Reunion 2015 Reunites Principians from All Walks

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Every two years, Upper School reunions draw several hundred Principians “back to school” in September. Last month was no exception, as a multigenerational mix of alumni gathered for Reunion 2015.

The campus was filled to overflowing with more than 425 visitors, led by the 50th Reunion classes—which had 89 attendees! For one of the 50th Reunioners, it was an especially moving occasion, marking “the first time I’ve been back to Principia since graduating.” Even for those who have returned more frequently or live close enough to visit regularly, the Reunion was the perfect opportunity to share inside jokes with classmates and recall favorite teachers, grueling workouts, and the many moments of intellectual and spiritual growth.

The September 17–20 weekend program included plenty of time for reunioners to mingle with each other—as well as meet and mix with current administrators, faculty, staff, and even students. On Thursday afternoon, 50th Reunioners toured the School facilities, amazed at the changes that have taken place since they were here. The performing arts facilities around Ridgway Auditorium, the technology and media lab in the library, and plans for the newly envisioned makerspace to be known as “The Hub” (in the building that previously housed the Early Childhood program) were of particular interest. In fact, the 50th Reunion gift of just over $107,000 will support the creation of the new media center—part of the reconfiguration of the current performing arts, library, and media lab spaces.

Friday morning, former biology teacher Ted Munnecke (C’57) and former track coach and dean of boys Bill Simon (US’54) delivered a chapel talk to a packed Social Center, drawing many laughs and nods of agreement as they reminisced and inspired their listeners. After the talk, several alumni chose to visit Upper School classes. Other alumni went on special off-campus excursions to Busch Stadium, the Missouri Botanical Garden, or the Principia College campus, where they enjoyed a tour of the Maybeck buildings as well as the Crafton Center and Hay Field House. Kelly Peticolas (C’90), associate director of Alumni, Field Relations, and Annual Giving, remarked that the tour “helped Upper School alums feel connected to the College . . . .”

Saturday’s football game brought the entire Principia community out in force. Following an al fresco barbecue lunch, fans cheered loudly as the Panthers played their way to a 14–2 victory over Missouri Military Academy.

The finale–a dinner for all reunion classes at the Chase Park Plaza—was the weekend’s highlight for many, who danced and chatted well past midnight. As Principal Travis Brantingham (US’94, C’98) observed after the weekend, “It was great catching up with alumni. No matter where their different paths have taken them, each of these Principians was united in the joy of meeting old friends—and making new ones.”