Alumni Return for Reunions and Reconnecting with Alma Mater
Annual Alumni Reunion Weekend Held under Sunny Summer Skies
June 11, 2012
Agriculture professor Don Chafin chats with David Schlechty '63, Dale Minnich '64 and Brad Goodwin '98 during the ag and science alumni reception during Alumni Reunion Weekend.
While several decades and many miles may have separated former classmates from each other, time and distance evaporated when scores of alumni returned to Wilmington College for Alumni Reunion Weekend, June 8 and 9.
Alumni from the classes of 1952, 1962 and 1972 had class reunions, and the College formally recognized the 50-year reunion class members as new Quaker Emeriti.
Early arrivers had an opportunity to engage in student-led campus tours prior to the President’s Welcome Reception hosted by Jim and Sue Reynolds at Firbank Fell, which has been home to the College’s presidents since the mid-1960s.
Saturday morning started with a continental breakfast and access to the Campus Bookstore and exhibits in the David and June Harcum Art Gallery and Meriam R. Hare Quaker Heritage Center.
The day’s initial Alumni College program featured Larry Gara, emeritus professor of history, speaking on “Masterpieces of Classic Jazz” and Douglas Burks, professor of biology, teaching about “Building Your Own DNA.”
This year’s Alumni Weekend had a special focus on science and agriculture, as two of the other Alumni Colleges featured young alumni Cari Ogg, M.D., Class of ’97, speaking on her use of robotics surgery and Brett Ellis ’95, D.V.M., addressing veterinary acupuncture.
Ogg, a surgeon at Jewish Hospital in Cincinnati, said robotics surgery is increasing in popularity as a less invasive option that often results in a quicker recovery time.
Ellis of Veterinary Associates in Xenia said he uses Chinese acupuncture and other Eastern methods as part of a holistic approach to veterinary medicine in his practice.
In reprising his popular gardening mini-class, Monte Anderson, professor of agriculture, explained the College’s landscaping program that directly involves horticulture students and spoke on some of the challenges facing ash and elm trees on campus.
Participants ultimately filled a container with colorful summer flowers to take home.
Also, Martin Giesbrecht, former economics professor held a popular session titled “Economy on the Edge.”
Concurrently with activities on the main campus, agriculture alumni engaged in farm tours and, after their Aggie Barbecue Lunch at the farm, they set aside time for WC agriculture stories, facts and fiction.
Science and agriculture alumni attended a special afternoon reception in their honor and heard about the College’s plans for their academic areas.
At the Awards Luncheon, the Alumni Council gave special recognition to the six members present from the Class of 1952 and four alumni received awards for their service or contributions to their professions.
Arthur Tate ’69, a warden in Ohio prisons for 18 years, received the Alumni Citation for Professional Achievement, while Harriett Hadley Clark ’62, a retired naturalist with Cincinnati Nature Center, and Doris Booher Nell ’62, a retired English literature and composition teacher, received citations for Distinguished Contributions to Education.
Jane Young Engle ’72 was this year’s recipient of the John Frazier Award for Distinguished Volunteer Service.
Jim Reynolds, who was named the College’s new president in February, mentioned the College would end the fiscal year with its 17th consecutive balanced budget and an endowment that has regained the value it had prior to the economic crisis in 2008.
“The College continues to live its purpose and mission by providing students with a transforming experience steeped in values and ethics — just like what you experienced when you were students here,” he said.
Reynolds cited the transforming experience enjoyed by two members of the Class of 2012.
Rachel Kent, a summa cum laude graduate, became passionate about peace and social justice while studying at WC and will spend the next year engaged in an internship with the Quaker lobbying organization, Friends National Committee on Legislation in Washington DC.
Nick Elwert, who came to WC as a transfer student, graduated magna cum laude and will attend medical school at Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee.
Finally, Leslie Wallace ’05 passed the gavel for the Alumni Council presidency to Chris Case ’93.