning in such an incredible environment,” Warren said. “Every day, we had an adventure that was infused with learning in a way that was both stimulating and interactive. It was obvious that this was a trip that would be very important for our students, and one we would all remember 20 or 50 years from now.”

DeSmith enjoyed the chance to learn more about the sustainability practices of other cultures. The group saw how people in the area used palm leaves for roofing, ate locally grown or caught food, and composted not only their food items, but their toiletries.

“Seminars such as these allow students to learn what is being taught to us in the classroom in a real world setting,” DeSmith said. “It is one thing to apply a teaching to a scenario. It is a completely different thing to actually be in that scenario.”

The course used the trip to teach students not only about the ecology of the area, but also how to write about their observations and experiences in a creative way. For Lee Nutter ’13, the opportunity allowed her to merge her passions for writing and the environment.

“I’m going to take ‘experience’ out of this experience,” she said. “During this trip, I learned to kayak, strolled through sand, hiked up mountains, fed seagulls, and snuck up on sea lions. I ate great food, met some really smart and funny people, and became a tiny bit more fluent at speaking Spanish. Unlike typical classroom environments, this seminar provided hands-on experiences, so I learned without trying.”

Even Williams, who recovered quickly from the stingray incident, said the trip was amazing. “I learned more about stingrays than I ever thought I would,” she laughed. “But it also showed me how great this community is. Everyone was really close, and we just became great friends. It’s amazing to be in another country and have our own views and different opinions, but at the same time you are one group. That was great.”