May 30 - June 2, 2013
A near-record crowd for Reunion 2013
Known for their especially enthusiastic response to Reunion, alumni in class years ending in 3 and 8 returned to the campus in near-record numbers May 30 through June 2.
It felt more like August than early June on Saturday morning, but at least the sun was shining as alumni paraded into the Arthur Zankel Music Center to hear President Philip A. Glotzbach deliver his report on the state of the College, cheered the recipients of ten alumni awards, and applauded the announcement that the total contribution made by reunion classes to the Annual Fund exceeded $4 million.
For most alums, it was their first time in Zankel, which opened in 2010.
"It's a marvelous facility, with offices for music faculty, classrooms, performances spaces, and of course the 600-seat Helen Filene Ladd Concert Hall, where we are now located," Glotzbach said. "It's wonderful for the spoken word, as you can hear. For any kind of music – whether it’s a single guitar or an entire orchestra with chorus – it works wonderfully, and people love to play here."
As an example, he pointed to the Five Browns, the nationally known piano quintet that on May 29 performed Stravinsky’s "The Rite of Spring" on five Steinways on the 100th anniversary of its first performance in Paris.
The Five Browns concert was recorded by Grammy award-winning engineer Adam Abeshouse, the father of a Skidmore senior, Glotzbach noted. “It was also video-recorded and probably will be broadcast on PBS stations around the country.”
A rousing cheer followed a moment later when Glotzbach pointed out that the Helen Filene Ladd Concert Hall is named in honor of Helen Filene Ladd, Class of '22. She, of course, was the grandmother of Bill Ladd '83, a member of the board of trustees and long-time reunion chair. This being his 30th reunion, he was seated with his classmates in the rear of the hall.
In the afternoon, alums reconnected with favorite professors and sampled the insights of new faculty through mini-colleges ranging from Sheldon Solomon's evolutionary existentialist view of human nature, to Kim Frederick's chemistry lab for jewelry-making (see video), to Ron Seyb's take on America's choleric Congress.
"This group of alumni is known for its enthusiastic response to reunion," said Mike Sposili, director of alumni affairs and college events. "The last time these classes gathered in 2008, we had a record attendance of 860 alumni. We approached that number again this year with more than 800 registered."
Many alumni shared color commentary, snapshots and anecdotes via social media. You’ll find a summary of their posts and tweets here, a lively snapshots reel created by Bill Ladd here, and a quirky "extremities" video on the Scopedish blog here.