2014 Alumni College continues Centre’s tradition of lifelong learning
For two years in a row, Centre College has been ranked number one in the nation for the happiest graduates according to Alumni Factor, so it seems only fitting that Centre alumni are eager to return to their alma mater for a weekend of classes and special events.
The 2014 Alumni College, which takes place July 17-20, will be an opportunity for alumni to reconnect with Centre and take the class they have always wanted. Alumni will choose three of six class offerings taught by an all-star faculty line-up: Larry Matheny (Harlan Professor Emeritus of Government), Eric Mount (Rodes Professor Emeritus of Religion), Charles Vahlkamp (Professor Emeritus of French), Roberta White (Luellen Professor Emerita of English), Mark Lucas ’74 (Jobson Professor of English) and Bruce Johnson (Brown Professor of Economics).
Megan Haake Milby ’03, director of alumni affairs, says that Centre hosts an Alumni College for those who consider themselves lifelong learners.
“We want to encourage a life of learning and leadership and offer another unique experience for them at Centre,” explains Milby.
The first standalone Alumni College took place last summer with a glassblowing course led by Stephen Rolfe Powell ’74, Stodghill Professor of Art and director of the glassblowing program. Inspired by last year’s success, the upcoming College has been expanded in hopes to reach more alumni.
Milby says the goal for this year’s College is to give alumni the opportunity to take classes from current and retired faculty members they may have missed during their time at Centre, or to take one more class with a favorite.
“We hope by offering six course selections—from religion, to Walden, to NCAA, to Casablanca—alumni will have a wide range of classes from which to choose,” says Milby.
In addition to a plethora of stimulating course offerings, participants will also take part in a number of special activities around town. Powell will give a glassblowing demonstration and lecture at his studio in Danville, and alumni will also visit Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill and have lunch at V the Market.
On the evening of Friday, July 18, the College will host a special event for alumni, parents and friends of Centre to celebrate the world premiere of Pioneer Playhouse’s “The Wonder Team,” a new play that tells the story of Centre’s historic C6-H0 football win in 1921 over Harvard University. The event begins with a panel discussion with playwright Robby Henson, historian and author Dr. Robert W. Robertson ’63 and cast member Buck Rogers ’68, from 4 to 5 p.m. in Weisiger Theatre on Centre’s campus. A picnic dinner and pep rally will take place at 7 p.m. at the Pioneer Playhouse, followed by a performance of “The Wonder Team” at 8:30 p.m.
Milton Reigelman, director of international programs and special assistant to the president, first conceived the idea of the current Alumni College, and he says returning alumni may be surprised and delighted by several changes that have recently occurred on campus and in the community.
“The ‘dry’ Danville they knew so well now has a wine shop and bar, V the Market, founded and run by Mary Robin Spoonamore ’90, in the old Freddie’s just off campus,” explains Reigelman. “Alumni will have the same lunch there that Spoonamore served to Yo-Yo Ma and his Silk Road ensemble last year.”
Reigelman says alums are also sure to be impressed with their new living quarters.
“Our guests will stay in the A. Eugene Brockman Residential Commons—a far cry indeed from the dorms they may remember, that had the same layout as the cells on a prison hall,” he jokes.
Reigelman also believes alumni will appreciate the changes that have occurred at Shaker Village in the last few years under the leadership of chairwoman Elizabeth Kennan Burns, a member of Centre’s Board of Trustees.
Ultimately, the Alumni College will be a continuation of Centre’s commitment to lifelong learning, as well as a chance for alumni to revisit a place so near to their hearts.
“Centre alumni always love coming back to campus,” says Milby. “Not only do they love seeing how the campus has flourished since their last visit, it’s also a way for them to reminisce about what many refer to as their best years.”
Tickets for “The Wonder Team” special event on July 18 are $20 per person and are available through Centre’s Alumni Office. For more information or to register for this event, please call 859.238.5500.
by Caitlan Cole