After four years of pursuing academic interests, connecting with tremendous faculty and staff, building friendships and discovering newfound passions, Hobart and William Smith truly becomes a place to call home. This week, alumni and alumnae from the milestone class years ending in 0 and 5 will venture back to campus in celebration of Reunion 2015, which will be June 4 through 7.
All Classes are welcome to return to campus starting on Thursday, June 4 to begin their weekend. Members of the Classes of 1940 through 1964 are invited back for the 50th PLUS Welcome Reception and Dinner at the President’s House on Thursday. The 50th PLUS Reunion only occurs once every three years, making this a unique opportunity for the Classes of 1964 and those prior to reconnect.
“This June will be our 50th PLUS Reunion. Hopefully, many of us can make it back to the campus where all our fun started and to enjoy once again the beautiful college environment that despite many new changes, still remains as we remember our alma maters,” says Betty Russell David ’55.
Alumni and alumnae will enjoy a whirlwind of events throughout the weekend, with Friday kicking off with the 4th Annual HWS Classic Golf Tournament at Bristol Harbor, “Mini College” classes, tours of historic Geneva, learning sessions on Seneca Lake aboard the 65-foot research vessel The William Scandling, tours of the Performing Arts Center construction site, tours of campus, the Hanley Nature Preserve and more.
Other activities include “Tour de Finger Lakes,” a 17-mile bike tour through the region. Organized in partnership with Geneva Bike Center, the tour was inspired by the Finger Lakes’ nationwide appeal to bikers, who travel from far and wide to the region specifically for the scenic rides. Interested participants can pre-register for the event when registering for the weekend. If you cannot travel with your bike, you can reserve equipment through the Geneva Bike Center.
Friday evening will begin with a “Street Party” on Pulteney Street complete with food trucks, the nostalgic Oaks Bar tent, and a cappella performances from 5:30 to 8 p.m. The food truck selection will include Brick-N-Motor, a truck that offers seasonal local foods like vegetable gnocchi and seafood tacos; Macarollin, offering artisanal mac and cheese dishes; Marty’s Meats, with traditional pork sandwiches; Cheesed and Confused, featuring creative gourmet and traditional grilled cheese sandwiches; Dining Services is creating their own truck with a variety of sliders; and, for dessert, the Skippy’s Ice Cream truck will feature ice cream novelties. All trucks will be able to take cash or credit/debit cards for the evening.
Continuing our HWS collaboration with the Geneva community, Friday’s fun will continue at Houghton House and in downtown Geneva at designated locations where each of the Classes will gather. Locations right in the heart of Geneva include Beef & Brew, Halsey’s Pub and Restaurant, Parkers Grille, Finger Lakes Gifts and Lounge, Side Show, Eddie O’Brien’s, Riley J’s, and Lake Drum.
Saturday will kick off with sunrise fitness, including your choice of Lakeside Yoga, a spinning class, 5K run through campus, along with the tennis courts being available. Breakfast in the Great Hall of Saga will be followed by President Mark D. Gearan’s annual “State of the Colleges.” Additional “Mini College” classes will be offered, followed by a luncheon and the President’s Forum, which includes the Alumni and Alumnae Associations’ Awards and class gift presentations.
The annual Reunion Finger Lakes wine and microbrew tasting will be on the Quad, featuring 10 local wineries and five micro-breweries. The afternoon will give Reunion attendees time to take in the Family Festival, several open house activities at fraternities and other campus organizations and an All Class Sing In.
Before Saturday’s class dinners, the 25th anniversary of the Wheeler Society will be celebrated during the All Classes Reception. The Wheeler Society is an initiative that allows members of the HWS community to include the Colleges in their estate plans. Wheeler Society members will have complimentary access to the HWS Classic Golf Tournament and a celebratory dinner during Reunion Weekend.
Saturday concludes with class dinners (50th PLUS in the Great Hall of Saga, 50th Reunion in the Vandervort Room, 25th Reunion at the President’s House and All Other Milestone Classes on the Quad) and the Annual Reunion Celebration will begin at 8 p.m. with live music, dancing, a photo booth, and fireworks. Back by popular demand, the Rochester band Brass Taxi will provide the entertainment for the evening. The Colleges will also host Kids Club and Teen Night that evening to entertain younger guests.
Festivities will conclude on Sunday with morning interfaith services in St. John’s Chapel and a farewell brunch on the Quad.
“Alternating between time mingling with various groups of old friends and simply wandering around the campus alone with my private ghosts during my last Reunion, the Colleges seemed to physically embrace me in such a way that I could feel both gratifyingly youthful and astonishingly ancient at almost the same moment,” says Chris Muller ’74. “Somehow I believe I have earned these immensely pleasant reveries and I’m grateful to everyone who rewarded me by being there, too. I can’t wait for the 45th.”
For more information about registration, specific accommodations, and more, please visit the 2015 Reunion page for more details.