Davis & Elkins College President Chris A. Wood and First Lady Lisa Wood recently got a surprise visit from two members of the Mountain State Forest Festival Maple Leaf Society who came bearing gifts. The organization wanted to express appreciation to the Woods and the College for providing a permanent home for the gown of Queen Silvia LXVIII Kara Dragan Bjornstad.
A native of Fayetteville, Dragan Bjornstad served as Queen Silvia in 2004, the year Davis & Elkins College celebrated its centennial. She was appointed by Director General and D&E alumnus Mark Tomblyn ’79.
Maple Leaf Society President Susie Kump and Treasurer Dottie Wamsley, a 1961 D&E alumna who serves as a Life Trustee to the College, presented the College with a framed copy of Dragan’s official Queen Silvia portrait, a description of the gown and sketches of its design by Connie Linger.
The gown, which features the D&E logo, is encased in a handmade red oak cabinet in Graceland designed and created by local wood craftsman Jon Clingerman. The photo and sketches will be incorporated into the display.
“Davis & Elkins College and the Mountain State Forest Festival have been inseparable for 84 years,” said D&E President Chris A. Wood. “We are honored to permanently display the beautiful dress of Queen Silvia from the Centennial Year of the College’s founding, and to do so in historic Graceland Inn. The framed picture of Kara and sketches of the dress presented by Susie and Dottie will be proudly displayed to remember and honor the heritage of this great festival and its importance to D&E and the greater community.”
The Maple Leaf Society was established to promote and preserve the heritage of the Royal Court of the Mountain State Forest Festival.