Connecticut College Magazine · Fall 2008


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Reunion 2008

Reunion 2008

Alumni whose class years end in ´3 and ´8 celebrate reunions

Watch video highlights from Reunion 2008
View a slideshow of the weekend

The Alumni Parade was a classic. The class receptions were a blast. And reconnecting with old friends brought everyone back to their roots.

More than 1,000 alumni whose class years end in ´3 or ´8 and their friends returned for a festive Reunion 2008 May 30-June 1. No one could fail to see the class pride – represented by the Class of 1963 in camel masks during the Parade of Classes, the high-fives for the College mascot at the clambake, and the blue vests worn by the women in the Class of 1958 celebrating their 50th Reunion.

Alumni gathered at numerous social activities, including a picnic, a wine tasting, and music and dancing with the B. Willie Smith Band on the newly named Jean C. Tempel ´65 Green.

Abby Clark ´98 and Eden Savino ´98 caught up over a microbrewery beer-tasting and class celebrations. They bonded as freshman roommates despite their initial differences. “She was the big city girl, and I was the country girl,” Clark said.

“Conn was fabulous,” said Savino, who credits the College for giving her the confidence to apply for and win a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship that she used to trace the path of Virgil´s Aeneid.

“I don´t know anyone who feels the same way about their alma mater that we feel about ours,” Clark added.
Friday was mostly sunny and Saturday was cloudy and humid, but rain held off until the evening.

Nothing could dampen the spirits of the alumnae from 1958, who were in the spotlight throughout the weekend. The alumnae led the parade, singing their own rendition of “Hey, Look Me Over,” and won the C.B. Rice ´31 Award given to the Reunion class with the highest Annual Fund participation. They achieved 100 percent participation this year.

President Leo I. Higdon, Jr., told the women that he mentions the Class of 1958 when he talks with current students about the importance of giving to the College. “We talk about you and all you have done. Thank you,” Higdon said.

Alumni had opportunities to connect with faculty who offered “Back to Class” sessions, and alumni also led some sessions. Joan Pagano ´68 spoke about express workouts and fitness, and Jane Tilley Griffin ´48, an Asian art historian, presented a panorama of classic Japanese temples, shrines, castles and gardens in Old Kyoto.

Griffin´s husband, Ed, also came to Reunion. The Bethesda, Md., couple met while they were both on Fulbright scholarships in Japan. They were a complementary fit from the start with Jane studying ancient Japan and Ed focusing on more modern studies.
The Griffins weren´t the only happy couple returning to Reunion. Laurie Reynolds Rardin ´83 and her husband, Jared ´85, enjoyed a New England clambake Friday with their children, 12-year-old Brynne and 10-year-old Marta.

“I´d love it if our girls came here,” Jared said. Now a pastor in New Hampshire, Jared met his wife in Professor John King´s German class. They were married in the Arboretum by David Robb, a former chaplain and professor of religious studies.
Seeing friends was the highlight of the weekend for many alumni. Ed Thulin ´78 traveled all the way from Jackson, Wyo., in part to see his “bosom buddy” Scott Williams ´78 of Bloomfield, Conn.

Lucia “Lollie” Beadel Whisenand ´58 P´85 was typical of her class: since graduating, she has married, given birth to three children, graduated from the Syracuse University College of Law, and practiced law for 30 years, specializing in family law.

Though Whisenand learned from many professors over the years, she credited Marjorie Dilley, the late professor emeritus of government, with steering her toward a career in law, and called Dilley one of the best teachers she ever had.

“Her teaching convinced us that we really had to open our minds and question things,” Whisenand said. “And I´ve made a living annoying people with my own questions ever since.”

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