Virginia Tech Magazine
Alumni Shorts -|- Summer 2007

The oldest guard
Old Guard Seal

To honor alumni upon the 50th anniversary of their graduation from Virginia Tech, the Alumni Association created the Old Guard in 1967, allowing our golden Hokies to participate in alumni activities even when their individual classes no longer gather for reunions.

Not surprisingly, the Old Guard hosts lively, well-attended reunions on campus each spring. But perhaps no Old Guard alum embodies the enduring Hokie spirit more than Harold Showalter (Class of 1929).

Harold Showalter
Harold Showalter '29
Formerly of Botetourt County, Va., Showalter, who turned 101 last March, has been present for every Old Guard reunion since the organization's inception--and he's yet to show a hint of slowing down. Not even a move a few years ago to Houston to join his daughter, Carol, has deterred him from gathering with his "buds."

Long the oldest Old Guard alum in attendance, Showalter has also been treated the last several years to a birthday celebration at a special luncheon organized by a group of fellow U.S. Navy Armed Guard and U.S. Merchant Marine veterans. The Armed Guard, a special branch of the Navy, manned the guns on Merchant Marine vessels during both World Wars.

A veteran of World War II and the Korean and Vietnam wars, Showalter served as a U.S. Merchant Marine from 1930 to 1972, retiring as a chief engineer officer/commander and having worked aboard nearly 40 different vessels.

In case you're wondering, Showalter is amazingly healthy for a centenarian. He maintains his fighting weight of 145 pounds, doesn't need hearing aids or glasses, doesn't have any false teeth, and takes no medications. And word is that he's an ace at the poker table.

What else would you expect from a Hokie?

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