Photo Caption: Resident assistants Sierra Carney, left, and Elise Cardot, right, show their enthusiasm for the start of the new semester.

D&E Begins Inauguration Week by Serving Others

Elkins – Embracing its humanitarian responsibilities, Davis & Elkins College will host a hunger relief effort to begin the week-long celebration leading up to the inauguration of President Chris A. Wood. Area residents and organizations are invited to join the College in the community service project at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, March 26 in Myles Center for the Arts.

Wood has chosen “The Journey” as the inaugural theme based on the signature phrase of his father, the late Rev. Dr. F. Emerson Wood. Each day of inauguration week, March 26-30, is dubbed with a subtheme to showcase D&E’s spiritual life, athletics, arts and academics. The events planned for each day are free and open to the public.

Sunday, March 26 is designated as Celebrate D&E’s Community Service and Worship and includes the community service project followed by a campus worship service.

In partnership with Rise Against Hunger, an international hunger relief organization that distributes food and life-changing aid to the world’s most vulnerable, volunteers will participate in assembly-line packaging of highly nutritious dehydrated meals. According to the organization, a group of 100 volunteers can package approximately 10,000 meals in an hour and the project is suitable for all ages.

The meal packages will be shipped around the world to support school feeding programs and crisis relief.

“One of the important character-building aspects of an education at Davis & Elkins College is the concept of service,” said Tina Vial, assistant director of development support and coordinator of church relations. “It is fitting that we kick off this week-long event celebrating the College by doing something in service to others. Rise Against Hunger does that very well and offers our entire community an opportunity to come together in a common cause.”

Any individual or organization interested in volunteering for the Rise Against Hunger community service project at D&E may call Vial at 304-637-1354 (office) or 304-997-4284 (cell), or email for more information.

A campus worship service led by the Rev. Susan Faye Wonderland, transitional executive for the Synod of the Trinity of the Presbyterian Church (USA), will follow the community service project at 8 p.m. in Robbins Memorial Chapel.

Ordained in 1983 at the Philadelphia Presbytery, Wonderland served for eight years in the Adirondacks as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Warrensburg, N.Y., 15 years as co-pastor of the Webb Horton Memorial Presbyterian Church in Middletown, N.Y., with her husband, Ken, and 13 years on the staff of Hudson River Presbytery, serving in various areas of congregational resourcing and networking, particularly for education and youth ministry.

Events for inauguration week continue with Celebrate D&E’s Athletics on Monday, March 27, Celebrate D&E’s Arts on Tuesday, March 28, and Celebrate D&E’s Academics on Wednesday, March 28. Various events fill Inauguration Day, Thursday, March 30, beginning with a lecture by alumnus and Trustee David Morrison, ’79, at 11 a.m. in Robbins Memorial Chapel, the dedication of the Morrison-Novakovic Center for Faith and Public Policy at noon, and the inauguration ceremony at 4:30 p.m. in Myles Center for the Arts Harper-McNeeley Auditorium.

A native of Huntington, W.Va., Wood was named to D&E’s presidency in June and assumed the duties on August 1. Wood, his wife, Lisa, and their two daughters, Lacey and Lexi, along with their miniature schnauzer puppies, Hallie and Henry, reside at Hearthstone.

Prior to coming to D&E, Wood was vice president for advancement at Wesley College in Dover, Del. He also has worked as vice president for advancement at the University of Mount Olive in Mount Olive, N.C., executive director of Mission West Virginia Inc., and, as an ordained United Methodist pastor, served congregations in Illinois and Maryland.

 Related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Davis & Elkins College is located in Elkins, 2 hours east of Charleston, 3 hours south of Pittsburgh and 4 hours west of Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit the College website at or call 304-637-1243.