Scudding rainclouds couldn’t dampen spirits last weekend as more than 2,000 alumni and friends returned to Colgate for Reunion 2012.
While welcoming back ’2s and ’7s, the university also celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Theta Chi fraternity and the 70th birthday of the Colgate Thirteen.
The weekend, with its 112 traditional events and special Thirteen and Theta Chi birthday parties, included a chance to honor the Alumni Council’s annual award recipients and the opportunity for classes to pass along more than $9 million in support for their alma mater.
It also featured significant innovations for grads who needed to balance Colgate spirit with duties on the home front. For the first time ever, alumni could choose to attend activities on certain days or sign up for a full-weekend pass.
Those arriving in Hamilton at the earliest possible moment — noontime on Thursday — were treated to shows in the university’s Ho Tung Visualization Lab and class-sponsored cocktail receptions around campus. The Hall of Presidents was decked out to receive the Class of 1962 for its golden anniversary dinner, hosted by President Jeffrey Herbst.
Friday began bright and early with the All-Class Reunion Golf Tournament, a presentation on “Nuclear Iran in the Middle East” with Tom Dine ’62, and an hour’s discussion of Mayan end-of-time predictions with legendary astronomy and anthropology professor Tony Aveni.
Between Friday morning and Saturday afternoon, cancer prevention, the great recession, the locavore movement, and immigration reform all appeared on the Reunion College schedule. Green Bay Packers CEO Mark Murphy ’77 gave a presentation on labor relations in the NFL, and alumni “checked in” to a lecture by Juston Payne ’02 on foursquare and social media.
For all the intellectual engagement, friendship was the big draw. “What I most look forward to doing,” said Doug Wendell ’67, “is talking with guys I see only once every five years — who are great people.”