With record-breaking attendance, President Bro Adams’s final State of the College address, and a Blue Light 5K that included Rumbidzai Sundire ’04 wearing her baby on her back, Reunion 2014 was anything but ordinary.
Running Thursday though Sunday, Reunion Weekend brought more than 1,600 graduates and guests from 13 classes back to Mayflower Hill to eat in dining halls, sleep in dorms, and reconnect with Colby and each other. Events included alumni lectures, children’s programming, the annual lunchtime lobster bake, and a canoe expedition on Messalonskee Stream.
Libby Corydon-Apicella ’74, who traveled from New Jersey where she works as a restaurateur, was looking forward to reuniting with people. “I always come back to Colby with a sense that it’s going to be wonderful to see what people have done recently … and to get together in a place we all enjoyed for four years,” she said.
In his final State of the College address, President Adams focused on the long sweep of Colby history instead of talking solely about his own administration’s accomplishments. Alumni in the audience were most responsive to news of progress in the financial aid program, applauding the increase in the endowment for financial aid (all need based at Colby) from $10.8 million when Adams took office in 2000 to $28.3 million last year.
A highlight of reunion each year is the Celebrate Colby ceremony, in which classes are recognized for their fundraising efforts and alumni awards are presented. Two classes broke Colby Fund records—no class in its 25th reunion year ever hit $270,000, which the Class of 1989 did this year, and the Class of 1979 set a record for the 35th reunion year with $230,859.
Also at the ceremony, Alumni Council President Deb Wathen Finn ’74 presented the Charles W. Bassett Faculty Award to Jennifer Finney Boylan and the Edson V. Mitchell Distinguished Service Award to Robert Hoopes Jr. ’89. Six alumni received Colby Brick awards, and this year marked the first presentation of the Blue Key Award for young alumni. (View the full list of award-winners.)
This year’s reunion was especially active online, as well. Alumni on and off campus used the reunion-specific hashtag #Back2Colby more than 98 times on Twitter and posted 168 photos to Instagram. Popular subjects included classic shots of Miller Library and photos of alumni kissing the bronze mule statue outside the Alfond Athletic Center. Social media activity surrounding the weekend is collected on the #Back2Colby: Celebrating Reunion 2014 on Social Media webpage.
Next year’s reunion will be held June 4-7 and will welcome alumni who graduated in years ending in 5 and 0.
Why They Came
—Scott Carberry ’09
—Emily Grout Sprague ’79
“It’s fun to reconnect and see all the changes. This years it’s also fun because we get to bring our kids and they can see all of the places where we spent four years.”
—Jennifer Wolff DiFrancesca ’94