Alumni Weekend 2012
June 06, 2012
When the final notes of the Tufts fight song faded from Symphony Hall on Thursday, May 17, it was time for alumni to head back to the Hill to celebrate their reunions in style.
Miss Tufts Night at Pops? Check out the recap!
This year’s Alumni Weekend kicked off with the Brown and Ballouza: Dance of the Decades in the Gantcher Center, which was “truly transformed for the event,” says attendee Lloyd Charlton, A52. Charlton and his wife, Terry, have attended their fair share of Alumni Weekends, and, says Terry, “they just keep getting better.”
Hosted by some very special guests (think Johnny Carson and Jack Nicholson), the Brown and Ballouza put a new spin on the all-class reunion party. Hundreds of alumni cut a rug to their favorite tunes, from live big band classics to spun Motown mixes, jives, and Jackson grooves. Every hour was introduced by a performance from a student dance group—Ballroom, Bhangra, Irish Step Dancing, and BlackOut—that ushered in a new decade of music until the final New Year’s Celebration that welcomed the 2000’s.
Miss the all-class reunion? Check out the photos!
On Saturday morning, Jumbo couples met to share their stories of Tufts romance at a Jumbo Love breakfast. Then the annual Cavalcade of Classes marched from the library roof to the Rez Quad, announcing the start of the picnic festivities. Little Jumbos enjoyed the Kids’ Corner while alumni headed to the wine tasting tent and sundae stations or made a care package for troops overseas, courtesy of ACT Boston.
Jackson Class of 1962 alumnae prepare for the Cavalcade of Classes
Super Seminars also sprinkled the weekend: Dr. John Saunders, D52, spoke of life after the holocaust; astronaut and Captain Rick Hauck, A62, talked about flying high with NASA; and four Jackson alumnae shared their stories of women in the workforce with more than 100 reunioners.
"How many women in this room took a job in teaching after graduation?" Nancy Agress Brodsky, J62, asked her fellow alumnae in the audience. Nearly half raised their hands. As moderator Joyce Shushan Barsam, J62, AG89, J89P, A91P, A94P, AG91P, Trustee Emerita of Tufts University and national leader of the Armenian-American community, pointed out, "When we graduated, there weren't many options. You were either a teacher, a secretary, or a nurse." But the speakers showed that as time progressed, so did they. Brodsky's speech, "How Resigning from a Teaching Job Led to a Harvard Ph.D." spoke volumes with the crowd, as did those of the other speakers: Dorothy Murphy Meletzke, J62, "Dealing with the 'Skirt Line' in a Male-Dominated Military Organization"; Nancy Elliott Blethen, J62, "How One Lone Jackson Grad Beat over 100 Male Applicants for a Coveted Executive Position"; and Linda Malm, "From Playboy Bunny to College Dean."
Malm's candid confessions of love lost, housewife revolt, and termination from the Playboy Club for refusing to betray her integrity and marriage vows resonated with many, as did each speaker's assurance that with perseverance and hard work, they have created careers they love by their own dictates as proud Jackson alumnae. When an attendee raised the closing question, "How many women in this room took a job in teaching and then moved on to a different career?" using teaching as a stepping stone, nearly all of those who had originally raised their hands did so again. And as one of the many male alumni in the crowd pointed out, "We all knew you Jackson girls were smarter than we were. I've been sitting with a Summa Cum Laude since Tufts and I couldn't be prouder."
The Class of 1997 reunited at old haunt The Burren in Davis Square.
The Hill was alight with music and reunion dinners that evening as the Classes of ’62, ’67, ’72, ’77, ’82, and ’87 went their separate ways to celebrate—the Jackson Jills, Amalgamates, and Beelzebubs all making appearances throughout the night. The Classes of ’92 and ’97 took over Catalyst in Kendall Square and The Burren in Davis, respectively, for a pint and reconnecting.
2012 Tufts Alumni Senior Awards winner Tomas Garcia, A12, reflects on the past four years
But as the bells from Goddard Chapel tolled 11, alumni and students alike came back, candles in hand, to the place where it all began, for the tradition that outstrips all others. The opening strains of “Dear Alma Mater,” welcomed the Class of 2012 to the fold, along with Tufts’ 13th president, Anthony Monaco, and alumni were once again reminded that no matter how far from the Hill we travel, there is an eternal “pax et lux” that binds us all and, every few years, calls us home.
Miss the candlelight ceremony? Check out the photos!