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Coming home

 
June 15, 2012

More than 1,000 alumni, friends and family members returned to campus for the College’s biggest annual gathering of alumni June 1-3.

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Reunion 2012, for alumni whose class years end in ’2 or ’7, featured great food, lots of family activities, class receptions and a keynote presentation by Alex Hybel, the Susan Eckert Lynch ’62 Professor of Government and International Relations.

Alumni attended a number of social activities throughout the weekend, including a lobster feast on Tempel Green, a microbrewery beer tasting, a performance by popular 1980s cover band Orange Crush, and several receptions hosted by President Lee Higdon.

On Friday, the festivities commenced with more than 200 alumni and guests gathering, fittingly, in the1962 Room for the Sykes Society Luncheon, which honored the Class of 1962 on the occasion of their 50th Reunion.

During the reception, Trustee Linda Lear ’62 delivered a keynote address, “Agents of Change: Three Women Who Made a Difference,” which was an engaging look at the lives of Elizabeth Babbott Conant ’51, Mary Cantwell and Rachel Carson.

In addition to visiting with friends, alumni had numerous opportunities to reconnect with their alma mater and their classmates through lectures and discussions offered by Connecticut College professors and alumni.

Seth Solway ’07, who attended the discussion “The End of the World? 2012 and Beyond,” led by Gene Gallagher, the Rosemary Park Professor of Religious Studies, was excited to be back in the classroom. “I took a class with Professor Gallagher my junior year. It was wonderful to hear him speak again.”

Many of the weekend’s events were tailored for specific classes, such as the Class of 1957 breakfast where recent graduate Bradley Maykow ’12 gave a brief overview of life on campus. His responses prompted much discussion among the alumnae who remembered a much different time on campus when linen service and weekly housekeeping where readily available.

During Reunion 2012, the Toor Cummings Center for International Studies and the Liberal Arts (CISLA) celebrated its 20th anniversary. CISLA alumni joined many of the Reunion events, as well as a special dinner and reception held under the tent on Larrabee Green. Faculty, staff, current and former CISLA directors, and many alumni took the opportunity to reflect on the importance of the CISLA experience.

“The CISLA experience – to go somewhere and face a challenge on my own and be in a new environment, is definitely something that is transferable to any situation. Not just a new country, but a new company,” said Gili Ben-Yosef ’09.

While Saturday’s weather was less than ideal, with heavy rains moving across the state, spirits remained high. The traditional Parade of Classes was cancelled, and the Class of 1962 made the best of it with a spirited entrance into Alumni Convocation accompanied by a jazz band.

During Convocation, President Higdon outlined the College’s progress and highlighted the many achievements of students and recent graduates, including the appointment of a record nine U.S. Fulbrights this year.

Seven alumni were honored during the weekend with awards recognizing their achievements. The honorees included Connor Donahue ’07, who was posthumously awarded The Mach Arom ’89 Alumni Award for service to Connecticut College and for distinguished achievements in his or her professional field. His parents accepted the award in his memory.

Also honored was Elizabeth “Sue” Rockwell Cesare ’52, who was given the Alumni Association President’s Award for Distinguished Service in Education. Other award winners were:

Adam Boros ’02
Harriet Buescher Lawrence ’34 Prize for outstanding contributions to society.

Carol Blake Boyd ’72
Agnes Berkley Leahy Award for outstanding service and participation in class, club or Board of Directors activities.

Priscilla Geigis ’87
Alumni Tribute Award for sustained and extraordinary service to the College.

Deborah Murray Sloan ’67
The Goss Award for a member of the Alumni Association who has made a significant contribution to the Connecticut College community.

Leslie Rosen ’02
The Mach Arom ’89 Alumni Award for service to Connecticut College and for distinguished achievements in his or her professional field or within society.

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