Campus News

Over 1,700 Enjoy a Memorable Reunion Weekend

Story posted June 04, 2003

More than 1,700 alumni, their families and friends arrived at the Bowdoin campus the weekend of May 29-June 1 to celebrate a memorable Reunion.

More than 900 alumni were in attendance from 64 different classes, 41 U.S. states and nine foreign countries. John Medeiros ’73 traveled the farthest, arriving from Singapore to attend his 30th reunion. The most senior alumnus in attendance was Barrett Nichols ’25, who was recognized at Friday afternoon’s Old Guard Luncheon.

The Class Reunion Trophy, given to the class with the highest percentage of attending classmates, was awarded to the Class of 1953 – the 50th Reunion class boasted 67 of 130 members present, a mark of 52%. Overall more than 1/4 of the alumni in the official reunion classes (5th to 50th reunions) were in attendance.

Forty-one current Bowdoin students served as Ambassadors to greet and host alumni during the weekend.

Dozens of events were enjoyed both indoors and out, the latter events being blessed with sunny and mild New England springtime weather. 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.

Saturday morning’s Convocation ceremony featured the presentation of three important awards:

The Common Good Award was presented to Samuel B. Broaddus '73, M.D., F.A.C.S. Click here to read more about Broaddus and the Common Good Award.

The Alumni Service Award was presented to Walter E. Bartlett '53. Click here to read more about Bartlett and the Alumni Service Award.

The Alumni Award for Faculty and Staff was presented to Anthony F. Antolini '63. Click here to read more about Antolini and the Alumni Award for Faculty and Staff.

Speakers at Convocation included President Barry Mills '72 and Michel J. LePage '78, president of the Alumni Association. The invocation was by Rev. John R. Skehan '78. The Reunion Chorus, directed by Antolini and accompanied by pianist Sarah Bond '99, performed "We'll Sing to Old Bowdoin" and "Bowdoin Beata."

There was standing room only at most of the Back to School Speaker Series events. The presentations, lectures, demonstrations, and exhibits included:

The Honorable Thomas R. Pickering '53, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and Wilhelm Haas '53, retired ambassador in the German Foreign Service, offered their view on the current state of world affairs. Cynthia G. McFadden '78, a correspondent for ABC News and host of "20/20 Downtown," led a panel discussion on human rights issues in the 21st century. Judith A. Fortin-Lalone '83, anchor at CNN Headline News, shared her knowledge of the media's perspective and influence on what is said, how it is said, and how it is interpreted.

Senior Vice President of Finance and Treasurer S. Catherine (Palevsky) Longley '76 and Director of Student Aid Steve Joyce gave a presentation on "The Cost of Higher Education." Associate Professor of English Ann L. Kibbie talked about mad scientists and their creations in 19th-century novels. Assistant Professor of Music Vineet A. Shende offered insight into the Beatles and the "History of Rock Music," while Antolini, an expert in Russian choral music, discussed some surprises in Russia's evolution. Professor of Philosophy Denis J. Corish discussed Irish literature from the point of view of the Irish and English languages.

Drs. Mark Garnick '68 and Samuel Broaddus '73 gave a presentation on understanding the dilemmas of prostate health. A. Myrick Freeman III, William D. Shipman Professor of Economics Emeritus, examined the costs and benefits of environmental policy since the first Earth Day. The rich history of the Bowdoin Chapel and its current tower restoration project were discussed by Associate Professor of Art History Susan Wegner and Construction Manager Don Borkowski.

A Museum of Art gallery talk was given by Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Intern Christine Paglia '00 and Curatorial Assistant Caitlin Nelson on the current exhibition "Beyond Thirst: The Dimensions of Drink." Photographer Guy Saldanha, a member of the Bowdoin Library staff, gave a slide-illustrated lecture on miners, quarrymen, and other workers in America's natural resource industry.

The creation of the new Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (Class of 1852) statue was discussed by its sculptor Joseph Query and landscape architect Todd Richardson. Alumni and their families were also invited to attend the statue's dedication on Upper Park Row Saturday afternoon.

Families were offered the opportunity to get back to the Maine wilderness during a canoe trip along the Sheepscot River, and learn the best ways and best places to cast a line at a fly-fishing clinic with Mac Lord '77, fly-fishing instructor at L.L. Bean. The beauty of the Maine landscape was also enjoyed by alumni taking cruises on Casco Bay and the Kennebec River.

Geoffrey C. Rusack '78, president and owner of Rusack Vineyards in Solvang, California, tantalized the tastebuds of wine enthusiasts at a wine event, which was complemented by a juice tasting event for the kids.

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, "Be Your Own DJ" on WBOR-FM, Craft Hour, "Teen Scene" in the game room, family film screenings, and the Polar Bear Story Hour with Heather Williamson Thomas '83. The always-popular "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.

Lobster bakes and barbecues were worked off on the annual "Fun Run" around campus. Kids of all ages joined the Bowdoin Polar Bear for the traditional Alumni Parade. "The 3s" took on "the 8s" in alumni softball, while other sports enthusiasts hit the links at the Bath Country Club or served up a few aces on the outdoor tennis courts at Farley Field House.

Entertainment throughout the weekend was provided by Maine humorist Tim Sample, the Royal River Philharmonic Jazz Band led by Olin M. Sawyer '58, singer-songwriter Josephine Cameron '98, and pianists Sarah Bond '99, Lou MacNeill of Facilities Management, and Scott Steinberg of Admissions.

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