The Rensselaer campus hosted an enthusiastic group of alumni the largest ever who came back to celebrate Reunion 02 the weekend of June 6 to 9.
A record 1,285 alumni and their families and guests took part in a variety of events, from the popular Hudson River dinner cruise to a variety of organized tours, academic updates, and class get-togethers.
Successful new events this year included a tour of the Lighting Research Center, an Admissions Open House, and a comedy theater at the RPI Playhouse, headlined by comedian Jim Flaherty 76.
Biotechnology was the theme in various educational and research presentations. New York State Commissioner of Health Antonia Novello, M.D., gave a special address recounting New Yorks response to the Sept. 11 attacks and subsequent anthrax cases.
President Shirley Ann Jackson gave her annual State of the Institute address to a capacity crowd in the Darrin Communications Center. Her talk was strong, factual, and upbeat, reported C.J. Nager 52. We 52ers were duly impressed.
Alumni then had their chance to impress President Jackson during the Parade of Classes, where they went all out with spirited themes and sometimes spirited bribes.
The Class of 57 built their theme around Heinz 57 Varieties, complete with a life-size replica of the Bachelor, which turned out to bea piñata! President Jackson gamely wielded a bat to smash the piñata, and out came a variety of Heinz products.
I am happy to report that Reunion was a smashing success, said Kristen Fitzpatrick 97, who reported with pride that the Class of 97 captured the title of Noisiest Class in the parade.
The Class of 52 brought back the most alumni for any class in history: 160 alumni, with guests making the total near 300. Several classmates back for the first time in 50 years plan to be on hand in 2007! said Nager.
Between scheduled events, alumni had a chance to stroll around campus, look for their old haunts, and visit their fraternity or sorority houses.
We found chatting with students a wonderful part of the weekend, said John Buzz Campbell 57.
The weather did its part, and the opportunity to meet with old friends and become reacquainted with Rensselaer made Reunion memorable.
It was quite a weekend, and I am one of many looking forward to our 50th, said Campbell.
|Rensselaer Magazine: September 2002|
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