Lobsters, Lectures and Lots of Rain: Reunion 2001
Story posted June 05, 2001
About 1600 alumni family and friends enjoyed a reunion in the rain last weekend.
The antidote to a dry spring came in the form of two-and-a-half inches of rain over the weekend, much of that in 8 hours of constant downpour on Saturday. But rain didn't stop the reunion; lobster bakes and children's activities were moved indoors and at least one person claimed to sight an ark, but the only event that fell victim to the weather was the parade.
Returning alumni were treated to numerous lectures and events featuring Bowdoin graduates highlighting their field of expertise: Among them were a wine discussion with winery-owner Julie Johnson-Williams ’76, a discussion of the writing life by novelist Doug Kennedy ’76, a talk about Wall Street with Fortune magazine editor-at-large Andrew Serwer ’81, a physics demonstration with Professor of Physics Emeritus Elroy LaCasce ’44. There were lectures by many other alumni, as well as concerts, sports and lots of good food and conversation.
The weather didn't dampen the spirits of those attending; the consensus was that what mattered was seeing old friends, not the rain. The last time rain interfered with reunion was in 1982.
"If this means we have another 19 years of guaranteed good weather, I'll take it," said Kevin Wesley, director of alumni relations.
An important part of Reunion weekend is Convocation. At this ceremony, three important awards are bestowed by the Alumni Council: The Alumni Award for Faculty and Staff, The alumni Service Award, and The Common Good Award.
The Alumni Award for Faculty and Staff was established in 1963 by the Alumni Council and is presented "for service and devotion to Bowdoin." This year the award was presented to Randolph Stakeman, associate professor of history and director of the Africana Studies Program. Stakeman has served as associate dean of academic affairs, as acting dean of students and on the 1980 presidential search committee. He has also been an advisor and mentor to many of Bowdoin's students of color. He was instrumental in creating the Mellon minority Undergraduate Fellowship Program, the Hewlett Pluralism and Unity Project and the Colby-Bates-Bowdoin Off-Campus Study Program in South Africa.
Established in 1932, the Alumni Service Award is the highest honor given by the Alumni Council to a Bowdoin volunteer. This year the award went to Charles G. Bridge ’61. Bridge served on the Commission on Residential Life and played a critical role in establishing the College House System at Bowdoin. He has also served on the alumni council. A member of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, he assisted in the transfer of the Deke/Kappa Delta Theta house to the College. The House now is now the home of the Admissions Office.
The Common Good award honors alumni who have "demonstrated an extraordinary profound and sustained commitment to the common good, in the interest and for the benefit of society, with conspicuous disregard for personal gains in wealth or status. This year's recipient was Mark R. Swann ’84, executive director of the Preble Street Resource Center and Stone Soup Foods. The Resource Center is a multi-service agency serving the most needy residents of Portland, Maine, and Stone Soup Foods is an entrepreneurial program that supports training in the culinary arts for low-income individuals.
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