Campus News

1,600 Enjoy a Memorable Reunion Weekend

Story posted June 04, 2002

More than 1,600 returning alumni, their family and friends arrived at the Bowdoin campus the weekend of May 30-June 2 to celebrate a memorable Reunion. Celebrants were treated to numerous lectures and events featuring Bowdoin graduates, faculty and staff; concerts; sports; games; and of course, excellent food, and great conversation with old and new friends.

The Convocation Ceremony Saturday morning provided several memorable moments. Each year an award is presented to the oldest alumnus in attendance, and for the fourth year in a row the recipient was 101-year-old Stanwood Fish of Brunswick, class of 1922. On the occasion of this, his 80th reunion, Mr. Fish was presented with flowers by Sarah Hoenig, a member of the class of 2002, who graduated exactly one week before.

Convocation also featured the presentation of four important awards:

The Common Good Award was presented to Hanley G. Denning ’92, the founder and executive director of Safe Passage, a non-profit organization in Guatemala City that provides education, food, and support to children living in and near a garbage dump. Because Denning is currently in Guatemala, the award was accepted on her behalf by her brother, Jordan. Click here to read more about Denning and the Common Good Award.

The Alumni Service Award was presented to Robert L. Morrell ’47, whose record of service includes nearly every leadership role for his class. The Brunswick resident has served as Reunion Planning Chair and Planned Giving Chair, as a member of the Leadership Gift Committee and the Alumni Council, and much more. Click here to read more about Morrell and the Alumni Service Award.

The Distinguished Educator Award was presented to Raymond F. Kierstead Jr. ’56, retired history professor at Reed College, Portland, Oregon. Over a 40-year career, Prof. Kierstead’s quest for knowledge and passion for teaching were an inspiration to generations of students. Click here to read more about Kierstead and the Distinguished Educator Award.

The Alumni Award for Faculty and Staff was presented to Kathy Billings, director of donor relations, for her many years of creating lasting memories and powerfully moving tributes celebrating the history and traditions of Bowdoin College. Click here to read more about Billings and the Alumni Award for Faculty and Staff.

Speakers at Convocation included President Barry Mills ’72 and William E. Chapman II ’63, president of the Alumni Council. The Reunion Chorus, directed by Anthony Antolini ’63 and accompanied by pianist Sarah Bond ’99, performed “Beneath the Pines” and “Hail Black and White.”

Alumni and families were kept busy all weekend with a wealth of activities and events:

Outing Club trips took alumni on either a rigorous 7-mile hike of the Baldface Circle Trail or a family-oriented canoe trip along the Sheepscot River. Alums attended a fly-fishing clinic with Mac Lord '77, head fly-fishing instructor at L.L. Bean; a discussion moderated by Ella Frederiksen Brown '84 on "The Way Life Should Be: Living and Working in Maine"; and a talk on "The Art of Creativity" with painter, illustrator and designer Lisa Burnett Bossi '87.

Groups were treated to a variety of discussions with Bowdoin faculty and staff, including "Admissions at Bowdoin" with Jim Miller, dean of admissions and financial aid; "Building the College House System" moderated by Margaret L. Hazlett, associate dean of student affairs/dean of first-year students; and a sneak preview of the Alumni College "The Civil War" with Patrick Rael, associate professor of history.

Alumni could attend everything from a Bowdoin family wine event with Hugh Davies '87, general manager of Schramsberg Vineyards, Napa Valley, Calif., to "Poetry and Performance" with Taylor Mali '87, three-time national poetry slam champion. Alumni, faculty and staff shared memories of three decades of coeducation at the College at "Thirty Years of Women at Bowdoin."

"The World We Live In," a discussion of social and political ramifications of September 11th featured U.S. Representative Tom Allen '67, Director of the Maine Bureau of Public Health Dora Anne Mills, M.D., '82, Associate Professor of Government Allen Springer, and moderator Keith Shortall '82, Maine Public Radio news director.

Reunion is always a family affair, and the kids were kept busy with a nature and art walk through the Bowdoin Pines, the Reunion Carnival, the Children's Craft Hour with Chake Higgison '78, and "Be Your Own DJ" on WBOR-FM. "Phun With Physics” with Elroy O. LaCasce '44, physics professor emeritus, was not limited to the kids in the crowd. Prof. LaCasce demonstrated some ingenious and entertaining science experiments to the delight of all.

The lobster bake was worked off on the annual "Fun Run" around campus; kids of all ages joined the Bowdoin Polar Bear for the traditional Alumni Parade; and "the 2s" took on "the 7s" in alumni softball.

Entertainment throughout the weekend was provided by Maine humorist Tim Sample, the Royal River Jazz Band, and the Rockit Band. Sarah Bond '99 tickled the ivories at the piano bar sing-alongs, and Scott Steinberg took over at the keyboard for the jazz brunch.

In drastic contrast to last year's Reunion, the weather cooperated with mostly sunny skies and mild temperatures. Occasional gusty winds and an evening thunderstorm reminded everyone, however, that there is never a dull moment in New England, weather-wise.

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