Connecticut College Magazine · Winter 2009


Tri-captain Thomas Giblin ´10 elevates for a header in a Fall Weekend win against Colby on the Artificial Turf at Silfen Field, while Nick Maghenzani ´13 closes in on the play. Head coach Kenny Murphy´s Camels finished 8-6-1 in the program´s best record in more than a decade.

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Fall Weekend 2009

Fall Weekend 2009
A packed house enjoys an all-group cappella performance in Harkness Chapel.

Wet but crowded weekend highlights alumni-student connections

View a slideshow of Fall Weekend highlights

By Rachel Harrington

Alumni were front and center at Fall Weekend 2009, giving current students a clear view of the future — and lots of practical advice on how to get there.

Speakers included Jay Lauf ´86, vice president and publisher of The Atlantic; Jonathan McBride ´92, a White House staff member; Frances Cole Jones ´86, a corporate employment coach; and tech entrepreneur Fernando Espuelas ´88, named a “Leader for the New Millennium” by Time.

McBride told students and parents at one session that they shouldn´t hesitate to contact alumni for career advice and leads. He said he didn´t know of anyone who wouldn´t return a call or e-mail from a fellow Camel.

At a meeting of the Alumni Association Board of Directors, Board President Connie Smith Gemmer ´80 P´10 emphasized the importance of bringing alumni and students together, in different ways and in different settings.

Alumni headlined panel discussions focusing on current issues, joined students to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Unity House, and helped unveil plaques for the newest members of the Athletic Hall of Fame.

About 90 people crowded into the Chu Room Saturday morning to hear four alumni, all art history majors, share how their education helped them navigate the world of work and graduate studies.

“One skill I learned at Conn was the art of seeing,” said Margaret Turner ´05. “I use it every day in all my endeavors.” She said studying different artists gave her insights into color, composition and presentation. Turner recently authored a book on the art of Belize, a project she started on her funded internship.

Espuelas, who spoke on the topic “Revolution in the Internet Era,” described the rapid change brought about by the Internet and the role it can play in mobilizing the public — for good or ill.

Close to 1,500 parents, alumni and friends of the College were on campus for Fall Weekend. Members of the Class of 2009, back for their Half-Year Reunion, got in a game of Frisbee on Tempel Green late Saturday afternoon.

“I miss this place so much,” Dana Zichlin ´09 said. “Luckily, e-mail and Facebook have kept us all close, and we hope to keep that going.”

Elizabeth Cooper-Mullin ´10 was one of 12 seniors speaking about their experiences with funded internships. She interned at the Summer Law Institute at Fordham University, where she taught public speaking and study skills to eighth-graders. “It was a wonderful way for me to get involved both with law and teaching,” she said.

Another popular panel was “All the News That´s Fit to View … Online.” Lauf, Paul Leavitt P´10, retired reporter and editor of USA Today; and Jim Berrien ´74, president and COO of Mother Nature Network, spoke to a packed room about how technology has changed journalism.

While Leavitt believes that ultimately “truth and good ideas win out,” Lauf said that he also embraces the skepticism of younger generations who now question what they read and see. Added Berrien, “Liberal arts colleges exist to teach students to examine and understand the issues.”

As James Foley P´13 attended the news panel, his wife, Denise, enjoyed an all-campus lunch and met some of the professors teaching their son, Ryan. Their first Fall Weekend became a family event, with Ryan´s sister and aunt also making the trip from Wolcott, Conn.

“Ryan loves it here,” Denise said, “and we´ve had a fun time getting a better look at his experience.”

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