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Hoping to catch a glimpse of Queen Elizabeth II during her visit to Virginia on Friday, they stood five or six deep in the long, long line that seemed to stretch back to the old country. Not the "Old Country" at the theme park a couple miles down the road, but the old country as in England, the motherland, the land from which America gained its independence.

Fortunately, Old Dominion University's D'ontae Sylvertooth was not in that line. He and other student body presidents from Virginia's colleges and universities were headed for a small, private reception on the campus of the College of William and Mary. Previously given protocol instructions and guidance on what to say and do, now all they had to do was wait for the queen's arrival.

After much ado, pomp and circumstance, Sylvertooth met the reigning English monarch, as well as Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine and first lady Anne Holton, who accompanied Queen Elizabeth on her royal visit in commemoration of Jamestown's 400th birthday.

Of the several distinguished visitors and student body presidents who had gathered in W&L's Wren Building, Sylvertooth, an ODU Monarch, was the only other member of "royalty" in the room.

"She asked me my name, what university I represented and the age of the university," he recalled. "There really wasn't time to chat about being a Monarch. She made a joke, as such, about how old English universities were, how ours was fairly young, and then she had to move on to the next person.

"It was quite an honor for me to represent ODU, the students and President Roseann Runte."

This article was posted on: May 9, 2007

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Telephone: 757-683-3114

Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.