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The ties that bind

Happily ever after

Shirley Quier Davies shares a laugh with her husband, Dave, at ReunionFest 2005.

Shirley Quier Davies, a perky woman with pearly white hair, checks off the names of alumni as they enter ReunionFest on Friday, June 3. She glances up from the list to smile at her husband, Dave Davies '48, with whom she fell in love at ReunionFest six years earlier.

Shirley loves dancing. Even as she stands behind the check-in table, she sways gently to the Alumni Swingin' Big Band's rendition of Glenn Miller.

When her husband died in 1987, Shirley thought she may have danced her last dance. Her husband, Bob, had graduated from Lehigh in '56, and after his death, Shirley remained involved at Lehigh through Women who are Widows of Lehigh (WWOL).

In 1999, she volunteered to check in attendees at ReunionFest during Reunion Weekend. At the same time, Dave Davies, a widower, was interested in getting more involved in volunteer work at Lehigh and also loved to dance. Dave is an affable man with salt-and-pepper hair and a good-humored laugh.

Friends in the Alumni Office suggested that he volunteer on the Reunion Committee and also look up Shirley at ReunionFest because she loved to dance and lacked a partner.

When Dave saw Shirley, he smiled. Confidently, he strode across the lawn and invited her to dance with him. As the couple swirled around the dance floor, they both knew something special had happened.

"And that was it," Shirley remembers.

For six months following ReunionFest, Shirley fondly recalls that Dave "bugged the living daylights" out of her.

"I had to put forth maximum effort to get her to acknowledge that I lived on the same earth," Dave recalls. But in time, he says, he "wore her out."

On Oct. 4, 2000, Shirley and some other women were peeling apples for tarts in the basement of their church. At a set time, Shirley quietly left the room and headed upstairs. There, she met Dave, his pastor, his pastor's wife, and her pastor. With the smell of baking apples permeating the air, Shirley and Dave were married.

"We didn't tell anyone," she says. "We just wanted to do it and get it over with."

They've been married for five years now. At this year's Reunion, Dave glances at his wife and grins. "We've been living happily ever since," he says.

Blast from the past

Current Lehigh students helped design a beer-fueled bed for the Class of 1980 entry in the reunion parade of classes.

This past spring, current students joined forces with Class of '80 alumni to build a Parade of Classes entry that transported spectators back in time.

Instead of the typical school fight songs and class outfits worn by most classes, the Class of '80 staged a mock bed race for the Saturday parade. The bed race was a flashback to the late 1970s and early '80s, when each fraternity built a bed to compete in the race during Greek Week. Then, selected female students "steered" the beds as fraternity brothers raced them down South Mountain. The first fraternity to reach the bottom won.

This year's "race" featured two uniquely designed vehicles.

Members of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, known as "Fiji," carried a Hawaiian-style litter laced with fake tropical grasses and flowers. They walked chanting, "Fiji, Fiji," punctuating each word by raising and lowering the litter -- an unsettling experience for the woman riding it.

The rolling bed was powered by beer-keg fuel tanks and was pushed by former fraternity brothers. Large orange flames and chrome-like pipes decorated its sides. Beer taps were proudly displayed on the front bumper, and "LU '80" was painted in gold against the brown background.

To resurrect the past, Jim Flanagan, the 1980 class correspondent, contacted Lehigh's Integrated Business and Engineering program for help, and enlisted a student leadership team of Cameron Copeland '08, Bryan Obermeier '08, and Brett Levy '06. The team discussed its plans with Flanagan and other members of the Class of '80 through e-mail and phone conversations.

Copeland, Obermeier, and Levy came up with an AutoCAD drawing of a bed on wheels and e-mailed it to Flanagan. They followed up with a telephone conference call with Flanagan, Francis "Finn" Wentworth, 1980 class president, and Diane Greco. The students, talking on a speaker phone in their dorm room, took "copious notes" during their conversation, Flanagan recalls.

"Our initial idea evolved over time as we combined ideas," says Copeland, who Flanagan describes as "an overwhelming bundle of energy."

"They were concerned with the mechanical aspects of the bed," Flanagan says. "We were looking for high visual impact."

Soon, they came up with a design that not only rolled smoothly but also achieved the look Flanagan and his classmates wanted.

The students began working on the project during their free time. With a budget and a few ideas, the students bought a bed from Residential Services and other supplies from Wal-Mart and e-Bay.

As exam week neared, the project "kicked into high gear," Copeland says. Copeland became bogged down with his studies and preparing for his upcoming internship in London. Obermeier and other Lehigh students helped complete the bed.

Flanagan remembers the pressure the students were under. "They had a bunch of knuckleheads asking about their bed while they were looking to leave," he says.

Finally, the bed was completed. Flanagan was "overwhelmed" when he received photos of the finished project just five weeks after the students' initial e-mail. As far as Flanagan is concerned, the bed ought to be "enshrined in the lobby of Packard."

Lehigh bookends Anderson's time in "The Show"

Former New York Met Craig Anderson '60 was honored for 34 years of service to Lehigh.

When the expansion New York Mets took the field for the first time in 1962, not everyone in the city got the news.

Judy Anderson '69G recalls a time that first season when her landlord stopped by the apartment asking for rent. She explained that they would have the money soon; her husband played for the Mets.

"Is he a tenor or a bass?" the landlord asked.

Craig Anderson '60 specialized in E.R.A., not aria. After a standout college career at Lehigh, Anderson went on to a seven-year career as a professional pitcher, including a stint with the history-making Mets. When his playing days were over, Anderson returned to his alma mater.

"Little did I know," he says with a laugh, "I'd [be at Lehigh] for the next 34 years."

Through the years, Anderson has served as an administrator, Athletics Department business manager, and was the first director of the Athletics Partnership. He also served as pitching coach for Lehigh's baseball team, and in 2001 was inducted into the Lehigh Athts left Hawaii for Lehigh.

Lau's dedication to bring students to the East Coast springs from his positive experiences at Lehigh. While at Lehigh, Lau studied economics and participated in many extracurricular activities. He was a photographer for The Brown and White, a member of Theta Xi fraternity, and also played many intramural sports.

"In the end," Lau says, "it was a great experience."

Today, Lau is a commercial litigator and senior partner in the law firm of Oliver, Lau, Lawhn, Ogawa, and Nakamura. He is a director, officer, and audit committee member for Finance Factors. Lau coaches many youth sports, including baseball, basketball, and soccer.

--Becky Straw

Lehigh Alumni Bulletin
Fall 2005

Posted on Friday, October 14, 2005

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