Reunion 2012 in Review
The planning began nearly a year ago.
The search for 2s and 7s began in earnest.
Class coordinators started to spread the word by mouth, Facebook, and Twitter and the Development Office at LA began preparing for—Reunion Weekend 2012.
The weather cooperated and on Friday, May 18, a gentle breeze and glorious sunshine ushered back to campus Golden Alumni, from the classes of 1947–1962. They visited classes in the morning and enjoyed a luncheon at Park House hosted by Interim Head of School Greg Foster, his wife Pati, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees Bruce MacNeil ’70. LA’s choral group, SLACS, opened up the Golden Alumni luncheon with a popular 50’s song, Good Night Sweetheart. “The school is in terrific shape,” said Mr. Foster. “We’ve enjoyed a very productive year, have just completed the first step of the NEASC accreditation process, and are in the midst of actively planning for the future, including building several new faculty homes, for which the construction is already underway.”
**Reunion pictures here**
The Golden Alumni spent the afternoon touring campus and visiting the school’s archival display at the Jeffers’ Heritage Center. The Class of ‘62 planted a tree in honor of their 50th reunion, accompanied by Rob Moore, Richmond and Edi Baker and George Peabody. Many of them reconnected and enjoyed an afternoon at leisure at Park House, catching up on their lives and reminiscing about their LA experience.
By mid-afternoon Friday, the doors to the Schoolhouse were thrown open to all alumni from classes ending in 2s or 7s to register for Reunion Weekend. A steady stream of LA alumni made their way into the Schoolhouse and then spent the afternoon gathering on the Quad, attending athletic events, and visiting the dorms and school buildings, both old and new. Our Friday night reception with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, including the Spring Spartan Spirit signature drink, took place on the McDonald Library Terrace overlooking the stunning views of Gibbet Hill. The mood was set with good time rock ’n’ roll music, courtesy of Chris and the Boomers, featuring LA’s own Peter “Haz” Hazzard.
Saturday morning began with an informal gathering in the head of school’s office for a discussion about the state of the school. By 10:00 a.m., a group of 30 hardy LA alumni, faculty, former faculty, family, and friends gathered near Grant Rink, ready to run or walk in the Tom Warner ’75 Memorial 5K.
At the Alumni Faculty Awards Luncheon, our master of ceremonies, Rob Moore, recognized faculty with over 20 years of service to LA as well as those legendary retired faculty who returned to reconnect with visiting alumni. This year, Jesika Jeune Clerge ’03 presented the Faculty Appreciation Award (voted on by alumni) to Laura Moore for her 29 years of devoted service to LA and her students. Alumni Judy Martin Cyr ’82, Catie Floyd McMenamin ’97, and Rick Tyson ’87 were also honored with the Amos Lawrence Awards for their alumni participation and years of volunteer service to LA. Rob Moore recognized our three attending Heads of School, former Headmaster Ben Williams, current Interim Head of School Greg Foster, and incoming Head of School Dan Scheibe. Among the attendees were T.J. Hegarty ’70 and his father, Joe Hegarty ’38, who, at 93, represented the oldest alumni attending the festivities.
Immediately following lunch, approximately 40 alumni and past and current faculty gathered in the Recital Hall to participate in the interactive “From Suits to Skirts” presentation, which chronicled 40 years of women at LA. The presentation was facilitated by Sandy Sweeney Gallo ‘75 and included panel discussions from alumni over the past 4 decades along with Dick Jeffers, Joe Sheppard, Laura Moore, Ben Williams, David Smith, Donna Mastrangelo, Mary Mitchell, Tanya Sheppard, and Sue McKenna. Geoff Cronin ’72 described the event as, “A spirited interactive reflection on the return of girls in our senior year, making Lawrence coeducational for the first time since 1898…especially venturesome during turbulent social times, and a true credit to our young headmaster (Ben Williams), the faculty, and the whippersnappers who had to ease up on the whips and snaps.”
Melissa Gray Romac ’74 summed up her Saturday at LA, “I had a great time at Reunion seeing classmates and teachers. The Tom Warner run was very meaningful, especially with my daughter motivating me along the way, and the ‘Suits to Skirts’ presentation was especially poignant.”
Later in the afternoon, the Black Box Theater played host to the Alumni Dance Performance featuring incredibly talented alumni dancers, Amanda Doyle-Bouvier ’98, Tony Guglietti ’94, Daniela Borgialli ’86, and Clarissa Fadiman Eaton ’86, entertaining alumni with such dances as ballet, modern, and Argentine tango. Meanwhile, on the playing fields, alumni gathered at Saturday baseball and lacrosse games and tennis matches against Noble and Greenough School. At the JV baseball game, one of the oldest returning alumni, “Dizzy” Dean Ellis ’42, threw one of the first pitches. Many alumni also joined Rob Moore, Dick Gagné, and other past faculty at the Remembrance Garden in moments of silence and reflection as they remembered those alumni, staff, and faculty who have passed away this year.
On Saturday afternoon, jazzy musical sounds from LA’s Cornelius Griffith ’14 and his teacher, Steve Peisch, summoned guests to cocktails on the Park House lawn. Next, guests gathered on the Alumni Quad and Elm Tree lawn for a bluegrass barbeque and bonfire under a Camelot-style tent, featuring music by Jimmy Ryan and Hayride. In between class photos, shrimp on the barbie, and s’mores, Interim Director of Development Chris Margraf livened up the group with fun awards, celebrating those alumni from furthest away, those classes with the most attendance, and those classes who have exceeded expectations with greatest participation and generous donations to the Alumni Fund. “Saturday night was a perfect ending to a glorious Reunion Weekend,” said Director of Alumni Relations Sandy Sweeney Gallo ’75, “where approximately 215 alumni, family members, and friends gathered for various events along with current and past faculty. Alumni come back to Reunion to revisit the campus, to remember the stories of their days here, to reminisce with classmates, to thank a past teacher, and to reconnect with the LA of today. It is as if those youthful student faces from their LA days are just below the surface of the men and women they have become today.”
Reggie Sledge ’72 celebrated his 40threunion with 16 other classmates. His class had a unique experience at LA, crossing the lines from the last years of all boys to the first year of coed LA. “I had a wonderful time and a great experience attending the LA Reunion,” said Reggie who, along with Pete Hazzard and Chris Margraf, led us all in the school song. “In fact, it was a life-changing experience.” LA looks forward to seeing Reggie and all the other classes of 2s and 7s in another 5 years, if not sooner.