Middlesex Reunion 2014
Alumni spanning seven decades returned to Middlesex to celebrate Alumni Weekend 2014 on May 16 and 17. The weekend provided alumni with the opportunity to see old friends and former faculty, as well as experience life at Middlesex in 2014. A great turnout and unexpectedly beautiful weather helped making the weekend a huge success.
On Friday, reunion guests were welcomed on the steps of Eliot Hall. Some of them in pursuit of a senior plaque or two, others content to casually stroll about campus. Soon, the doors to the Chapel opened and all were invited to sit and enjoy the music of the Middlesex Chamber Ensemble which was accompanied by a student led group of singers in a performance of selections from the Baroque opera, “Dido and Aeneas” by Henry Purcell. Attendees were captivated by both the talent of the students and the unusual playing of a harpsichord by Co-Head of the music department Pierson Wetzel. Early evening, classes gathered at various spots in Concord and Boston to kick things off. On campus, the 50th Reunion Class of 1964 gathered at the Head of School’s house for dinner to begin their golden anniversary weekend. In Ware Hall, members of the Old Guard (alumni in classes older than the the 50thReunion) gathered for dinner and a discussion of athletics at Middlesex during their days at school. Topics included the central role each weekend’s football game played in school life each fall, the work that went into keeping the ice surface prepared on Bateman’s Pond, and the beginnings of lacrosse at Middlesex in the 1940s. Athletic Director Joe Lang also gave guests an update on the current athletic program as well.
Torrential rain fell overnight and into early Saturday morning, and it appeared as though many of the on- campus events on Saturday would be washed out. However, as if on cue, the clouds moved out and the sun began to shine as alumni gathered for the Alumni Memorial Service in the Chapel. This was followed by the Alumni Assembly in the Wood Theatre, where Head of School Kathy Giles, Board of Trustees President Pete Olney ’66, and Alumni Association President Hunter Moorman ’60 all updated alumni on the latest happenings at school and amongst alumni. On behalf of the Alumni Association, Hunter presented the Henry Cabot Lodge ’20 Distinguished Alumni Award to Major Jonathan Wilbor ’64. Major Wilbor enjoyed a long and distinguished career in the United States Marine Corps and served two tours of duty in Vietnam in the early 1970s.
The unexpected sunshine allowed the Middlesex Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony to be held outside on the front steps of Eliot Hall. After an extraordinary speech by tri-varsity captain Sarah Tabeek ’14, John Stodghill ’49, Dan Burnes ’64, Chad Gaudet ’04, and Devon Shapiro ’04 were all welcomed into the Hall of Fame.
Following lunch, alumni enjoyed the opportunity to watch current Middlesex teams compete on the athletic fields. Alumni with young children took advantage of the glorious sunshine by taking part in the myriad of children’s activities on the Circle. Other alumni made their way to the gallery in the Wood Theatre to view the spectacular works of alumni artists Perry Burns ’84 and Peter Stone ’74 in this year’s alumni art show. The show was once again expertly curated by Adji Gadson ’90.
As the athletic contests ended and the art show was going strong, alumni gathered in the Bancroft Courtyard for a new and very special addition to the Alumni Weekend schedule. Three faculty stalwarts are retiring at the close of the current school year, and alumni, family and friends gathered to honor their many contributions to the school community of the years. Mark Foster, Nancy Herter, and Ron Banay collectively served Middlesex for over one hundred years and each of them was honored with honorary membership in the Middlesex Alumni Association. The Middlesex Jazz Orchestra, under the direction of faculty member Mark Kross and featuring alumnus Lyell Roeder ’09 on keyboard, provided the crowd with some terrific music.
The weekend culminated, as it always does, with a clambake catered by Woodman’s of Essex under the tent on the Acorn Field. All alumni gather together to celebrate their return to campus and reflect back on what their time at Middlesex meant to them. Many current and former faculty attended, giving their former students a chance to reconnect and update them on their current lives.
It was a fun and festive weekend for all involved and we hope you will mark your calendar for May 8 and 9, 2015 for next year’s Alumni Weekend!