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Founders Day celebration marks Connecticut College's 99th birthday

Connecticut College´s new camel mascot was unveiled during a Founders Day Celebration of Athletics.
Connecticut College´s new camel mascot was unveiled during a Founders Day Celebration of Athletics.

Connecticut College celebrated its 99th birthday in style April 5, with student performances, a special Founders Day Tea and the unveiling of a new camel mascot at a celebration of athletics.

A celebration of the College's storied history, Founders Day marks the anniversary of the day the College was officially chartered in 1911 and officially starts the countdown to the Connecticut College centennial, which begins April 5, 2011. The festivities began with a special performance by Anders Nielsen '12, Kristen Caruana '13 and Molly Clifford '13, who brought alumni experiences to life with "Past as Prologue: Alumni Remember." The performance, directed by Theater Professor Leah Lowe, was based on interviews with three alumni of different generations - 1920s, 1950s and 1970s.

At the Founders Day Tea, President Leo I. Higdon Jr. thanked the College's emeriti faculty, who were honored as special guests. "These men and women helped make Connecticut College the strong and vibrant institution it is today," he said. Finally, at the Celebration of Athletics, members of the undefeated men's lacrosse team helped unveil the college's new athletics identity and camel mascot. "As a student athlete, I am beyond thrilled with the unveiling of the new Camel on the college's 99th birthday," Devon Butler '10, a member of the women's track and field team and master of ceremonies at the Celebration of Athletics, said. "This new athletic identity comes at a perfect time, coinciding with all of our recent successes."

The College's online birthday card was printed and displayed at the Founders Day Tea. Signed by more than 1,300 alumni, students, faculty, staff, parents and friends of the College, the card was more than 76 feet long. Kiara Fuller '10 signed, "Happy Birthday Conn! I'm honored to graduate in this 99th year. I wish you 99 more!" Joan Pine Flash Davis '50 wrote that the College has had a "wonderful, important life," while Leidy Valencia '09 called it "the most beautiful college in the world."

The College has grown tremendously throughout its 99-year history, and Frances Sears Baratz '40 wrote that she has enjoyed watching it evolve over time. In one of the more clever signatures, Karen Moran Selkey '87 poked fun at the changing styles of the generations. "You look much better than you did in the 80s," she wrote. "But then, don't we all?"

April 5, 2010