Friday, October 24, 2008
The Centennial Class 35th Reunion--Day One
What a great first day!
The rain stopped and the sun even came out for a while.
But the true highlight of the afternoon came when Vice Chancellor David Williams delivered his "History of Motown" presentation to the Class of '73 and other alumni classes making their reunion return to Vanderbilt this weekend.
Williams grew up in Detroit in the same neighborhood where Motown was located. He knew many of the people involved in developing this famous American musical institution. So many of the stories he told had such deep personal insights, it really made the history come to life. And of course, the Motown music he played was fabulous and had many in the crowd singing and moving with the beat.
David Williams is a true renaissance man. Not only is he Vice Chancellor, but he also acts as University Counsel and Vanderbilt's de-facto Athletic Director. It is no mistake that under his leadership Vanderbilt is enjoying a period of success almost unparalleled in its history on the playing fields, and in how its athletes perform in the classroom and in university life.
But the surprise to me about his presentation was his own life-long love of music. He performed and even majored in the subject for a while in college. While doing that, he was encouraged by a friend to come join a new singing group that soon was recording with Motown and acting as the lead act for The Jackson 5 on the road.
That group was The Commodores! Here, courtesy of You Tube, are The Commodores performing one of their biggest hits (I think it was a hit while we were in school and played for years at almost every frat party you attended):"Brick House."
You can tell Vice Chancellor Williams truly loves his subject matter when it comes to Motown. When you think he was almost a member of the Commodores and is now Vanderbilt's Athletic Director, I guess you can say, one way or the other, he was always destined to be a Commodore.