Some of the happiest alumni in the nation returned to Centre College’s campus recently for Alumni College 2015, where they could relive their Centre Experience and take the classes they always wanted to take.
This year’s college featured the largest class in the event’s history, with 39 alumni attending from the graduating classes of 1954 to 1994.
“Whenever a large group of active and engaged alumni get together, there’s never a dull moment,” Director of Alumni Affairs Megan Milby explains. “With 11 returning students and 28 first-timers, it became very clear to me there were two recurring themes throughout the weekend: lifelong learning and love for Centre.”
Each of the alumni selected four 90-minute classes to attend throughout the weekend. Options included new offerings like “Global Warming” by Professor Emeritus of Physics Marshall Wilt ’64 and Professor Emeritus of History Michael Hamm’s “Whither (Wither?) Russia,” as well as favorites like “Walden in Thoreau’s Cabin” as famously taught by Professor of English Mark Lucas ’75.
The alumni also delighted in local eateries such as Jane Barleycorn’s, owned and run by Mary Robin Spoonamore ’91, and Pasture, the farm to table restaurant in Garrard County owned by the husbands of Rachel McKinley Correll ’01 and Malissa Lenn McAlister ’93.
The “students” also participated in a discussion of the film To Kill a Mockingbird in Vahlkamp Theatre, and they attended a lecture and glass-blowing demonstration by Professor of Art Stephen Rolfe Powell ’74.
It seems that the College achieved its goal—to help the alumni realize what Director of International Programs and Special Assistant to the President Milton Reigelman calls “the exhilaration of being a lifelong learner.”
“Almost every alum went to every session,” Reigelman says. “From a faculty’s viewpoint, it’s utopia: to have every student sitting there totally involved.”
The Alumni College’s graduation ceremony, held on the final day of the program, featured a commencement address from Tony Kurlas ’93 (via mobile text) and a rendition of “Centre Dear” led by Valarie Ziegler ’76, Lisa Swem’79 and Jan Edmiston ’73.
Milby reports that she and Reigelman are “excited to start brainstorming” for the next reincarnation of this annual event.
“Each year, this event has grown dramatically—from 11 to 25 to 39 alumni,” Reigelman explains. “We’re already thinking about next summer.”
pictured above:Director of International Programs and Special Assistant to the President Milton Reigelman with some of the “students” of Alumni College 2015 at Shaker Village in Harrodsburg, Ky.
by Hayley Hoffman ‘16
August 13, 2015