The gang is all here: Pottenger Family shares reunion weekend

“I looked at other schools, but I always compared every school to Davidson,” she said. “I wanted to get to know the people I passed on the sidewalk on the way to class, to experience the charm of running into someone wearing a Davidson shirt at the grocery store.”

The Pottengers, a family of humanities majors, each occupy different niches on campus. Tatum spent much of her time with her freshman roommates and in the theater, where she met some of her closest friends and performed in a show almost every semester. Megan, one majoring in art historycould be found working in the Van Every/Smith Galleries or pushing the Art Cart around the Alvarez College Union.

Of course, Davidson in the 2010s looked very different from the Davidson Dave and Sara knew in the ’70s. Sara learned about the university while visiting her older brother, a hall counselor, and arrived prepared to find her place on campus among the third official co-ed graduating class.

“I knew Davidson was just starting to accept women,” she said. “It was sometimes intimidating to be in a classroom with all male teachers, surrounded by male students, but for me that was a challenge and something I wanted to be a part of.”

She quickly formed close friendships with other Davidson women in her residence, through the women’s tennis team and over plates of home-cooked food at Fannie and Mable – the co-ed Eating house where she first met Dave.

“Simply breaking bread together every day increases our ability to connect and become friends,” says Dave. “Even though she called me Tom the day after we met.”

For both, Davidson set the stage for a lifetime of learning and friendships that have continued to develop over nearly five decades.

“Davidson allowed me to make friends in my hall, in my fraternity and across campus,” Dave said. “It gave me the confidence to pursue academics and taught me the value of living an honorable life. It was an extraordinary experience.”