Reunion Attendance Expected to Increase by 25 Percent

Posted May 20th, 2010 at 2:45 pm.

photo of alumnae/i parade

A scene from last year's Parade of Classes

More than 800 Bryn Mawr alumnae/i, including several from the class of 1940, will be returning to campus Friday, May 28, through Sunday, May 30, to take up their lanterns at Reunion 2010.

This year’s reunion is the first since the reopening of historic Goodhart Hall and, as such, it will highlight the vibrant role the arts play in today’s campus community and in the lives of Bryn Mawr alumnae/i.

“We’re very excited about this year’s rich and varied reunion program focusing on the arts. For the first time in many years we’ve invited all alumnae, not just those in milestone reunion classes, to return. The response has been tremendous, with over a 25 percent increase in attendance from last year,” says Alumnae Association Executive Director Wendy Greenfield.

Reunion events will include a performance in Goodhart Theater by the Rebecca Kelly Ballet Company, founded and directed by Rebecca Kelly ’73; faculty talks on topics ranging from Renaissance Art to Shakespeare in new media; a major exhibit by contemporary artist Red Grooms; movie excerpts from a new documentary on women journalists in World War II; and an evening of dancing to African and Brazilian rhythms on Merion Green.

Saturday ends with an illumination ceremony, open to the public, in which more than 1,125 luminaries will be lit on campus. The ceremony includes live music, food and a screening of The Philadelphia Story, featuring Katherine Hepburn ’28, shown outside on a giant movie screen.

Another highlight of the weekend occurs on Sunday morning when the alumnae/i process from the center of campus to Goodhart Hall in the Parade of Classes. The youngest alumnae lead the way and gather at the entrance of the hall to cheer their fellow Mawrters as they enter the building. Once inside, the members of the youngest class present flowers to the members of the oldest class.

“By the time the oldest alumnae enter, the crowd is really big and everyone is cheering and you can feel the pride. I’ve seen it a number of times and it still gives me goosebumps,” says reunion organizer and Alumnae Association Assistant Director Molly Scott.

This year’s reunion also serves as the launch of Bryn Mawr’s year-long 125th Anniversary Celebration, which formally begins on Saturday, May 29, with a “State of the College” address by Bryn Mawr President Jane McAuliffe.

“Reunion stood out as a natural event to start a celebration of Bryn Mawr’s ‘Bold vision, for women, for the world,'” says McAuliffe. “These women—Bryn Mawr’s alumnae—are the embodiment of that vision. When I give my address and look out at that crowd, I’ll see first-generation college graduates, doctors, lawyers, journalists, and scientists. These are the women who came to Bryn Mawr because they refused to make compromises. Women who come back not only to reminisce with classmates but to celebrate the ideals Bryn Mawr continues to stand for.”

Reunion 2010 also includes a bit of rivalry. Trustee Emeritus Ruth Kaiser Nelson ’58 has issued a special challenge to the 2010 reunion classes. The class that achieves the greatest increase in donor participation will receive an additional $10,000 towards its Reunion Class Gift and special recognition during the Annual Meeting on Sunday, May 30.

Classes can see where they stand at the Reunion Giving Page.

For a complete list of reunion weekend events visit www.brynmawr.edu/alumnae/reunion/artFest.html

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