Memories and new beginnings

Sunday, May 5, 2013 by Peter

A few years ago, I was asked by one of our Trustees what it is we are looking for when we select students for our freshman class.  Not wanting to get into a long discussion of specifics, I gave a brief and general response:  we want to admit future alumni.  He liked that answer.

This past weekend marked the alumni weekend for all the undergraduate colleges in Claremont.  Each college about doubles in size over a long weekend.  Parking is insane, but mostly legal.  It was great to see recent and not-so-recent graduates on campus.  Some of the ones who were contributors to the HMC admission effort when they were undergrads came by our office to visit on Friday.  We reminisced about their glory days and made them stay later than intended telling us about their ventures in grad school or industry. Most of them admitted that work or grad school life after Mudd was fairly easy in comparison.

Friday evening, I went to visit my wife. I say visit because she is the Director of Alumni Relations at Pomona College, our alma mater, and she coordinates an astounding 180 different events and activities starting Thursday (big reunion years: 10, 25, 50, 60), then the main events on Friday &  Saturday and Sunday morning.   I basically do not see her from Thursday morning until Sunday afternoon (as I write this, she has just returned, finished).

I am sure HMC’s reunion went well. It was record turnout of about 650.   I saw the In N Out burger truck swarmed by people. I also loaded up my soccer van with half of what might have been 100 bottles of soft drinks for a party that students at Linde dorm were throwing (7 deadly sins  party— I think it will be hard for students at Mudd to seem slothful, though).  To learn more about HMC’s alumni weekend, ask Jason, since I expect he had a wonderful long weekend with many of his favorite people.

I was struck by one of the events at the Pomona reunion:  the parade of classes.  Every reunion group in 5-year increments assembles for a short walk, led by banner carriers, for an awards presentation honoring alumni.  As the classes walked by, some of the current Pomona students stood by to watch and clap for them.  They share many common bonds, but those watching were much more diverse ethnically than the group being paraded into the meeting.  I had a wistful thought that I might have a similar notion some day watching HMC alumni.  Given that we have just enrolled our most diverse class probably ever,  it makes me wonder when that day will come.   I am hopeful.

It was nice to get my first sunburn in a long, long time.



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