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Cornelia Strong College

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Sunday, 6 October 1996 | Per aspera ad astra | Newsletter No. 71 EXTRA


Second Annual Strong College Croquet Tournament a Smashing Success!

The sky was clear, the sun was out, the grass was green, and food, fun, and prizes were everywhere. Tens of thousands of delighted people (well, maybe not quite that many) enjoyed the games and the company at the Second Annual Strong College Croquet Tournament this Saturday, October 5th, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Two preliminary rounds were played, and then the top finishers went up against each other in a final playoff. In the interludes the Best Hat Contest took place, and all the while the Hit-the-Stake Contest provided diversions for the multitude. Delicious and nutritious health food was served from the grill throughout the day.

The Contestants and the Champion!

The brave and noble contestants in the tournament were: Laura Berkowitz, Beverly Billings, Adam Cox, Sherrill Hayes, Laxmi Haynes, Mi Sou Hood, Mike Johnson, Michelle Marcelais, Shelly McLain, Scott Thomason, Todd Thomason, Amanda Waterhouse, and Andrew Winternitz. A Red-tailed Hawk and a Turkey Vulture attempted to enter but were disqualified. The competition was fierce, and the rivalries established may well resurface at next Spring’s Buffalo Creek Regatta. But enough reportage: the winners of the Second Annual Strong College Croquet Tournament are:

  1996 Tournament Champion: Mike Johnson
              Second Place: Sherrill Hayes and Rachel Wojnar
               Third Place: Scott Thomason and Todd Thomason

Mike’s name will soon be engraved on the silver Tournament trophy and all future generations of Strong men and women will celebrate his greatness.

Hats, Hats, and More Hats!

And what would a croquet tournament be without a hat contest? Laurie White and Denise Tucker devised the event for the day, and (if it is possible to believe) the competition here may have been even more fierce that it was among the croquet players. The winners in all the categories are:

   Best Flower or Fruit Hat:   Hollie Jones
   Best Southern Hat:          Sherrill Hayes
   Best Sports Hat:            Matt Gillespie
   Most Original Creation Hat: Laura Berkowitz
   Strangest Hat:              Mark Schumacher
   Best Vintage Hat:           Sara Pulley
   Most Frightening Hat:       Amanda Waterhouse
   Best Sci-Fi Hat:            Lucy Danford
   Best Flecker Hat:           Tim Johnston
   Best Hat in Laurie White’s Opinion: Kristen Leagan (a surprise upset!)

Murmurings overheard in the crowd suggested that even more elaborate creations would be appearing at the Buffalo Creek Regatta in the Spring, and this reporter, for one, would not be surprised. Many people will be watching in particular to see how long Kristen will be able to hold on to her title in the face of stiff competition.

And Everyone Who Helped!

The Strong College Croquet Tournament and its attendant contests could never take place without the help of a veritable army of volunteers. First and foremost, our two Officials, who maintained order throughout, were indispensible: Tim Johnston and Janice Tulloss. Cookies, brownies, and other delicious items were prepared by Adam Cox, Laurie White, and Rachel Wojnar, and much of the cooking was done by our very own Master of Meat, Father of Food, and God of the Grill Cliff Rhodes. The chairs and the permanent trophy were supplied by Laura Hill. Tournament Illustrators (who prepared the marvellous announcements) were Matt Gillespie, Gwen Kovalak, and Preston Montague, and the Program Designer was Bob O’Hara. Matt Gillespie also officiated at the Hit the Stake Contest, and College Council Officers Rachel Wojnar and Kelly Woodfin along with Senior Tutor Bob O’Hara and Assistant Senior Tutor Kim Hathcock wove together all the loose ends. A Strong thanks indeed to everyone!


Today’s special edition Poem-of-the-Weekend is John Keats’s “To Autumn” (1820):

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the mossed cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimmed their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reaped furrow sound asleep,
Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twinéd flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cider-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Aye, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too—
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The redbreast whistles from a garden croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.


Strong College’s Own Charlotte Williams is UNCG Homecoming Queen!

And as if the Croquet Tournament were not enough! During the very hours the Tournament was taking place another momentous event in the history of Strong College occurred: our very own Charlotte Williams was crowned University Homecoming Queen for 1996–97! All of Strong College joins in congratulating Charlotte on this wondrous achievement and wishes her well during her reign. She will be beginning her international whirlwind tour very soon, and says that people who know her well need not call her “Your Majesty.” Hooray! Hooray!

OFFICIAL DISCLAIMERS: Nothing here is official. Please don’t sue us. Major funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Do not eat. Machine washable and dryer safe. Choking hazard. Product and colors may vary. Eye irritant. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Crayons not included. Figures sold separately. Hold handrail. Easy to clean vinyl lining. Will not craze most plastics. Contains no squid. Do not shake. When dry, brush lightly. Do not leave in sunlight. Vapors may cause flash fire. Made in U.S.A. Use with good ventilation. If swallowed, do not induce vomiting. Shown actual size. May cause burns. Read cautions on back. If we succeed there will be many songs sung in our honor. Resistance is futile. Division I croquet by 2001! Per aspera ad astra!

© Robert J. O’Hara 2000–2021