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Alumni Weekend 2009: An All-Around Good Time

By Karen Bernier, assistant director of alumni relations and
Lisa Lee ’81, director of alumni relations
Photographs by Eleftherios Kostans, Jeffrey Lott, and Alan Brian Nilsen


Members of the Class of 1974 gather for the Parade of Classes.

A good time was had by all 946 alumni from 65 graduating classes and nearly 450 guests who attended Alumni Weekend 2009 (watch: alums at play). Not surprisingly, according to a survey of the weekend’s highlights, “reconnecting with classmates” came out on top, hands down. Alumni and their families caught up with old friends and made new ones as they sang, danced, visited with faculty, played bocce, and enjoyed a plethora of other activities. (Alumni Weekend photos)

On June 5, the program included a morning lecture on folk music and activism led by folk singer Peggy Seeger with an evening concert to follow; a discussion, led by Alexander Griswold Cummins Professor of English Literature Philip Weinstein, with author Adam Haslett ’92 about Haslett’s book You Are Not a Stranger Here; a talk by Professor of Economics Mark Kuperberg on the economy; a discussion on microbiology and science literacy by Professor of Biology Amy Cheng Vollmer (listen: science literacy); and a showing of the documentary The Linguists, featuring Associate Professor of Linguistics David Harrison.

President Alfred H. Bloom kicked off Saturday’s activities with one last question-and-answer session (watch: Q&A session) before leaving the College for his new position in Abu Dhabi. After a very rainy Friday, Saturday, June 6, dawned warm and dry, perfect for the annual parade of classes.

In the afternoon, Andrew Hauze ’04, conductor of the Swarthmore College Orchestra, led the afternoon rehearsal and performance of the Mozart Requiem. Always a favorite, this event drew a large crowd of performers and audience members. Affinity events included receptions for current and former Alumni Council members; Sager/LGBTQ, black, and Latino alumni; alumni in business; and Swarthmore Christian fellowship. Many also took advantage of Sunday morning’s guided tour of Crum Woods, a definite treat.

Class reunion planning chairs and committee members worked hard to put together events for their classmates, including a presentation by Allan Mackey ’59 on rock and roll which left attendees dancing in the aisles; panels covering a range of topics, including religion, happiness, challenges of the 21st century, and the world of computers; and late-night dancing with fabulous band performances by Nathan and the Narwhals and Oota Goota Solo.

Alumni Weekend would not be possible without the dedicated efforts of class volunteers, and we thank all of them for their hard work. We also thank the students, staff, and faculty who make this event so special for alumni.

Mark your calendars now for Alumni Weekend 2010, scheduled for June 4 to 6. We hope to see you there!

Alumni Weekend 2009


Saturday turned into a perfect day for the annual all-alumni picnic.



The Class of 1949’s reunion planning chair, Christian “Chris” Pedersen ’49, accepts the Joseph B. Shane Alumni Service Award from Russell Robbins ’84 of the Alumni Council.



Incoming Alumni Council President Sabrina Martinez ’92 receives the gavel from retiring Council President Kevin Quigley ’74.



The Class of 1944’s reunion planning chair, Esther Ridpath Delaplaine ’44 (right), accepts the Arabella Carter Community Service Award from Deborah Frazer ’69 of the Alumni Council.


Members of the Class of 1939 lead the annual Parade of Classes to the amphitheater, from left: Edmund Jones ’39, Adalyn Purdy Jones ‘40, Mary Whitford Streit ’39, and Robert Peelle ‘39.



Members of the Class of 1959, celebrating their 50th reunion, pose for a class picture in the Theresa Lang Garden of Fragrance.



According to a post-Alumni Weekend survey, the number one reason people return for Alumni Weekend is to reconnect with old friends.



The Class of 1969 and their mismatched reunion socks march in the Parade.



Three alumni exhibited their work in the List Gallery during Alumni Weekend. From left: Jessica Winer ‘84, Phillip Stern ’84, Anne Henderson Finucane ’74, along with List Gallery Director Andrea Packard ’85.



After an all-day rain on Friday, Saturday turned into a beautiful day for lawn games on Parrish Beach.

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