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Reunion & Homecoming

More than 3,000 alumni, family, and friends enjoyed a weekend full of activities

More than 3,000 alumni and guests returned to campus to enjoy Reunion & Homecoming weekend, Oct. 21-23. In addition to class years ending in 1 or 6 who enjoyed traditional Class Reunions, a wide variety of alumni groups gathered to celebrate special milestones and reconnect with friends, classmates, and teammates.

Twenty-eight Greek organizations hosted events, partnering with the alumni office for planning and marketing, resulting in record numbers in terms of alumni participation. The popular Greek ChowderFest allowed currents and alumni from all Greek organizations to meet and mingle.

Athletic teams hosting events included baseball, men’s basketball, field hockey, football, women’s ice hockey, men’s lacrosse, men’s soccer, softball, men’s and women’s tennis, women’s lacrosse, and women’s soccer. Several varsity contests took place, as well as competitions featuring former athletes. Former head football coach Joe King was honored, an Olympia reception was held, as was the Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. The football team beat St. Lawrence, and the game featured a halftime show that included recognition of the 50th Reunion Class of 1961 and the singing of the alma mater, led by President Jackson and the Class of 1961.

A variety of student groups such as Phalanx, Student Orientation staff, and the Society of Women Engineers held gatherings. Reiner Decher ’61 gave a popular lecture on the history of the jet engine.

There were also programs for ROTC alumni, a “Protest-Era” panel discussion, the dedication of the Class of 2010 Green Roof at the Union, and a Thirty Year Reunion performance by the Basement Blues Band.

Receptions were held in honor of both former Rensselaer Union Director Rick Hartt ’70 and former Vice President for Student Life Eddie Ade Knowles.

President Jackson’s State of the Institute address, presented to a packed house at the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) Concert Hall, was the centerpiece of the weekend. Other highlights included “Back to Class,” which allowed alumni to sit in on a live classroom, and a performance by the Taiko Drummers at EMPAC. FanFest, a carnival midway held at the East Campus Athletic Village, drew a large crowd, with alumni, students, and the campus community coming together to enjoy free food, performances by the student a cappella groups, face painting, and more.

“The success of this program is due to the collaboration of the entire campus community, and the fact that academics, athletics, Greeks, and student clubs and organizations all participated,” noted Jeff Schanz, assistant vice president for alumni relations. “Thank you to all our campus partners who helped to make Reunion & Homecoming a memorable and enjoyable experience for our alumni.”

Next year’s Reunion & Homecoming will be held Oct. 5-7. If your department or group is interested in being involved, contact alumni relations at

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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 5, Number 17, November 4, 2011
©2011 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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