Reunions 2009: New Ways to Connect

Jared Lazarus

In another record-breaking Reunions Weekend, nearly 3,900 alumni, family members, and special guests came to campus in April. Despite economic woes, this year's attendance topped last year's numbers, owing, in part, to an overhauled reunions website that encouraged classmates to interact, share photos, and connect with one another well before the weekend got under way.

Another draw was the presentation of the university's inaugural Life Environmental Achievement in the Fine Arts, or LEAF, award, to actor, director, and activist Robert Redford. In a packed Page Auditorium, Redford, who has produced documentary films on topics such as solar power and coal-fired power plants and directed environmentally conscious films such as The Milagro Beanfield War and A River Runs Through It, accepted the award as clips from his movies played. The award is conferred by the Nicholas School of the Environment.

Many alumni across class years also took advantage of expanded and enhanced affinity-group programming and accommodations, leading to far greater participation than in years past. The Class of 1984 shattered a 25th-reunion record, with 410 alumni attending.

As always, the Saturday-night tent party was a hit, complete with a fireworks show and a packed house of alums eating, drinking, and dancing late into the night.

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