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'Staying Connected:' Fall Weekend to draw over 1,000 to campus

Numbers are up from last year as nearly 1,000 people are expected on campus Oct. 23-25 for Fall Weekend, the College’s annual celebration for alumni, parents and students.

While many parents are coming to campus to visit their students, alumni and friends of the College are also returning to reconnect and attend some of their favorite events, including Harvestfest, an a cappella concert, and the Half-Year Reunion – one of the reasons Catherine Lindberg ’09 will be back this month.

“I’m looking forward to seeing all my friends that I haven’t seen in months,” she said. “It’s rare to get everyone gathered after college, so this is a great chance.”

The theme this year is “Staying Connected,” with a special focus on how technology and innovation are changing the way we live, learn and communicate.

As part of the program, Fernando Espuelas ’88, an entrepreneur, author and technological trailblazer, will speak on the topic, “Revolution in the Internet.”

Also making their way to campus are Jay Lauf ’86, publisher of The Atlantic; Paul Leavitt P’10, retired reporter and editor for USA Today; and Jim Berrien ’74, president and COO of Mother Nature Network and former president and publisher of Forbes Magazine Group. All three will speak on the topic, “All the News That’s Fit to View … Online,” in one of several Saturday Seminars.

In addition to technology-themed panels, Fall Weekend will feature a talk by ethicist Peter Singer, the College theater department’s presentation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest and a concert by Grammy winner, Dianne Reeves, one of the world’s most well-known jazz vocalists.

Fall Weekend will also give visitors a chance to see what’s new at the College. At an open house on Friday, the College’s Residential Educational Fellows - all tenured faculty members - will provide an inside look at the work they’re doing to strengthen student-faculty relationships. On Saturday, President Leo I. Higdon, Jr. invites the campus community to celebrate the new fitness center.

Tom Cheetham ’74 P’13 and his wife, Joan Zaprzalka Cheetham ’75 P’13, are two of the many alumni looking forward to seeing the new athletic facility for the first time. Tom has not been to a College event since graduating, but now that his daughter, Amy, is a Camel, he and Joan decided to make the trip down from Maine.

“We were delighted that she was accepted,” Tom said. “But even before that we were especially pleased on our first visit with her when she found the campus inviting and the people friendly and welcoming.”

While Lindberg is making her way back from Chicago, few are traveling quite as far as her freshman year roommate, Gili Ben-Yosef ’09, who flies in from Israel. Ben-Yosef said it was tough to move to Tel Aviv after graduation, particularly since she’d be far from the Connecticut College community and friends like Lindberg.

“I had the best four years at Connecticut College,” said Ben-Yosef. “I am very attached to the school and to all the people who were – and still are – a part of my life there.”

Ben-Yosef, who was very involved on the Student Activities Council (SAC) and Student Government Association (SGA) as an undergrad, is looking forward to checking out the Student Tent Dance and Harvestfest as a guest rather than a planner.

“I’m really excited about the weekend but also a bit nervous since I haven’t been back in a while, and never as an alum,” said Ben-Yosef. “However, I’m sure it will feel just like coming back home.”

To see a complete list of events, view the schedule. You can also register now.

-Rachel Harrington

October 19, 2009