The town of Bridgewater, located in Virginia’s scenic Shenandoah Valley, has been home to Carlyle most of his life. Nearby Bridgewater College (BC) was a familiar boyhood hangout for Carlyle and his brother Alfred, because their parents both worked in the food services department. After high school, BC was a natural choice for his undergraduate degree. Carlyle was the first black student to participate in intercollegiate athletics at a Virginia school that was not a predominantly black college.
After teaching physical education in Staunton City Schools for a few years, Carlyle was ready to pursue his dream of earning a degree from the University of Virginia.
“My Curry School professors were wonderful,” Carlyle says. “They were so helpful and caring, and they treated everyone fairly. They prepared me well to further my teaching career and to work with others in the field of education.”
That spring day in 1969 when U.Va. President Edgar F. Shannon handed Carlyle his diploma launched a 28-year career on the BC faculty. Known as one of BC’s best-loved faculty members, Carlyle taught physical education and was head coach of the tennis team.
Now retired, he spends time spreading his cheer and good humor through card writing, ministry work, and regular visits to the local retirement community.
Obviously, he is a devoted supporter of BC, but even while he was on the faculty, he began sending in annual gifts to the Curry School. He started with $10 and has steadily increased his gifts over the past 16 years. He understands the importance of supporting the school in whatever way he is currently able, and he has also remembered the Curry School with a bequest in his will.
“The Curry School has done so much for me,” he says. “They gave me a holistic experience that has helped me both in my career and in other life endeavors. I am forever grateful.”
Story and photo by Lynn Bell