The Colgate Scene
July 2000
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Welcome back, welcome home
by John D. Hubbard

The Class of 1950 marched to the All Class Luncheon with style.
Right, Alumni Award for Distinguished Service winners Lorie Slutsky '75, Mike Wolk '60 and Rick Cunniff '45 with employee Maroon Citation recipients Jane Pinchin and Judy Fischer.
Reunion is a sprawling event during which Colgate past, present and future come together.

     The university sits for a multigenerational family portrait, and it's a darn good-looking group. Spirited, too. There is an exuberance evident, whether it's golf, a geological walk

     or just catching up. The days offer events at every turn, a full slate of Reunion College classes presided over by faculty and alumni, athletic opportunities, services and ceremonies and banquets. In addition to everything else reunion is, this year a special retirement party and symposium was held in honor of Charles A. Dana Professor of Geology Jim McLelland and the Center for Ethics and World Societies sponsored a conference on "Diaspora and Diversity Within the Black Experience" dedicated to retiring John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Professor of Sociology Roy Bryce-Laporte.

     "Is this a required course?" asks an older alumnus at a "state of the college session" with President Charles Karelis, Dean of the Faculty Jane Pinchin, Dean of the College Mike Cappeto and Vice President for University Relations Bob Tyburski '74.

     "Can't graduate without it," answers a classmate.

     "Presidents are supposed to say the state of the college is great, and it is," reports Karelis, who says Colgate is constantly "thinking about whether it's in good shape" with an abiding interest in "what it is to be a good place."

     At an earlier awards ceremony honoring, in the words of Alumni Corporation president Bruce Morser '76, those "who have worked hard to maintain the strength of Colgate," Lloyd Colenback '50 shared how it felt to be back. The class president spoke of the attendant emotions at reunion.

     "Gratitude. We are grateful to be here. Sorrow -- for those classmates who aren't ever coming back. Pride."

     Reunion measures the anniversaries of graduation in five-year increments, and it is Avery Sinclair '25 who leads the charge at the annual parade to the all-class luncheon. From golf carts to strollers, the ages roll by. Bringing up the rear -- the last shall be first -- is the Class of the 1950, playing kazoos and walking proud.

From left, Vice President Mike Martin '69 and President Bruce Morser '76 of the Alumni Corporation, Distinguished Teaching Award recipients Roy Bryce-Laporte and Ellen Kraly, and President Charles Karelis.
     On the docket at the luncheon, in addition to loving cups for attendance and distance traveled, is recognition of the classes' support of Colgate. Joe Silberlicht '78 of the development staff announced the gifts and summed up their power.

     "Reunion giving is about this beautiful campus, it is about our superb faculty, and our victorious athletic teams. Reunion giving is about our exceptional students.

     Reunion giving is about the 3,500 Colgate graduates that have passed through the Chenango Valley since these classes last celebrated reunion. And, most importantly, Reunion giving is about the 2,800 Colgate students that will grace this campus in August.

     "In the five years since your last reunion, your classes assembled here today have provided Colgate with almost $24 million. It is your generosity that makes this place so very special, and makes this special place possible."

     Reunion wears so many faces, bears so many stripes, takes on so many meanings as the years pass.

     It is as simple as conversation, as nuanced as memory and about as much fun as possible.

Images of Reunion 2000
(click an image below):
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