Traditions and Beginnings

alumni weekend 2017

Photo by Carl Socolow '77.

Alumni celebrate past, present and future during Alumni Weekend 2017

by MaryAlice Bitts-Jackson; video by Joe O'Neill

Alumni Weekend is a time to rekindle friendships, revisit old haunts and celebrate memories and milestones. It’s also an opportunity to discover new connections and skills and learn the latest Dickinson news. And Alumni Weekend 2017 offered plenty of opportunities to drink it all in.

More than 1,500 Dickinsonians gathered June 9-11 for a variety of all-campus events—a flag-football game, barbecue, reception and dance party—and also reminisced with classmates and club members at wine tastings, chorale practices, receptions and other celebrations. They found links to Dickinson’s past in the archives, got the scoop on new programs and projects during breakfast with interim President Neil Weissman and caught a glimpse of Dickinson’s future when they met President-elect Margee Ensign, who will take up the reins July 1.

Interim President Neil Weissman and President-elect Margee Ensign pose for a shot in one of the many golf carts staff used to get around campus during Alumni Weekend. Photo by Carl Socolow '77.

Interim President Neil Weissman and President-elect Margee Ensign pose for a shot in one of the many golf carts staff used to get around campus during Alumni Weekend. Photo by Carl Socolow '77.

Many also took advantage of this year’s special excursions and events. Athletic alumni played flag football with Head Football Coach Brad Fordyce, took a 5K run with Cross Country/Track and Field Head Coach Don Nichter and enjoyed a morning on the links during the 19th-annual McAndrews Fund for Athletics Golf Tournament. Outdoorsy Dickinsonians took a six-mile canoe ride along the Susquehanna River or a yoga hike to the Pole Steeple lookout; they also fly-fished at Yellow Breeches Creek and rode bicycles to the College Farm, where they enjoyed a farm-to-table lunch.

This year’s Alumni College workshops offered a chance to relive the thrill of learning something new. History buffs brushed up on their Civil War knowledge during a guided tour of Gettysburg landmarks, courtesy of Matthew Pinsker, associate professor of history and Brian C. Pohanka Chair in American Civil War History. Alumni also attended a whiskey tasting and sustainable-distilling presentation led by Adam Spiegel ’06 and learned about Dickinson’s newest living laboratory, the Hive, from Center for Sustainability Education staff. Thomas Logue ’77 led a presentation on race, rights and power from the Civil War to today; authors Matty Dalrymple ’85, Laura Croghan Kamoie ’92, Sherry Rothenberger Knowlton ’72 and Lauren Keiper Stein ’02 discussed their works; Emily Bailin Wells ’07 delivered an educators’ workshop; and Dickinson professors and administrators offered sessions on Dickinson’s literary collection and the college admissions process.

Alumni Weekend 2017. Photo by Carl Socolow '77.

Photo by Carl Socolow '77.

Throughout the weekend, the Dickinson community saluted members of the classes of ’67 and ’92, who celebrate their 50th- and 25th-anniversary years, respectively, in 2017. The class of ’77 earned high marks by donating a record-breaking sum to the college—the highest amount donated by a 40th-reunion class—and several alumni were honored for exceptional commitment and service during Friday's Alumni Association’s 2017 Alumni Awards.

Jennifer Ward Reynolds ’77, who served as chair of Dickinson’s Board of Trustees, 2008-17, was awarded the Walter E. Beach Distinguished Alumni Award for Service. The Distinguished Alumni Award for Professional Achievement was presented jointly to Tony Mestres ’92 and Young Park ’87, P’20. Noorjahan Akbar ’14 received the Outstanding Young Alumni Award. The 1783 Award went to the Delta Nu Alumnae Advisory Board, which announced the establishment of a Delta Nu scholarship. George Grassel ’74 was named 2017 Alumni Volunteer of the Year, and Allison Matlack P’16, P’19 was recognized as an outstanding parent volunteer. Michael Northridge ’81 garnered praise for exceptional career mentorship, and Kirsten Nixa Sabia ’92 was named 2017’s star class correspondent. Joe Carver ’59 was noted for his work as 2017’s top Devils’ Advocate, and the Class of 2007 10th Reunion Committee was named Reunion Committee of the Year.

Attendees: Help Dickinson plan future Alumn Weekends by filling out this brief online survey.

Learn more


Published June 12, 2017