This year’s Reunion & Homecoming offered attendees a wide variety of educational, special interest, athletic, Greek, class, and social events, highlighted by an all-alumni dinner with President Shirley Ann Jackson, a symposium featuring four winners of the National Medal of Science and the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, a thrilling come-from-behind football win, and much more.
The Presidential All-Alumni Dinner, “A University Transformed & Transformative,” held Friday evening in the East Campus Athletic Village, was an opportunity for all Reunion & Homecoming attendees to come together. Entertainment at the reception was provided by a student quartet, The Collar City Combo. As guests entered the dinner, they were serenaded by the student a cappella group The Rensselyrics. Prior to the meal, guests enjoyed a musical interlude from Mary Simoni, dean of the school of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, and students Russell Jones ’17 and John Parin ’18. Dinner was followed by a presentation from President Jackson, and dancing to music provided by the 8th Street Swing Band, a student jazz group, capped off a memorable evening.
The President’s State of the Institute Address and National Medal Laureate Symposium was held on Saturday morning. Titled “Creative Connections, Transformative Innovations,” the symposium featured a panel discussion led by National Medal of Science winner President Jackson with National Medal of Technology and Innovation winners B. Jayant Baliga ’74 (power electronics innovator), Marcian “Ted” Hoff ’58 (inventor of the microprocessor), and Steven J. Sasson ’72 (inventor of the digital camera). All three alumni are members of the Rensselaer Alumni Hall of Fame.
Other major events included the FanFest carnival midway, which featured student performances, an open skate at the Houston Field House, demonstrations, and a food truck food court. The Auto Show, sponsored by Rensselaer Motorsport, showcased collector cars, a demo of this year’s SAE built car, and a 2002 MG Lola EX257 that was raced in the American Le Mans Series, provided by Dyson Racing.
Many affinity gatherings took place on Saturday night, along with a celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Rensselaer Society of Engineers, the kickoff of the yearlong 50th anniversary celebration of the Black Student Alliance, the 10th anniversary of the Dance Team, a celebration of WRPI’s new transmitter, and a ceremony commemorating 75 years of Navy ROTC at Rensselaer, as well as gatherings for several Reunion-year classes.
Athletic teams also hosted events including breakfasts, tailgates, and athletic competitions with current students. The football game vs. Hobart included a special halftime show featuring the induction of the Class of 1966 into the 50 Year Club. A touchdown with just over a minute left to go gave the Engineers a thrilling 17-14 win.
Special interest groups included student groups such as Phalanx, ROTC, Crew, and the Society of Women Engineers. Several departments and schools also hosted open houses for their alumni.
Finally, 21 Greek organizations held a variety of events throughout the weekend, such as barbecues, dinners, and tailgates, which allowed brothers and sisters to reconnect and meet current students.
“Our campus partners are an important part of the team that makes Reunion & Homecoming a success,” said Graig Eastin, vice president for advancement. “We are deeply grateful to schools and departments, athletics, campus group affiliates, our many hard-working volunteers, and to everyone who took the time to simply greet our alumni visitors over the weekend. You helped our guests get the most out of their Reunion & Homecoming experience.”
Next year’s Reunion & Homecoming will be held Oct. 12-15. If your department or group is interested in being involved, contact program director Kaitlyn Lounsbury at email@example.com.