Inside Rensselaer
Volume 6, No. 16, October 26, 2012

Reunion & Homecoming

More than 3,000 alumni and families returned to campus to
reconnect with each other and with Rensselaer

A crowd of more than 3,000 alumni and guests returned to campus to enjoy Reunion & Homecoming the weekend of Oct. 5-7.

A wide variety of alumni groups participated in the celebration. Class years ending in 2 or 7 celebrated their five-year milestone Reunions, and the Class of 1962, with over 100 alumni returning, was welcomed into the 50 Year Club.

Twenty-one Greek organizations hosted events, partnering with the alumni office for planning and marketing, including Lambda Chi Alpha, which celebrated its 75th anniversary, and Phi Kappa Tau, which celebrated its 90th anniversary at Rensselaer and 50th at 19 Sherry Road. The popular Greek ChowderFest allowed current students and alumni from all Greek organizations to meet and mingle.

Athletic teams also hosted events including breakfasts, tailgates, and athletic competitions with current students. Several varsity contests took place as well. Retiring head athletic trainer Anthony Ortolano was honored with a reception, and the Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony was held on Sunday. The football team beat St. Lawrence, and the game featured a special halftime show that included recognition of the 50th Reunion Class of 1962, and a ceremonial “Farewell to the ’Tute Screw.”

Reunion & Homecoming  

Special interest groups included a variety of student groups such as Phalanx, Air Force and Navy ROTC, and the Society of Women Engineers. The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Department of the Arts and 30th anniversary of the Department of Science and Technology Studies, while the Model Railroad celebrated the 65th anniversary of the club and the 40th anniversary of the Davison Hall display with an open house.

President Jackson and a panel of Institute leaders presented to a packed house at the EMPAC Concert Hall on “Rensselaer at 200: Refreshing The Rensselaer Plan,” and alumni were given the opportunity to provide their feedback. Other highlights included Back to Class, which allowed alumni to sit in on a live classroom, and a faculty music performance. FanFest, a carnival midway held at ECAV, drew a large crowd, with alumni, students, and the entire campus community coming together to enjoy free food, performances by student a cappella groups, face painting, and much more. FanFest also featured the return of the Physics Magic Show, with Aidyl Gonzalez-Serricchio ’94 presenting outlandish and visually stunning physics and chemistry demonstrations with audience participation.

The Mars Rover Curiosity Program took place at EMPAC on Saturday morning, with nearly 1,000 people in attendance. The audience learned about the science behind the Mars Rover and the study of its findings with alumni members of the team: Kobie Boykins ’96, staff mechanical engineer, Jet Propulsion Laboratory; Michael Meyer ’74, lead scientist, NASA’s Mars Exploration Program; and Fred Serricchio ’94, senior staff engineer, NASA. The program was moderated by Dean Laurie Leshin, who is also a member of the Curiosity Rover Science Team. See related story for more about the program.

“Reunion & Homecoming continues to grow each year,” says assistant vice president for alumni relations Jeff Schanz. “More and more alumni are taking part in the tradition, and we thank all our campus partners who help make the weekend such a success, and a memorable and enjoyable experience for our alumni.”

Next year’s Reunion & Homecoming will be held Oct. 4-6, 2013. If your department or group is interested in being involved, contact alumni relations at

Photos by Kris Qua

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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 6, Number 16, October 26, 2012
©2012 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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