Record Numbers Enjoyed Reunion
“It was a fabulous experience, with the Institute growing rapidly, with an inspirational president who is responsible for the rapid growth into areas necessary to take RPI to a higher level among the technical schools anywhere in the U.S.,” said Lou Shornick ’39, who was pleased to find six additional members of his class on hand to celebrate their 65th Reunion.
Among the myriad activities offered, alumni learned about Rensselaer today at lunches with the deans of the schools and at alumni college sessions on student life, biotechnology, information technology, and the new Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center.
The most popular event offering an update on campus was the President’s State of the Institute Address. A capacity crowd, dressed largely in red, watched a slide presentation and heard President Shirley Ann Jackson discuss progress toward achieving the goals of The Rensselaer Plan.
“We are taking the best of what has made Rensselaer thrive for nearly two centuries discovery, innovation, entrepreneurship, and rigorous commitment to high academic standards and expanding on that enterprise for a 21st-century world,” said President Jackson.
Doug Henck ’74, who traveled from Hong Kong to celebrate his 30th Reunion, was the featured alumni guest speaker, addressing “The World Beyond the Hudson Global Trends That Have Changed the World.”
Class spirit drove the annual Parade of Classes, which displayed creativity in class themes and intense competition in bribes for the judges. “We entertained the crowd lining the route of the Parade of Classes with a rollicking rendition of The Beatles’ song ‘When I’m Sixty-Four,’ starring four classmates sporting Beatle wigs for which we were presented the ‘Bad Hair’ award,” said John Shahdanian ’64.
President Jackson entertained the Class of ’54 at a garden party at her house, where she presented a championship ring to Frank Paradise ’54, who was unable to attend the ceremony in February honoring the 1954 NCAA championship hockey team.
Glenn Brown ’54, chair of the Class of ’54 Reunion committee, announced several milestone accomplishments, including more than 50 percent giving from the class, an all-time record for Rensselaer.
“It made me feel so good that this class stepped up and came to this Reunion in numbers like never before,” said Brown. “It really is a tribute to the kind of spirit we developed 50 years ago the kind of spirit that cheered on our championship hockey team; the kind of spirit that cheered on our championship lacrosse team; the kind of spirit that created the first panty raid in the country, which received AP coverage nationwide.”
The weekend’s activities, which included walking and trolley tours of campus, bus tours of Troy and the Rensselaer Technology Park, a golf outing, dinner cruise on the Hudson, and even a beach party for the Class of ’84 at the Robison Pool, culminated with gala class dinners and dancing.
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