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PSS Spring '11

Reunion 2011: A Wonderful Success

As more than 800 Hobart and William Smith community members cheered during fireworks over the Quad Saturday evening, another successful Reunion Weekend drew to a close.

"I love coming back to campus - it really stirs the nostalgia bucket," said Sharlene Schmidt Vichness '66, who made the journey to campus from Roseland, N.J., with her husband Paul Vichness '65. "I met my husband on my third day on campus!"

On Friday, June 3, alums began making their way to campus, bringing spouses, partners, children, and pets to join in Reunion festivities. Many enjoyed the sunny weather on Friday, and jazz filled the Scandling Campus Center Patio in the evening, thanks to alums Bob Masteller '60 and Steve Venuti '71.

Saturday morning provided alums with a chance to catch up with current HWS affairs during President Mark D. Gearan's "State of the Colleges" address and breakfast. Then, as if they were back in college themselves, alums hurried from breakfast to their "Alumni College."

Taught by HWS faculty and returning alumni and alumnae, attendees had nearly a dozen courses to choose from, ranging from classes on foreign and domestic policy to creative writing and modern dance.

The sessions also provided a bit of role reversal for a few faculty members. Professor Emerita of Religious Studies Mary Gerhart, who was also the recipient of one of this year's Distinguished Faculty Awards, was thrilled to attend a session led by her former student—and current Executive Editor of The New Yorker—Dorothy Wickenden '76. "I don't want to be late to class," joked Gerhart.

Afterward, alums showed their class pride in the traditional Alums on Parade, which processed down Pulteney Street and through the Quad—complete with banners and a marching band. The President's Reunion Forum allowed attendees to join together for lunch to celebrate the contributions of the returning classes.

This year, many classes broke records with their generous gifts. Since their last Reunion in 2006, the Reunion classes made gifts totaling $7,505,155.43 to the Colleges.

The Distinguished Faculty Awards, which are given to professors who have proved to be influential in the lives of their students, were presented on the Scandling Campus Center Patio. This year, the Alumni and Alumnae Associations honored the late Professor of English Deborah Tall, Professor Emeritus of Biology Joel Kerlan P'89 and Gerhart.

Saturday night, the Quad was alive as alums gathered for an evening of fine food, dancing and reminiscing. The band Brass Taxi performed versions of everyone's favorite songs. The night's entertainment was highlighted by photos and video displays on a giant screen and, of course, the annual fireworks display. The next day included a memorial service as well as a brunch on the Quad, thus concluding another successful Reunion.