President Linwood H. Rose greeted students on their way past the Commons on Tuesday of Inauguration week - seven President Roses to be exact.
A Linwood Rose impersonation contest, sponsored by the Student Government Association and Student Organization Services, was held on the Commons as only one of several Inaugural week activities involving students.
Six contestants, donned in dapper suits and ties and some sporting "frosted" hair, competed before a panel of three student judges and crowds of lunch-bound students for the best impersonation of the president. The real President Rose sat in the front row watching the six students attempt to copy him and laughed. "I think this is a great balance for the formality of the inauguration," he said. "What good humor these students have."
And what good humor the president has.
Emcee Keith Fletcher, a senior who was also a contestant, won first place. "The underclassmen haven't had a chance to get to know Dr. Rose," said Fletcher. "That's why we're here today. It's important to let them know he's a person and that they can approach him."
During the contest, senior Jeremy D'Errico and junior Jason Shaffer presented a joint speech then dawned sunglasses and began to dance to "Hip Hop Hooray." But, not all of the performances were limited to imitations of the president. During his impersonation, sophomore Patrick Horst's introduced "First Lady Judith Rose." "Behind a great man, there is a greater woman," he said. "Now you know who runs this university."
With a true gift for meeting and greeting, Keith Fletcher worked his way through the audience, shaking hands and greeting students before delivering his winning speech. Fletcher won his choice of 10 out of 20 donated prizes ranging from airline tickets to the JMU football game in Maine to gift certificates at various Harrisonburg restaurants. President Rose offered yet another reward. "Now I can find someone to come out and give speeches for me," he joked.
by Kara Carpenter ('00)