6/04/2017 Peter Durantine

Alumni Reunite with Friends, Faculty and Their Alma Mater

Old school chums asked, “Is that you?” and greeted each other with “You look great!” Knowing grins and warm hugs bridged the years gone by as a large crowd gathered at Franklin & Marshall College June 1-4 for Alumni Weekend.

More than 1,000 alumni, family and friends arrived on campus to find a new football and lacrosse facility, Shadek Stadium, rising from the fields behind the Alumni Sports and Fitness Center, as well as other changes, large and small, since their days at the College.

Alumni who graduated in years that ended in 2 or 7 held special celebrations during the weekend, including the members of the Class of 1967, which marked their 50th reunion milestone. They also helped F&M honor two distinguished alumni with the Nevonian Medal – Drs. Robert Sharrar ’62 and William Sharrar ’62.

  • Campus tours include a swing by the construction site of Shadek Stadium, where F&M Capital Projects Manager Jonathan Enos explains the work is on schedule and should be completed in October. Image Credit: Deb Grove
  • The Honorable & Mrs. John C. Kunkel Professor of Government Stephen Medvic’s lecture, “The Trump Presidency So Far,” drew a standing-room-only crowd. Image Credit: Deb Grove
  • Two of dozens of student ambassadors who help make Alumni Weekend a success every year pose for a photo. Image Credit: Deb Grove
  • Ron Deprez, Ted Podkul and Bob Falk, co-chairs of the Class of 1967, receive the President’s Cup on behalf of the 50th reunion class, which raised more than $2.3 million for the College. Image Credit: Deb Grove
  • Reunion classes line up outside the front of Old Main just before the “Reunion Alumni March Through the Arch.” It led them to the Ann & Richard Barshinger Center for Musical Arts, where they gathered for the Alumni Celebration. Image Credit: Deb Grove
  • Women’s basketball coach Kirsten Richter shares her thoughts on the team’s season and program at the Diplomat Athletics version of ESPN’s Around the Horn. On her right are swim coach Ben Delia and football player and junior Tanner Erisman. The event featured students, coaches, Athletic Director Patty Epps, DAC Chair Al Ingraham ’72 and Director of Athletic Advancement Katie Crowe Wood. Image Credit: Deb Grove
  • The Nevonian Singers entertain a Saturday morning breakfast audience of newly inducted Nevonians – and their families – from the Class of 1967. Image Credit: Deb Grove
  • Professor of Art History Amelia Rauser presents an overview of the proposed Benjamin & Susan Winter Visual Arts Center, a state-of-the-art facility with a revolutionary design that will depart from the red brick and gothic arches that have long defined the campus. Image Credit: Deb Grove
  • “What’s Up with Climate Change?” packs the house in the Patricia Harris Center. Roger Shamel ’67, founder and former CEO of Consulting Resources Corp. and founding director of The Global Warming Education Network, shares how a changing climate might affect alumni, their children and F&M. Image Credit: Deb Grove
  • Rich Arends ’67 rekindles his college days as he examines the memory case, containing the ’67 Oriflamme, open to a two-page photo spread that he shot when he was the yearbook’s editor-in-chief. Image Credit: Deb Grove
  • Alumni discuss Identities and experiences with the F&M LGBTQ Council’s panelists: Lawrence Biemiller ’80, Jeff Aurich ’87, Cheryl Fazio-Hardwick ’11, Joy Restucci ’88, and Sai Somboon ’04. Professor of History Maria Mitchell, chair of Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies, serves as moderator. Image Credit: Deb Grove
  • Alumni relax outside the big tent on Hartman Green, where inside a lunch of chicken, portabella mushrooms, greens and salads, and barbecue awaits while the Jazz Me Band offers musical accompaniment. Image Credit: Eric Forberger

As alumni strolled the College’s tree-shaded grounds, they noted what was new, such as Harwood Commons on Hartman Green, where the Office of Student & Post-Graduate Development and the Ware Institute for Civic Engagement is now housed.

They also glimpsed what’s to come at the Phillips Museum of Art, where an architectural exhibit displayed renderings and a model of the proposed Benjamin & Susan Winter Visual Arts Center that will eventually replace the Herman Arts Center, one of several Alumni College presentations during the weekend.

At the Alumni Celebration, Jason Cone ’99, executive director of Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières) in the U.S., and Jennifer Stuart ’09, a postdoctoral epidemiology research fellow at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, were honored for their work.

“A great college regenerates itself,” President Daniel R. Porterfield told the Alumni Celebration audience, citing F&M’s academic standing and leadership in recruiting need-based students. “Our mission is more important today than it has ever been … Franklin & Marshall makes a difference.”

Christine Corkran Kretkowski ’05, president of the Alumni Association’s board of directors, presented the President’s Cup to the Class of 1967, which raised more than $2.3 million in contributions to the College with 44 percent of the class participating in the giving. The Class of 1972 gave the second highest total on the day, more than $1.4 million.

Alumni topped off the rest of their weekend feasting on chicken, corn on the cob and barbecue at the picnic under the tent on Hartman Green, attending class parties and receptions, and enjoying live music and dancing at the Blue & White Bash.

"A great college regenerates itself."
President Daniel R. Porterfield
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