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Fifty Years Fuller

50 years fuller

Class of 1966 returns for Commencement and gold reunion.

This year during Commencement weekend, members of Wofford College’s Class of 1966 came together for their 50-year reunion and led the newest class of graduates during the graduation ceremony. Since graduating 50 years ago, these men have gone on to accomplish great things in both their professional and personal lives. 

As a testament to the well-rounded education that Wofford provides, members of the Class of 1966 have enjoyed distinguished careers in a myriad of professions. As a history major on the pre-med track who later received his medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina, Dr. Billy O’Dell has proven Wofford’s liberal arts environment allows for a broad exploration of topics. O’Dell later served in the Army Medical Corps and in pediatric practices. Like him, many others pursued medical or law careers, a testament to Wofford’s ability to prepare its students for success.

Jim Childers worked in the banking and financial industry for 45 years before retiring in 2006 and cites Wofford as the reason for his success. “The challenging academic environment at Wofford resulted in peer competitive accountability, and this had a tremendous positive impact on student maturity, ethics and character development. During the freshman orientation, one of the presenters said, ‘You don’t just attend Wofford, you join Wofford.’ My son heard the same statement during his orientation in 1993, and I am sure it is still relevant today.” 

Other graduates from the Class of 1966 have pursued careers in music journalism, published multiple volumes of historical documents, worked as FBI special agents, grown prize-winning roses, trained therapy dogs and given back to their communities through ministry and philanthropic organizations. During his 49-year teaching career, George “Rusty” Hudson Jr. even coached current Wofford professor John Lane in basketball at Cleveland Junior High.

Although it’s been 50 years since their graduation, members of the Class of 1966 look back on their time at Wofford with fondness. Many remember the food fight of 1965 that Dean Frank Logan sternly ended. Others also commonly cite midnight Beacon and Sugar and Spice runs as some of their simplest, yet fondest memories. Many students also recall odd anecdotes about their professors, such as Dr. Charley who, according to Colin Simmons, “could make a modern day yogi look lame with the amazing contortions he could assume while giving a lecture.” Another influential figure was Dr. Norton who played Scrooge in the college’s annual production of A Christmas Carol.

However, as Harry Kenneth “Ken” Boucher says, his Wofford years “are a collage of classes, failures, successes, growing up, gaining confidence, adventures and friendships.” 

“The Wofford atmosphere of the sixties helped me question the world as I had known it. For the first time I saw the contrasting realities of wealth and poverty, peace and conflict and education and ignorance,” says Simmons. “It was Wofford that motivated me to enter the helping profession as my life’s work. Wofford offered me the opportunity to get to know fellow students and faculty who modeled scholarship and professionalism. For that, I am forever grateful for my experiences at this institution.”

by Kelsey Aylor ’18

Summer 2016