Upcoming Fall Reunions
Draw Alumni from All Classes

Many alumni will add their own traditions to the memorable weekend.

The Northwestern Alumni Association’s 2003 Homecoming and Reunions are packed with activities planned for the reunion classes. But there are also less formal reunions that alumni — whether or not it’s an official reunion year for their class — have made traditions of their own.

Take, for instance, Sara O’Daffer Marberry (C81) and Tammy Malo Ells (WCAS81). Eight years ago the Chi Omega sorority sisters were at the alumni tent during Homecoming, although their class of 1981 wasn’t officially celebrating. The pair have since become closer friends than they were as undergraduates. During Homecoming weekend Marberry and Ells stage their own mini-reunion with their families, including an annual chili cook-off.

“It’s been great,” Marberry says of the renewed friendship and self-made tradition. “We’re at a place in our lives where we have more in common, and our families are getting into the Northwestern spirit, too.”

Like Marberry and Ells, many other alumni aren’t waiting for their class reunion parties to come back to campus and enjoy Homecoming festivities. A more recent graduate, Kimberly Miller (WCAS96), says she continues to develop new Northwestern friendships during Homecoming/Reunion Weekend.

“I’ve forged great relationships with people that I might not have had anything in common with as a student,” Miller says. “You can make Homecoming Weekend whatever you want by connecting with the people and places that are the most important to you.”

Many of the NAA’s 2003 Homecoming and Reunion events, which take place Oct. 24–26, are open to alumni from all classes.

Just as last year, all alumni will be able to spend Friday afternoon touring the Evanston campus, seeing new facilities, visiting their old residence halls, sitting in on a lecture or attending one of the receptions at which the deans of the academic schools will welcome alumni.

On Friday evening the energy level will rise, beginning with the weekend’s biggest party, the all-class Reunion Tent bash under the massive tents on the grounds of the John Evans Alumni Center, and continuing at the Homecoming parade on Sheridan Road.

In this year’s Saturday morning lineup, the NAA is adding practical events like career development and admissions presentations. “Our alumni tell us that their Northwestern connections have played a big part in their job search success,” says Aspasia Apostolakis (GC94), NAA director of career programs and national clubs. “The panel discussion we’re offering during Homecoming/Reunion Weekend lets those coming back get realistic advice from alumni and members of University Career Services, and they’ll also get an introduction to the NAA’s online career resources that can help them throughout their professional lives.”

Also on Saturday morning, alumni whose children or grandchildren are considering Northwestern can learn about the University’s admissions process at a session at Norris University Center.

Of course, Wildcat Alley, the NAA’s tailgate party, and the Wildcats’ Homecoming football game against Wisconsin at 11 a.m. Saturday will attract fans of all ages to Rocky Miller Field and nearby Ryan Field.

That evening, alumni from the classes of 1958, 1963, 1968, 1973, 1978, 1983, 1988, 1993 and 1998 will be holding their individual class parties, some in campus locations such as Charles Deering Library and Patten Gymnasium, and others at Chicago venues.

Prior to the class of 1988’s 15th reunion party Saturday at Le Passage in downtown Chicago, alumni will attend an evening performance at the Lookingglass Theatre, the company that actor David Schwimmer (C88) and other Northwestern alumni co-founded. Alumni who are company members will participate in a post-performance dialogue exclusively with the Northwestern audience.

A number of informal gatherings around Evanston will occur in between the NAA-sponsored events. For example, Ron (C58) and Greta Maerkle (WCAS58) Sims, co-chairs of the 45th reunion, will open their Evanston home to their classmates and the Northwestern friends they’ve made through the years — a tradition that began with their fifth reunion. Usually the highlight of each party is the videotape they show of old movies from their college days.

“We started our mini-reunion by inviting friends from Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Tri Delta,” says Greta Sims. “Over the years the party’s expanded beyond our fraternity and sorority friends and has given us the chance to regenerate many old friendships.”

Michele Hogan

For a complete schedule of 2003 Homecoming and Reunion activities, including cost and registration information about the all-class Reunion Tent bash, visit www.alumni.northwestern.edu/reunions.

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Last updated  Friday, 07-Dec-2007 12:21:44 CST
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