Inside Rensselaer
Volume 7, No. 16, October 25, 2013

2013 Reunion & Homecoming Weekend

Annual event draws thousands back to campus


“A big event with an intimate feel” is how many alumni described this year’s Reunion & Homecoming, held Oct. 4-6.

The event featured nearly 200 individual events, including social gatherings, seminars, panel discussions, and classes, as well as anniversary celebrations, award ceremonies, athletic competitions, and, in celebration of the Rensselaer Alumni Hall of Fame, a Ferris wheel!

A wide variety of groups participated in the celebration. Class years ending in 3 or 8 celebrated their five-year milestone Reunions. Of special note was the Class of 1963, which was welcomed into the 50 Year Club.

Twenty-seven Greek organizations hosted events, a new record for Greek participation. Alpha Chi Rho celebrated their 65th anniversary, Sigma Phi Epsilon celebrated their 75th anniversary, and Sigma Chi came out in force to celebrate the dedication of their new Pomeroy Chapter House. The annual Greek ChowderFest, hosted at RSE, allowed current students and alumni to meet and mingle as they taste-tested a variety of chowder offerings, and voted for their favorites. Alpha Gamma Delta took first place, and Theta Xi won the “People’s Choice” award for the third year in a row.

Athletic teams also hosted events including breakfasts, tailgates, and athletic competitions with current students. The Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony was held on Sunday. While the government shutdown prevented Liberty League opponent U.S. Merchant Marine Academy from traveling for the scheduled football game, it provided an opportunity to showcase the women’s soccer team, which defeated rival Clarkson in front of a large and appreciative crowd.

Special interest groups included a variety of student groups such as Phalanx, Air Force and Navy ROTC, crew and rugby, and the Society of Women Engineers. The Department of Mechanical, Aeronautical, and Nuclear Engineering held an open house, and the Biology Department also hosted a reception for returning alumni.

President Jackson presented her annual State of the Institute address at the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center Concert Hall. Her presentation was followed by the Rensselaer Alumni Hall of Fame induction ceremony, where B. Jayant Baliga ’74 Ph.D.; Lewis B. Combs ’16; Thomas W. Phelan Jr.; and Alfred Tredway White, Class of 1865, were recognized for their contributions.

Other event highlights included Back to Class, which allowed alumni to sit in on a live classroom, and an alumni comedy show. FanFest, a carnival midway held at the East Campus Athletic Village, drew a large crowd, with alumni, students, and the entire campus community coming together to enjoy free food, performances by the student a cappella groups, face painting, and free rides on the 70-foot Ferris wheel.

“Reunion & Homecoming gets bigger and better every year,” said Jeff Schanz, assistant vice president for alumni relations. “Greater numbers of campus groups, such as Greeks, athletic teams, and student organizations, are getting involved, making it a truly campuswide event. We thank all our campus partners for helping to make the weekend such a success, and a memorable and enjoyable experience for our alumni.”

Next year’s Reunion & Homecoming will be held Oct. 10-12. If your department or group is interested in being involved, contact program director Denise Done at

Photos by Kris Qua and Ray Felix

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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 7, Number 16, October 25, 2013
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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