Reunion 2016 Gathered Alumni from Near and Far

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More than 525 people attended the College reunion last month, reconnecting with old friends and making new ones. Along with a variety of talks, classes, and entertainment, attendees took advantage of numerous activities, such as golf, tennis, and a 5K Fun Run. The solar car team shared information about their latest car, Ra 9, and their late-July race, the American Solar Challenge. In addition, many alums performed in the Alumni Choir.

President Jonathan Palmer (C’78) shared updates, outlining events and progress on both campuses. And longtime staff members Donna Gibbs, Senior Director of Development and Annual Giving, and Doug Gibbs, Vice President of Finance and Operations, were made honorary members of the Alumni Association. In addition, the David K. Andrews (DKA) Alumni Award was presented to James Rosebush (C’71), former Deputy Assistant to President Ronald Reagan and Chief of Staff to Nancy Reagan. Rosebush also spoke on his recent book True Reagan: What Made Ronald Reagan Great and Why It Matters.

As has become the custom, 50th Reunioners arrived a day early and enjoyed several events just for them, including a lively concert by Principia musicians Dr. Joe Van Riper (C'05) and Darin Pierce playing “dueling pianos.” Later in the weekend, as part of their celebration, the 50th Reunion Classes of 1966 and 1967 presented a special gift to Principia College—just over $541,000! Classmates contributed to multiple projects including the Voney Art Studio renovation, the Institute for the Metaphysics of Physics, and project-centered learning. In addition, the 50th Reunioners, along with a foundational gift from Don (US'64, C'68) and Christina (C'66) Koch, helped launch the new Principia College Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.  

During reunion, international students and program advisors, past and present, gathered to celebrate the lasting legacy of love and support given by Margie Hamlin (US’38), the College’s first International Student Advisor. Many domestic students also joined this global celebration, which highlighted the integral role of international students in campus life. 

By all accounts, the weekend was a hit, especially for alumni who have not returned to campus in recent years. “I had not seen one of my closest friends for over 30 years,” said one reunioner. “I finally got her to come this year, and now she says she’ll come to all of them! We particularly loved dancing in the aisles to The Chicago Experience band. We wondered if they were expecting a stoic group of alums, because that certainly wasn’t us!”