Smiles, hugs, and plenty of good cheer permeated campus as several hundred OWU alumni whose class years end in “2” or “7” came back to their alma mater for Alumni Weekend on May 19-21. While there was ample time for catching up with dear friends, the weekend included a flurry of activities: campus tours, thought-provoking alumni college sessions, special alumni recognition programs, reunion dinners, a music enhanced Blues & Barbecue dinner on the JAYwalk, the traditional Parade of Classes, and the All-Alumni Luncheon featuring campus updates by OWU President Rock Jones. Coordinated by Emily Roudebush, assistant director of alumni relations, Alumni Weekend offers everyone a great reason to travel back to that place they once considered their ‘home away from home’ for several years.
“The weekend offers an ideal setting for people to re-engage with Ohio Wesleyan and connect with classmates,” says Roudebush, adding how exciting it was to welcome alumni back to OWU. Intellectually stimulating alumni college presentations by alumni and OWU faculty members encouraged lively discussions. Dr. James Charlesworth ’62 spoke to a standing-room-only crowd on Friday afternoon about “Secrets of the Dead Sea Scrolls.” Also scheduled that day was a panel discussion including several 1962 graduates—Jim Trexler, Jan Logan, Bob Wright, and Bob Coffman—about how their lives have evolved since their time at OWU. Representing the faculty was zoology professor and ornithology expert Jed Burtt who talked about “The Art and Science of Alexander Wilson: Father of Ornithology. Speech instructor Eric Gnezda ’79 presented his views on “Incivility in the Public Square.” For those alumni and friends who also wanted to applaud noteworthy alumni accomplishments, the Saturday morning Alumni Recognition Ceremony in Gray Chapel was the place to be. Receiving OWU’s most prestigious alumni award—the Distinguished Achievement Citation—were correspondent for CBS National News and “ 60 Minutes,” Byron Pitts ’82, an Emmy Award-winning broadcast journalist, and posthumously, former OWU biology professor and President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Dr. Edwin Grant Conklin (Class of 1885). Those recognized with alumni awards were: Ellen Simpson ’77, Jack McKinnie ’54, and Richard Gordon ’62.
Alumni and friends gathered on Saturday afternoon to dedicate the new fountain, already a delightful meeting place on the JAYwalk and greatly appreciated gift from the Class of 1962, and the Stuyvesant Hall bell tower, a project spearheaded by the Class of 1957.
View the 2012 Alumni Weekend photo gallery.