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MELIORA WEEKEND 2017Ready for Reunion?

Both Karen Pavlicin-Fragnito ’87 and Jodi Seidner ’87, ’91S (MBA) are helping organize this fall’s 30th reunion for the Class of 1987.

A key part of Meliora Weekend, October 12 to 15, the celebration is an opportunity to discover what the years have brought for the campus and former classmates.

“I’m looking forward to seeing what’s changed, to reconnecting with people,” Seidner says. “You never know what possibilities that holds for you.”

While all graduates are invited to join Meliora Weekend festivities, many of the class-specific activities are based in reunion classes. Organized by five-year increments—this fall is the 2’s and the 7’s—reunion has evolved from a simple celebration of nostalgia, says Paul Lanzone ’03, assistant vice president for alumni relations and constituent engagement.

The activities are designed as a way for classmates to build ties and networks not only with one another, but also with other alumni and with current students. Reunion is an important way to see how the University and its programs are continually moving forward and to be involved in what that means for each generation.

“Our campuses have changed visibly over the years, and coming back is a very tangible way to stay engaged,” he says. “You definitely get the sense that the University has moved into the future, but there’s still this tradition of research and education. There are so many palpable sensory experiences that bring back what those four years were all about.”

Jane Zimelis Cohen ’67, one of three chairs organizing her 50th class reunion and a vice chair of the newly formed National Alumni Board, has attended every reunion since 2000—except in 2014, the weekend her son got married.

Highlights of this year’s program, notes Cohen, include a class dinner performance by the YellowJackets—joined by past YellowJackets members from the classes of ’67 and ’66 and some past Tritones members—and an interfaith memorial service organized by a representation of diverse clergy who graduated in ’67.

Cohen met her husband, Lawrence Cohen ’66, at the University. The pair established the Lawrence J. Cohen ’66 and Jane Zimelis Cohen ’67 Endowed Undergraduate Scholarship Fund in 2004.

Reunion is “mostly about the people, but it’s also about being able to touch base with the physical place where I really became the person that I am,” she says. “The University has continued to give me opportunities to lead, to be enriched, and to interact with fascinating, intelligent people. It’s a big part of my volunteer life.”

For Alan Carmasin ’67, another reunion organizer and a retired senior associate director for University Advancement, it’s heartwarming to catch up with former fraternity brothers.

He also looks forward to creating new associations: “I make new friends that I didn’t know in school, but who I see at every reunion now. Some of them I stay in touch with.”

—Robin L. Flanigan


For more about Meliora Weekend: Rochester.edu/melioraweekend.