Arcadia Hosts Alumni Weekend 2018

By Andrea Walls | May 11, 2018

The Arcadia campus came alive with the return of more than 300 Beaver College and Arcadia alumni, family, and friends for Alumni Weekend, May 4 and 5. Guests came from near and far to remember, relive, and reunite with the University community during events and reunions.

The celebratory weekend kicked off with “Our Streets: Demonstrations and Democracy in Global 1968,” an engaging discussion led by faculty panelists Dr. Amy Cox ’01M, director of the International Peace and Conflict Resolution program and assistant professor of Political Science; Dr. Geoff Haywood, associate professor of Historical and Political Studies; and Dr. Peter Siskind, assistant professor and chair of Historical and Political Studies.

Later that morning, alumni toured Grounds for Sculpture, a 42-acre sculpture garden and arboretum in Hamilton, N.J., where they strolled through the park’s enchanting landscape. “Those of us who joined the tour to the sculpture garden loved seeing something so creative and new to us,” said Sue Whitelaw ’63.

The weekend offered alumni one of their first opportunities to meet Arcadia’s 22nd President, Dr. Ajay Nair. President Nair, Mrs. Paayal Nair, and their daughter, Rani, hosted Friday evening’s Welcome Reception.

At Saturday morning’s Champagne Brunch, the University Commons Great Room was filled with smiles as classmates shared memories while being treated to a performance by students from Arcadia’s Theater Department.

President Nair, who had met with the Alumni Association Leadership Council earlier in the morning, delivered a keynote talk at the Alumni Association Annual Meeting, which was streamed live for alumni around the world.

“President Nair was clear on his commitment to bring all constituents closer to the institution and invited alumni to become more involved and to give back in ways that align with their capabilities,” said Trustee Emerita Beverly Goldberg ’53. “He gave me hope and promise for the future.”

At the meeting, Alumni Association President-elect Kerry Ann Costello Leraris ’92, ’94MEd thanked Ellen Templeton ’78, ’85M for her dedicated leadership over the last four years. Templeton, whose term as president of the Alumni Association ends on May 31, celebrated her 40th reunion this year. The Alumni Association Leadership Council elected Leraris as president-elect at its meeting earlier that day. Also elected to officer positions were Karen Rossi Brager ’91 and Celina Gonzalez Alexander ’04, who will both serve as Alumni Association representatives-at-large. Leraris, Brager, and Alexander begin their terms on June 1.

Throughout the afternoon, alumni marveled at the changes to Arcadia’s campus over the years, shared stories, and reminisced at the spots they frequented during their time as students. Other midday activities included a “Grey Towers 120th Anniversary Talk” by David Rowland, president of the Old York Road Historical Society and author of The Philadelphia Area Architecture of Horace Trumbauer, and an ice cream social, where more than 100 alumni and guests enjoyed a frozen treat with members of the Class of 2018.

As the evening commenced, alumni gathered for the Alumni Awards Ceremony to celebrate the achievements of their fellow Knights and to honor their generosity and support of their alma mater. Honorees included:

  • Dr. James P. Capolupo ’76M, the Golden Disc for Distinguished Achievement
  • Heather Mazzanti McKiernan ’07M, the Young Alumni Golden Disc for Distinguished Achievement
  • Merle Arbogast Chorba ’63, the Mary Louise Armstrong Wolf Award
  • Linda Helbig Coceano ’93 and Robert Migliaccio ’13, Class Officer Awards
  • Octavius Blount ’15, the Sankofa Award for Distinguished Achievement presented by the Black Alumni Association
  • Aliyah Abraham ’18, the Student Impact Award.

Trustee Allison Rossett ’68 and Trustee Emerita Madeline Johnson Stein ’68 were each named recipients of the Golden Disc for Meritorious Service. Rossett’s award was presented during the Champagne Brunch earlier in the day, and Stein, who was unable to attend the weekend, will accept her award later this summer.

Among the awards presented for reunion giving, the Class of 1958 received the Ethlyn Selner Mack Bowl for their five-year participation rate of 55.7 percent, and the Class of 1968 received the Bette E. Landman Plate for their five-year reunion giving of $631,115.

The festivities continued at several special receptions around campus. At Grey Towers Castle, more than 70 alumni attended the Golden Reunion Dinner, during which the Class of 1968 joined prior classes to celebrate their 50th reunion. The MBA Alumni Association and the Black Alumni Association hosted special receptions on campus, and an “all classes” reception took place in the Rose Room for alumni from all class years and programs.

The weekend concluded with the return of Knight Market on Saturday evening, with alumni, families, and friends gathering on Haber Green to enjoy cuisine from local food trucks, DJ entertainment, lawn games, and fellowship as the sun set behind campus.

Overall, Alumni Weekend offered a wide variety of opportunities for alumni to reconnect with their fellow Knights, revisit their alma mater, and much more. When Stacey Downey ’88 reflected on the event, she explained that “the weekend’s activities provided a lovely balance of visiting time with classmates, getting to meet the new president, touring the campus, and interactions with current students.”