An energized crowd gathered for one of the most interactive events of Reunion weekend: Alums on Parade. The festive event allows returning alumni and alumnae, dressed in orange, green and purple, to show their class spirit by marching with fellow graduates to the tune of a band.
With music ranging from traditional college fight songs to Dixieland favorites, Director of Alumni Relations Jared Weeden '91 led the parade, encouraging alums to cheer and wave their banners. President Mark Gearan and his family marched with enthusiasm, waving to alumni and alumnae onlookers. ‘Bart, Hobart's mascot, roused the crowd’s spirit while a pair of Welsh Corgis tagged along (the dogs – Tucker and Brody – belong to Weeden and Director of Alumna Relations Kathy Killius Regan ’82 respectively). A fire truck from the Geneva Fire Department took up the rear, blasting its horn to the delight of children.
"What a hoot," remarked one parade onlooker as alumni and alumnae marched by her.
Lois London Hutzler ’58, who later in the day was recognized by the William Smith Alumnae Association for her contributions to HWS, travelled from New York City to have fun and connect with old friends. “We had the biggest turnout of all the classes at our 45th Reunion,” she said as they prepared to march. “I think we will again this year!”
“Where else can you see hundreds of alums dressed in their HWS colors, waving banners and showing their spirit?" asked Micheline DeFranco, senior advancement writer at HWS, who organized the marching band and played the clarinet.
The parade was reinstated two years ago by Weeden and Jeremy Cooney ‘04, who was working then as Campaign Leadership Manager. In 2006, Elizabeth "Lib" Eaton White '33, L.H.D.'03, P'70, led the parade and returned this year to join the festivities and celebrate her 75th Reunion.
Following the parade, many alums shared their thoughts on the campus. Alexander Bergo ’78 was pleased to see the changes made since he was a student. “There is such a high quality of students here,” the former squash and lacrosse player remarked. “It’s good to see that the campus is appealing to students both academically and athletically.”
Former roommates William "Bill Lee '88 and Jeffrey Levine '88 shared similar sentiments.
“I like both the familiarity and newness of campus,” said Levine, an honors student who completed a double major in psychology and religious studies.
“I’ve seen classmates for the first time in 20 years, and they don’t look like they’ve aged at all,” Levine joked. “Now I’m starting to feel my age.”