October 2, 2006
Reunion and Family Weekend
For College alumni of classes ending in 1 or 6, there is a special reason to take part in Meliora Weekend—Reunion. Each October more than 900 alumni return to campus to celebrate a milestone anniversary. It is a chance to catch up with old friends and to see what is new—and what remains the same—at the University.
Among the Meliora Weekend events planned just for reunion-year alumni are receptions, brunches, and other gatherings. A highlight of weekend events are the Reunion dinners on Saturday, October 7. This year, the University will also host a class cocktail reception before the College Welcome Dinner on Friday, October 6. The reception will make it easy for classmates to find each other and become reacquainted before the main events on Saturday.
While every reunion is a memorable occasion, the 50th reunions merit special celebration. The University honors its 50th reunion class with the Medallion Ceremony, a tradition introduced by President Seligman in 2005. The milestone event will feature remarks from 50th reunion cochair Norman Leenhouts; Joanna Olmsted, dean of faculty development, and Seligman. Each member of the class in attendance will receive a special medallion. Alumni from the classes of 1941, 1946, and 1951—who marked their 50th Reunion before this tradition was established—will also take part in this year’s ceremony. A reception at the Memorial Art Gallery concludes the event.
The women from the Class of 1956 will look back on life before the men’s and women’s campuses merged during the 50th Reunion Women’s Prince Street Lunch at Cutler’s Restaurant in the Memorial Art Gallery on Saturday. Members of the Slater Society—alumni who have already celebrated their 50th reunion—will reunite at the Slater Luncheon on Friday. Before the lunch, they will tour the Georgia O’Keeffe exhibition at the gallery.
The weekend offers three days full of fun and reminiscences, but the planning begins long before October and involves the work of many volunteers. Kickoff reunion events are held the winter before in New York City and other regions. This year more than 250 volunteers contributed their time to organizing Reunion Weekend. Their efforts have been led by national reunion cochairs Myra Gelband ’71, a member of the Board of Trustees, and Harry Orchard ’91, a member of the Trustees’ Alumni Council of the College.
Meliora Weekend offers all its participants an opportunity to discover what is new at the University. For those who come to campus for Family Weekend, the celebration provides a glimpse of something more personal, too: what is new in the life of their Rochester student.
“It’s a great chance for parents to experience the campus and to see for themselves how their sons and daughters are adjusting to life at Rochester,” says Becky Wehle, director of regional programs and parent relations. “It’s also a good opportunity to ask questions of the deans and representatives of various College departments.”
Students can introduce their families to academic life when many departments host open houses on Friday. And parents can talk with College and University leaders—and meet other Rochester parents—at the Parent Coffee on Saturday and the Parents Breakfast with President Seligman and the College deans on Sunday.
Younger siblings who might be looking ahead to their college year may wish to join their parents at the Admissions open house on Saturday morning or at the informational meeting on “How to Find (and Pay for) a Competitive College,” a presentation by Jonathan Burdick, dean of admissions and financial aid. For undergraduates and their parents interested in learning about the University’s graduate and professional schools, the Simon School and the Warner School will be holding open houses.
A Saturday bus tour will introduce families to the surrounding city of Rochester and its neighborhoods. Students will investigate community issues when they host the Second Annual Student-Sponsored Symposium, “Building Community Leadership: Integrating Sustainability into the Student Experience.”
Family Weekend is not all serious business, of course. The opportunities for family fun abound, from the College Welcome Dinner, Drew Carey and the Improv All-Stars, sporting events, the Rochester Revue, and the Head of the Genesee Regatta. There are special options just for the younger crowd, too, at Kids Kollege on Saturday.