The University of Mary Washington will host hundreds of alumni during Reunion Weekend, today through Sunday, June 2.
The three-day affair invites Eagles – who graduated over the span of seven decades – back to the nest for a weekend filled with learning opportunities, art exhibits, class photos, food, fun and, most importantly, the chance to catch up with old friends.
“We are so excited to welcome our alumni to the Mary Washington campus. The classes of 1949 through 2019 will participate in more than 60 events, including faculty lectures, tours, class gatherings, parties, a Virginia wine and beer tasting, children’s games and much more,” said Executive Director of Alumni Relations Mark Thaden ’02. The class of 1969 – celebrating its 50th reunion this year – has a record number of 100-plus alums returning to UMW, representing more than a third of the entire class.
More than 800 alumni and their friends and family are expected to stroll along Campus Walk – and down Memory Lane – touring the Jepson Science Center and Willard Hall renovations, perusing UMW’s museums and art galleries, making new memories at the recently restored Heslep Amphitheatre and exploring downtown Fredericksburg and all of its charms, including a trolley ride to Carl’s Ice Cream.
Academic departments will host open houses, and the ever-popular Alumni College sessions will give guests the opportunity to gather once again in their old classrooms and discover fascinating new facts about their alma mater, as well as exciting plans for future generations of UMW students. Class topics include the presidency in the internet age, four centuries of Virginia wine and the relationship between Shakespeare and American popular culture.
Class gatherings will be held on Friday night for alumni who graduated in years ending in four and nine, but all are welcome to revisit their glory days at this weekend’s events, which include the reunion picnic on Ball Circle and an all-class party with heavy hors d’oeuvres, live band and full bar.
President Troy Paino and wife Kelly will host a welcome reception with live music on the Brompton lawn on Friday night. Paino will also present a university update and alumni awards on Saturday afternoon in Dodd Auditorium.
Rounding out the weekend are book signings with faculty and alumni authors, a pop-up exhibit and history harvest of UMW artifacts, a Spirit Rock decorating station and a children’s playtime with a moon bounce, face painting and other activities. A special reception for the Classics, Philosophy and Religion department – celebrating its 40th anniversary this year – and a reunion for the Campus Christian Community will also be held.
“Nearly 60 student, alumni and staff volunteers throughout the weekend make this exciting event come together,” said Thaden, whose team has been working tirelessly to ensure that alumni leave with even more Mary Washington memories. “It’s a special time for everyone to re-connect with UMW.”