Sydney S. Gross
Director of Communications
More than 3,700 College alumni and their guests descended on campus from May 31–June 3 for Alumni Reunion Weekend and Dean’s Day 2012. The 50-year milestone belonged to the Class of 1962, which capped off its Saturday dinner by presenting a $1.13 million Class Gift to the Columbia College Fund — the largest reunion Class Gift ever given by a 50th-anniversary class. The Class of 1987, meanwhile, celebrated not only its 25-year reunion but also its silver anniversary as the College’s first fully coeducational class.
Gathering this year were classes that end in 2 or 7 and, of course, every class had something to celebrate, from the six self-proclaimed members of the “Nonagenarian Club” who represented the 70th anniversary Class of 1942, to the Class of 2007, which made its reunion debut with a record-setting 264 attendees. And among them all, the chorus was the same: how fast time flies.
The sentiment also applied to the weekend itself. On Thursday and Friday, alumni fanned out around the city for special events, tours and receptions. Friday featured Back-on-Campus Sessions, an array of Mini-Core Courses on subjects from Plato and Rousseau, to the Divine Comedy and Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, to Hellenistic philosophy and the inner workings of the brain. Saturday featured Dean’s Day Public Intellectual Lectures in the morning and more Mini-Core Courses in the afternoon; Saturday’s lectures and presentations were open to all alumni, including those from non-reunion years, as well as to parents. Saturday also inaugurated the Witten Center for the Core Open House and Core Stories Taping. Alumni were invited to tour the center and to videotape a favorite Core memory.
Throughout Saturday, Camp Columbia kept kids 3–12 busy with sports, arts and crafts, movies and magic. Saturday evening brought the all-class Wine Tasting and class-specific dinners; afterward, all were invited to Low Plaza for the annual Starlight Reception where guests enjoyed dessert and drank champagne while the band served up songs for every generation. The dancing lasted until 2 a.m., when the party broke up — at least until next year.