Roughly 1,300 Dickinsonians and family members from across the country and around the world joined together on campus June 12-14 to renew friendships and reconnect with the college during Alumni Weekend 2015. And while they relished the chance to share milestones and recent news, many also seized the opportunity to learn something new.
The All-Alumni Reception and barbecue are perennial favorites, along with class and club get-togethers, the flag-football game, kids’ zone, farewell brunch and guided tours of campus, Carlisle and the College Farm. This year’s weekend also marked the 50th reunion for the class of ’65, the 25th anniversary for the class of 1990 and the 100th for Dickinson’s InterFraternity Council (IFC).
In between the celebrations and get-togethers, President Nancy A. Roseman provided an update on the state of the college, and faculty and staff members offered a series of presentations and events that tapped a diverse array of scholarship and skills.
Visiting Instructor in Biology Gene Wingert took alumni to a nearby wildlife sanctuary to explore the history of South-Central Pennsylvania forests. Professor of English Wendy Moffat discussed World War I cultural history and literature, and Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy Brett Pearson shared the latest research in Dickinson’s laser labs. Members of the Unnamed Faculty Band schooled alumni on the science of fun during a Saturday-evening bonfire, and Don Nichter, cross country and track and field coach, showed them how it’s done during a 5K walk/run to and from Dickinson Park.
Alumni were invited to learn the stories behind some of the food they shared when Visiting Lecturer in Chemistry Christine O’Neill served up an interactive presentation on the science of cooking and baking and Catherine Beaudry, associate professor of French, called fellow Francophiles to savor the sweet spot between Provence’s art and cuisine. Ted Merwin, director of the Milton B. Asbell Center for Jewish Life, dished out the role of the Jewish deli in pop culture during a catered lecture that featured an authentic taste of New York, and College Farm Manager Matt Steiman demonstrated the food-waste-to-energy processes at the farm.
Dickinsonians also learned from the life experiences of fellow alumni. A panel of 1965ers (Maureen Newton Hayes, Chuck Lippy, Michael Rohrbaugh, Ray Scurfield, Ben Sears, Karen Davis Thompson and Chuck Ulmer) reflected on the social, cultural and personal changes ushered in during the 1960s. Bob Pence ’60 delivered an insider’s view of the FBI, past and present. Photojournalist Rick Smolan ’72 recalled his experiences as he documented author Robyn Davidson’s journey on foot across 1,700 miles of Australian desert, memorialized in the 2013 film Tracks, which was screened at the Carlisle Theatre Friday night.
Dickinson also provided opportunities for those seeking out new professional paths. Some alumni networked with classmates, polished their Excel skills with Associate Professor of International Business & Management Steve Erfle and consulted with Career Center staff. Others signed their teenage children up for mock college-interview sessions—offering the Office of Admissions a glimpse at some of the prospective bright stars of the classes of 2020-24.
Published June 14, 2015