Even if you hadn’t heard of Les Miserables before it was turned into a hit movie, you probably have now that it is a musical on a national tour. The tour brings the incredible show here this coming week, opening at Chrysler Hall Tuesday April 26 through May 1. Showing at various times throughout the week, you can witness the worldwide sensation this musical has become.
The musical tale of tragedy and pain will not only surprise, but inspire you with the unbelievable tale. Set in France and based on the book by Victor Hugo, the musical sings you through the life of peasant seeking redemption after a life in prison for the theft of a loaf of bread.
The heart braking tale pulls audiences into the revolutionary setting and dynamic characters in a show you will never forget.
Visit Chrysler Hall’s website for ticketing information and prices.
Senior Kefentse Budd has found his calling in one of the most selfless ways possible: volunteering. It all started when he was exposed through a recreational field work class which required him to complete seven volunteer hours a week. He took it upon himself to make a trip to the Community Service office and from there was assigned to work the Special Olympics.
“Working with Kefentse is delightful,” said Director of Community Service Diane Hotaling. “He has the tools to plan an event and recruit volunteers. It is also refreshing because not many men put their hands to work.”
Budd has been an active participant in Community Service since the fall where he was a participant in Marlin Buddies. This program allowed him the opportunity to reach out to the mentally disabled community.
“I was always interested and enjoyed helping people because I had friends who had siblings who were intellectually disabled,” said Budd.
“Kefentse put his education to work and bloomed,” said Hotaling. “He was happy to make them happy.
Once he made connections within the special needs community, everything seemed to fall in place. Budd was appointed to help organize the Special Olympics, which were held on Saturday, Feb.23.
“I was in charge of finding volunteers, getting the supplies [T-shirts, wristbands, etc.], promoting the event and educating the public,” said Budd.
While people surrounding Budd began to notice a change in him, the Special Olympics was the trigger that brought his love for volunteering to the surface and motivated him to educate the campus about a population that tends to be overlooked.
“As a freshman it was like pulling teeth to get Kefentse Budd to talk,” said Associate Professor of Recreation and Leisure, John Braley. “But now he has come out of his shell and matured.”
This year the Special Olympics Basketball Tournament ran very smoothly and there was a great presence of volunteers, with a total of 129 volunteers; 85 of whom were our students. This year, they added a parade, true to the Olympic style, that included a torch walk and recitation of the symbolic Special Olympics pledge, which brought everyone together.
“Students rise to the occasion, they don’t let us down,” said Hotaling. “They made them feel welcome and a part of our campus.”
After the conclusion of the basketball tournament, it became clear that Budd was making connections beyond Wesleyan, and the service he provided meant more than words could describe.
“I fell in love with helping the volunteers and managing them throughout the event,” said Budd. “I hope that they become more comfortable and are more aware that the people with these disabilities are not different; they enjoy life as much as us.”
Budd has given much to this program, from organizing the Special Olympics to applying the skills from his internship to future projects he hopes to dedicate his time to.
“[Budd] is a true volunteer; he is choosing to do it on his own without credit,” said Braley. “The course is over and he is still doing it while working 37 hours a week for his internship and still finds the time to further his passion.”
Even though Budd will soon be graduating, his continued effort to make a difference will forever drive him to challenge himself. Currently, he is working with the Director of Norfolk to bring a young athletes program to campus.
“I never had something I started and it means a lot to me that I get to help people,” said Budd.
“[Budd’s] dedication can be portrayed through his classroom connection because he is doing all the right things,” said Hotaling. “He will leave a legacy.”
While Pauly D from the Jersey Shore may have coined the word twinning, VWC actually is. Virginia Wesleyan is home to at least five twins, some of whom have come to school together and others who decided to part ways.
“We both thought that 18 years was a long time together. We wanted to go out and find our own friends and identities.” said junior Nathan Johnson, who decided to go to a different school than his twin brother Nathaniel. “We probably wouldn’t run in the same social circles. I’m the more preppy type, and he’s more of a thug,” says Nathan, who is a member of Phi Kappa Tau and the cheerleading squad.
For Nathan and Nathaniel, going to colleges three hours away from each other is a positive. They get to see one another, but the space they get has let them grow more as individuals.
“We’ll probably keep the distance, but only like three hours max,” Nathan said about his post-graduation plans. “I’d like to stay here and he’ll probably stay in Richmond.”
The Ladyman twins, Brooke and Taylor, decided to both choose Virginia Wesleyan for a couple of different reasons.
“Because we do everything together, and I would miss [Taylor] way too much,” Brooke said.
Going to the same college is not the only activity the Ladyman twins do together. They are both members of Sigma Sigma Sigma, are in the same classes and have the same job as lifeguards in the Batten Center.
“It just makes things easier. We only have to buy one set of books, we always have a partner and we always have someone there” said Taylor.
Another set of twins that made Virginia Wesleyan their home, are the Asburys. Both Lindsey and Nicki decided to come to VWC after being recruited for soccer, and even though Nicki decided not to come back.
“When we were in school together, we were inseparable the first three years,” Lindsey said. “We played soccer together, ate together, went out together. We did not go out without the other because we felt safer.”
This inseparability was not a new thing either, growing up they were extremely close and didn’t go anywhere without each other.
“I absolutely miss Nicki now that she is gone,” Lindsey commented about not living together anymore. “I live with Tom Caskey and a few other roommates now, which means I don’t see her every day. I talk to her every day, but it is definitely not the same as hanging out with her.”
After graduation though, these four twins don’t plan on straying far from their other halves. For some, a bit of space is needed, but for others, they will stick together forever.
It’s on mobile devices, it’s on computer screens, and it even creeps its way into television. With such a dominating presence, do ethics play a role in social media in today’s society? This past weekend five students found out by participating in the Virginia Foundation for Independent College’s Ethics Bowl at Randolph College in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Charles Krauser, Shelby St. Gelais, Brendan O’Donoghue, Don Lawrence, and Philip Smith represented VWC in a tough weekend of debates against fourteen of the top independent colleges in Virginia. The topic for this year’s debate was the ethics and social media.
“The team did an incredible job,” said sophomore president of the debate team Charles Krauser. “We didn’t take home a trophy, but we only have three weeks to prepare. We were a team of five competing against schools that have a team comprised of five from dozen or so students that compete for a spot on the competing team. They practice year round and are required to take a class or participate in an independent study to even be considered for a spot. I am incredibly proud of the work we did.”
The team won rounds with Sweet Briar College, last year’s second-place winner and the University of Richmond. Their performance was admirable, but they did not win rounds with Washington and Lee University, who came in second this year, and Randolph College, this year’s host. Hampden-Sydney College took the trophy. The losses were narrow, and it was reported by our team that the judges appeared torn and conflicted when it came time to announce winners.
“It was a phenomenal experience,” said Krauser. “There were priceless networking opportunities and I met a lot of incredible people. It was honestly one of the most incredible opportunities I have ever had through this school. It has really strengthened my pride in the college.”
The Ethics Bowl team is looking for new members and plans on staging debates twice a month. If interested, contact the faculty advisor, the Professor of Communication Dr. Kathy Merlock Jackson or Debate Team President Charles Krasuer.