MacEwen Reminiscences About Piedmont Four Decades After Graduation
After years of searching, Wesley “Wes” Wansley finally found his old friend, Garry “Mac” MacEwen. They were Piedmont College roommates in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Wes graduated in 1983 with a degree in sociology. He was a baseball player. Mac played tennis for Piedmont and graduated in 1980 with a degree in Middle Grades Education.
Wes went on to work for Lavonia-based Northeast Georgia Bank. Mac, who lives in Massachusetts, coached high school basketball for 40 years and taught history at Narragansett Regional High School.
Despite the passage of four decades, the pair picked up right where they left off once they saw each other again. Mac shared in his own words how much returning to campus meant to him:
“I had one of the best weeks of my life when Wes finally located me and invited me back to northeast Georgia. It was a joy to meet his wife Beth, his daughter, and his granddaughter. Wes took me for a tour of the area and college — now a university — that I hadn't seen in 43 years. Piedmont should be very proud of what it has become: a first-class university.
“When we visited Piedmont, everyone I met was wonderful and gracious. Wes and I were given alumni t-shirts and hats. We proudly put them on.
“They were all surprised and excited when I told them I actually coached the women's basketball team in 1978. I went to (then-president the Rev.) Dr. (James E.) Walters my senior year and asked if I could coach the team. It was only the second year of women's basketball at Piedmont. It was a great experience.
“I was able to meet Coach (Jamie) Purdy, who coaches women's basketball now. She invited me to come back later that day and watch them practice. What an impressive gymnasium. We played in the old gym and had to worry about all the dead spots on the floor.
“They all said I had to come back for their men's and women's basketball reunion on Jan. 6. I am so glad I did. I got to visit Wes again, see the women and men play, and see some old friends. It was nice when they recognized all of us. I hope they continue to have these reunions; it's a great reason to visit.
“Thanks to you all for inviting me to the reunion. My coach in high school, Ken Rice, would have been happy I did. Ken was the reason I attended Piedmont. He is also an alumnus (class of 1961) and a member of the Piedmont Athletic Hall of Fame (2011).”