a student at Virginia Wesleyan, Rex Hamaker Jr. ’04 had a full plate.
He worked for Residence Life as well as the College’s Learning Center
and was also involved in spiritual life on campus. The Virginia Beach
native triple-majored in education, French and German and also spent a
year studying abroad in Angers, France. When his parents, Rex Sr. and
Lisa (Grubbs) Hamaker ’84, visited him in the populous French city, the
threesome enjoyed sampling the regional wines and local cuisine. After
Rex graduated, the family returned to France—this time, Bordeaux—and
continued their international tour of food, drink and culture. Their
travels abroad inspired the Hamakers to explore the unique food and
drink right here in Southeastern Virginia and, in June 2013, they
launched Taste Tidewater Tours
Showing locals and tourists the best wine, brew, farm and food the area
has to offer, the company provides guided tours aboard their
12-passenger executive coach. As the company’s director of marketing and
administration, Rex Jr. is able to fuse his Wesleyan education and
global perspective with his passion for the Hampton Roads region.
How did your time at Virginia Wesleyan College shape the person you are today?
Virginia Wesleyan gave me the space
and support to explore many different interests at the same time, which
is something I wouldn’t have had at a larger school. I’m still using the
competencies gained during my time at VWC.
What are some of your favorite memories of friends, professors or mentors at VWC?
During Hurricane Isabel, classes
were cancelled due to power outages and that catalyzed a great bonding
experience with friends in the residence halls. Bonfires in the
cinderblock fire pit by the dock on Lake Taylor are another great memory
of my time at VWC.
I still keep in touch with Susan
Wansink (Batten Professor of German and Director of Winter Session) and
Craig Wansink (Professor of Religious Studies) as well as Alain Gabon
(Associate Professor of French) and the staff at the Learning Center. More
Learn about other distinguished VWC graduates in the Featured Alumni section of our website.
Pictured at top (from left) Rex Hamaker Sr. and Rex Hamaker Jr. '04 (photo courtesy of www.tastetidewater.com)