Rensselaer welcomed more than 1,200 alumni and their families and guests to campus June 1-4 to celebrate Reunion 2000a four-day weekend of sharing, reconnecting, and just plain fun!
The annual event hosted not only the five-year reunions of classes whose graduation years ended in 0 and 5, but also the first-ever affinity reunion for alumni involved in information technology (IT) professions.
The larger than normal crowds at this annual event can be attributed to the efforts of outstanding volunteer networkers, the addition of the IT reunion, and the participation of Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, said Michele Brumsey, associate director of alumni relations.
A highlight of the weekend was President Shirley Ann Jackson's first State of the Institute address, in which she presented the Rensselaer Plan and her vision for continued energetic growth at Rensselaer.
This is our time in history, our time to grow Rensselaer, to enhance our educational programs, and to rise to the first rank as a national research university, said President Jackson to the capacity crowd.
Alumni also flocked to hear the IT keynote presentation delivered by Carl Redfield 68, senior vice president of manufacturing and logistics at Cisco Systems Inc.
Reunion provided many opportunities to tour new facilities, learn about todays curricula, and see the changes that have taken place on campus. Alumni attended lunches with the deans of the schools, toured campus and the Rensselaer Technology Park, and attended Alumni College for a Day sessions which focused on IT projects in each of the schools.
Still, the warmth and excitement of former classmates rekindling friendships is at the heart of alumni reunions, and there were smiles, hearty handshakes, and warm embraces at every turn. The reunion classes teamed up for the annual Parade of Classes, and continued the tradition of bribing the judges (RAA board members) with ever more lavish surprises, including ice cream sundaes and serenades.
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Houston Field House, many of Reunions most popular events took place in the former Navy warehouse, including the all-class lunch and the 50 Year Club dinner, at which members of the Class of 50 were honored as the newest members of the club.
With more than twice the number of graduates attending than any of the other classes, the Class of 50 took parade honors as Top Gun, and their enthusiasm was infectious.
It was wild and crazy, says Jim Moore 50, class correspondent and member of the Four Horsemen quartet. Maybe the half-century mark made an impression.
Plans are already under way for Reunion 2001, to be held June 710, 2001. For more on Reunion 2000 and 2001, click here or visit AlumServ at www.alumni.rpi.edu.