More Than A Vacation Celebrates 30 Years!

by Billy Chandler

MTAV, as it is more casually known, is the epitome of a lifelong learning event.

For 30 years, alumni have made their way back to the E&H campus to keep their minds sharp as a wasp’s sting. 

The event started in 1994 as a way to revive a 1960s “summer alumni college.” But this event that began in 1994 has been far more free-ranging than those original programs. 

Participants have danced, painted, met local artists, and attended Barter Theatre. They have explored the region with trips to Floyd, Saltville, Jonesborough, West Jefferson, and Big Stone Gap. They’ve learned history related to the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, enslaved persons, and college founders. They’ve discussed novels and poetry with E&H faculty members like Dr. John Lang and Dr. Dan Leidig and Dr. Kathleen Chamberlain. They’ve done magic, hunted ghosts, met Santa, donned Elvis sideburns, hiked, biked, scavenger hunted, and spit many watermelon seeds.

And participants have become friends who are always excited to welcome new folks to the MTAV family. It’s hard to explain, but somehow living together in a residence hall and having a shared learning experience seems to create some pretty great bonds of friendship. They’ve celebrated anniversaries, mourned losses, and watched kids grow up. And every year there are new participants who join the fun – and join the family.

Because pearls are the traditional anniversary gift for 30 years, and because the group has picked up many pearls of wisdom along the way, the 2023 event used Minnie Pearl as a sort of icon for the annual event. A dinner celebrating Minnie featured some truly great hats – and even a speaker who formerly worked with Sarah Colley Cannon (the real woman under the straw hat). This year’s group also learned to salsa dance while hearing about study abroad to Cuba, sipped and painted, visited the Abingdon Muster Grounds, checked out the Wier Dam, shopped at HollerHouse, sang at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, had dessert at Blackwell Chapel Store, ate fresh Lynnhaven Fancies Oysters, and learned about the handprints of enslaved people that can be found in the bricks that build some of our E&H campus buildings.

And that’s only some of the memories made this year.

Enjoy a conversation with two participants about why it has succeeded!

E&H Lifelong Learning events happen online year-round, and we’ll be back on campus next July for MTAV. Watch the Events page for more opportunities to stay sharp as a wasp!

 

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  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/2430-town-of-saltville-eyes-big-plans"><picture class="lw_image"><source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2400/11805_gwh_all.rev.1660772634.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2400/11805_gwh_all.rev.1660772634.webp 3x" data-origin="responsive"/><source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2400/11805_gwh_all.rev.1660772634.JPG 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2400/11805_gwh_all.rev.1660772634.JPG 3x" data-origin="responsive"/><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2400/11805_gwh_all.rev.1660772634.JPG" alt="This beautiful bird is the latest visitor to the well fields in Saltville, and bird enthusiasts are having fun figuring him out. There is..." width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2400/11805_gwh_all.rev.1660772634.JPG 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2400/11805_gwh_all.rev.1660772634.JPG 3x" data-max-w="3200" data-max-h="2400" loading="lazy" data-optimized="true"/></picture></a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/2430-town-of-saltville-eyes-big-plans">Town of Saltville Eyes Big Plans</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> There’s a Labor Day party coming up in Saltville, Virginia, but town leaders are looking at much more than just a big weekend. <a href="/live/news/2430-town-of-saltville-eyes-big-plans" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/2009-rayce-lamb-launches-financial-business-with-a"><picture class="lw_image"><source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/531,269,2393,2133/10159_Headshot_2.rev.1630351958.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/531,269,2393,2133/10159_Headshot_2.rev.1630351958.webp 3x" data-origin="responsive"/><source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/531,269,2393,2133/10159_Headshot_2.rev.1630351958.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/531,269,2393,2133/10159_Headshot_2.rev.1630351958.jpg 3x" data-origin="responsive"/><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/531,269,2393,2133/10159_Headshot_2.rev.1630351958.jpg" alt="Rev. Rayce Lamb Emory & Henry Class of 2013" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/531,269,2393,2133/10159_Headshot_2.rev.1630351958.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/531,269,2393,2133/10159_Headshot_2.rev.1630351958.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1862" data-max-h="1864" loading="lazy" data-optimized="true"/></picture></a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/2009-rayce-lamb-launches-financial-business-with-a">Rayce Lamb Launches Financial Business – with a Focus on Faith</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"><span style="font-weight: 400;">We all know the rules. To avoid conflict, avoid talking about religion and politics. And to avoid seeming “tacky,” don’t talk about money. So how is Rayce Lamb going to traverse a world in which he will have to discuss religion and money?</span> <a href="/live/news/2009-rayce-lamb-launches-financial-business-with-a" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/1326-got-a-minute-catch-up-with-dr-zaneta-tutuh-hamlin"><picture class="lw_image"><source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,800,800/8378_Zaneta_Tutuh_Hamlin.rev.1595870781.webp 2x" data-origin="responsive"/><source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,800,800/8378_Zaneta_Tutuh_Hamlin.rev.1595870781.jpg 2x" data-origin="responsive"/><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,800,800/8378_Zaneta_Tutuh_Hamlin.rev.1595870781.jpg" alt="Dr. Zaneta Tutuh Hamlin, E&H Class of 2008" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,800,800/8378_Zaneta_Tutuh_Hamlin.rev.1595870781.jpg 2x" data-max-w="800" data-max-h="800" loading="lazy" data-optimized="true"/></picture></a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/1326-got-a-minute-catch-up-with-dr-zaneta-tutuh-hamlin">Got a Minute? Catch up with Dr. Zaneta Tutuh Hamlin (E&H ’08)</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> Dr. Hamlin has just added some very impressive letters to her name. <a href="/live/news/1326-got-a-minute-catch-up-with-dr-zaneta-tutuh-hamlin" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>