More than 800 attendees donated $7.5 million during one of the most successful Reunions in the history of the Colleges.
“Food, friendship, fun. That's the definition of Reunion 2007 given by Michael Allington '02. The alumnus, celebrating his 5th year reunion, traveled two days and 1,000 miles from Omaha, Neb., to attend the event. “The Colleges did great things for me, he said, expressing a sentiment shared by many over the weekend, “I’m here to remind myself of that and to experience the incredible things this place has to offer.
Allington was one of more than 800 people filling the Quad during both evenings, exploring the Colleges' campus during the day and dancing well into the night. “We’re here from every part of the country and from all walks of life, said Allington, “but we share a common experience that brings us together.
In all, reunion attendees came from 31 states and from all over the globe, including Singapore, Russia, Sweden and Japan.
The weekend began in Reunion Headquarters at Melly Academic Center early on Friday morning where returning alums were able to confirm their classmates’ registrations, share coffee and memories, and sign up for Reunion activities. Friday included a welcome lunch with Director of Admissions John Young, a bus tour of campus, excursions aboard the Colleges’ research vessel The William Scandling, a bicycle trip, and a gathering for members of the Afro-Latino Alumni and Alumnae Association.
Kicking off Friday evening’s festivities was the dedication of Caird Hall, one of the Colleges’ newest residence halls. The ribbon cutting honored the generosity and many years of support of James F. Caird '56 and his wife, Cynthia L. Caird of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Their recent donation of $3.7 million was instrumental in propelling Campaign for the Colleges past the $100 million mark.
President Mark D. Gearan thanked the Cairds for their generosity, good humor and commitment to the Colleges. “This day is an important one for us. It completes a vision that our students, faculty and staff have had about residential education, a vision that focuses on building a sense of community.
Saturday was filled with activities including the President’s Breakfast with a showing of the film dedicated to Campaign to the Colleges, more than a dozen courses taught by the Colleges’ faculty, an alumni/alumnae parade complete with a marching band and the two deans carrying their College flags, and a boisterous Reunion Forum and picnic lunch where 10 returning classes presented Colleges President Mark D. Gearan with oversize checks representing their Reunion gifts totaling more than $7.5 million.
That afternoon, a High Tea drew a crowd to the future home of the William Smith Centennial Center for Leadership at 603 South Main Street, where speakers highlighted the importance of the 100 year anniversary of the College and reported on the road ahead.
The Quad on Saturday afternoon was transformed by an ice cream social and family festival, where children of all ages gathered to play lacrosse and Frisbee, have water gun fights, paint faces, and complete arts and crafts projects.
Reunion attendees shared good times with old friends and made a few new ones on Saturday night, which featured Class dinners, an impressive fireworks display over Cozzens Field and the infectious sounds of Brass Taxi.
As the weekend wound to a close, alumni and alumnae shared in a service of remembrance on Sunday morning in St. John’s Chapel — a peaceful ending to a whirlwind of Reunion activity and a reminder of the fellowship shared by graduates of the Colleges, whether they traveled one mile or 1,000.