Davidson College Reunion Weekend

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April 29, 2000

Alumni Service Award winner Charlie Raynal '56 flanked by President Vagt and Alumni Association President Andy McElwee.

In 1978, Charlie Raynal and his wife, Rosemary, brought their two young sons to Davidson to begin a new life and a new ministry at the Davidson College Presbyterian Church. For the next twenty years, Charlie and his family would give their love, their compassion, and their tender mercies to this church and this community.

Charlie, Davidson Class of '65, came anew to the town and its citizens to minister and teach and care for people he once called professors. Through the years, his congregation grew from 400 members to 1,200, many of whom came from outside the college community. Charlie recognized and embraced opportunities for service in the community, and encouraged old and new members alike to work together for the betterment of others.

Under Charlie's leadership, the church planned and raised the money to build The Pines, a highly regarded retirement community in Davidson. The church reached out in friendship to its sister congregation, the Davidson Presbyterian Church, sponsoring joint meetings of the two sessions and many mutual programs for children and adults. The church supported local service organizations, such as Habitat for Humanity, the Ada Jenkins Center, Barium Springs Home for Children, and the Davidson Housing Coalition. The church improved its own facility, keeping in mind the special learning and fellowship needs of children and families. And because of Charlie's unwavering guidance, the church never lost sight of its original mission to anchor the corner of this fine campus, always reaching out to students, faculty, and staff in love and welcome.

The ministry of Charlie Raynal embodied yet another, more ineffable, quality that of his gentle example of faith, devotion, and goodness. His radiant compassion for others and his active life of the mind and spirit distinguished his ministry in Davidson and gave us all the chance to experience the scriptures and the work of the church with renewed hope and joy.

Because your ministry embraced the campus and the community in profound and exciting ways; because your vision gave this community The Pines; because your leadership brought together two congregations that had been divided by an ancient civil war; because your understanding of the Holy Spirit guided you to give voice to those in need whose voices had long been silenced; and because your life embodies faith in the scriptures, discipline in learning, love for others, and hope that all good things will come to pass in communion with God, the Davidson College Alumni Association proudly honors you, Charles Edward Raynal III, with the Alumni Service Award on the occasion of the Class of 1965's 35th Reunion, April 29, 2000.

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