Alumni celebrate Reunions 2012
Some 20,000 Princeton University alumni, family and friends began arriving on campus Thursday, May 31, to reconnect with classmates, enjoy performances by student groups, attend panel discussions and show off their most colorful orange and black fashions during Reunions 2012.
Carola Ibanez, a member of the Class of 2002, traveled from Spain with her husband, Sergio de la Calle, and young daughter, Isabel, to attend the celebration.
"I was here for my 5th Reunion, now I'm back for my 10th and we plan to be here for the 15th," Ibanez said. "This is my time to really cherish Princeton. Everything I didn't have a chance to do while I was a student here, I can do now."
Also among this year's attendees was Colleen Holmes, a member of the Class of 1981, who said it was her first visit to campus since graduating. Her reason for returning: the inaugural reunion of the eXpressions Dance Company, which she founded as an undergraduate. Holmes quickly fell back into place as she joined current and former eXpressions dancers at a workout session in the Wilson College Dance Studio on Thursday.
By Friday afternoon, the University was abounding with alumni laughing, snapping photos together and enjoying events across campus. As part of its 25th Reunion, the Class of 1987 sponsored a large outdoor yoga class on Poe Field. People young and old spread orange mats across the grass, stretching, bending and twisting their bodies.
Earlier in the day, actress and author Brooke Shields, of the Class of 1987, reflected on her undergraduate days during the discussion "Tigers in the Arts," which was one of the many alumni-faculty forums scheduled throughout the weekend.
"I came in already being an artist, but I was never able to fully own being an artist until I spent my four years here as a French literature major," Shields said, referring to her experience as a child actress before attending Princeton.
This year's event marks the 100th anniversary of class jackets, which are featured in an exhibit in the Frist Campus Center. The traditional jackets, designed by seniors when they graduate and worn by alumni during Reunions, began with denim jackets sported by some seniors from the Class of 1912.
Other highlights of Reunions 2012, which runs through Sunday, June 3, include: the annual P-rade throughout campus beginning at 2 p.m. Saturday; department open houses during the day Friday and Saturday; theatrical and musical shows by the Princeton University Players, Theatre Intime, Triangle Club and other student organizations throughout the weekend; and evening receptions and student/alumni arch sings Friday and Saturday.
The festivities will light up the sky on Saturday with the annual fireworks scheduled for 9:15 p.m. on Finney and Campbell fields. A lawn concert by the University Orchestra will precede the display at 8 p.m. In the event of inclement weather, Reunions attendees may call 609-258-8100 for a fireworks update.
All alumni and University representatives again will be required to have wristbands for entry to all Reunions headquarters sites for evening entertainment as well as alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Wristbands are not required for attending lectures or performances, watching the P-rade, or attending the concert and fireworks, all of which are open to alumni, friends and the campus community.
Faculty and staff members may register for a wristband for themselves and one additional guest. The wristbands are not transferable, and applicants and guests must be 21 or older. The cost for a wristband is $40 per person. Online registration for wristbands closed earlier this week, though individuals may still register in person in the Frist Campus Center, Room 309, from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with payment accepted in cash or check only. A University ID, plus a valid driver's license with photo or valid passport, is required for pickup.
Attendees can access event schedules and other key content via the Reunions Mobile website. For more information on Reunions activities, visit the Reunions 2012 website, call 609-258-1900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.