More than 300 alumni from the classes of 1943 to 2016 attended Reunion on May 11-13, one of the largest groups ever to assemble for the annual gathering. The Williston Academy class of 1968, celebrating its 50th reunion, drew more than 50 alumni.
Kicking off the official start of the weekend on a beautiful spring day was the Hall of Fame induction ceremony under the tent on the Quad Friday afternoon, at an event that current students attended (see photos here; watch the video of the program here). The honorees, introduced by students, were:
· Jay Grant, longtime athletic trainer and associate athletic director at Williston (read his acceptance speech here)
· Rex Aubrey ’53, a swimming powerhouse (Rex was unable to attend Reunion, and his award was accepted by classmate Neil Schoonmaker ’53)
· Archer Bryant ’68, a three-sport athlete who now coaches ice hockey
· C. Todd Francis ’83, a lacrosse goalie who founded a company that trains players and coaches
· Molly Matthews Conner ’88, an ice hockey phenom who coaches youth lacrosse
· Melissa Bourdon ’03, a top ice hockey goalie who has run the Boston Marathon five times
· 1982-83 Undefeated girls varsity swimming and diving team
Artists from the class of 1968 exhibited their work at the Grubbs Gallery at a reception later that afternoon. On display were pieces by
· Paul Wainwright
· Jim Hollander
· Milton Moore
· Andrew Wernick
· Nelson Emmons
The evening brought more chances to mix and mingle as the class of 1968 held a 50th Reunion dinner on campus and, later, all classes gathered at Abandoned Building Brewery in Eastworks.
On Saturday, alumni had a chance to sit in on classes with students, tee up at the local country club, and tour campus. Many attended the Service of Remembrance, which honored classmates, teachers, and staff who had passed away in the last five years. Charismatic speaker Richard Halpern ’68 addressed a packed room describing his reflections on what he learned at Williston and how those lessons served him in life. Alumni heard an update on the state of the school, including the new dorm at 200 Main Street, and future projects, from Head of School Robert W. Hill III.
Williston Scholars, meanwhile, presented their capstone projects at an event in the Dodge Room. The Williston Scholars program allows students to dive deeply into subject matter they are passionate about. Each trimester, a small cohort pursues interdisciplinary research coursework under the close mentorship and instruction of a Williston Northampton faculty member. In another showcase of Wildcat talent, alumni listened in (and added their own voices) at Williston Sings.
Not to be outdone on the creative front, alumni flocked to the art studio for a Sip and Paint session. Meanwhile, aspiring bartenders attended a packed Mixology class, where a good cocktail was the ultimate goal.
Young professionals busted out their business cards for a networking event as the classes of 2008, and 2013 received advice from members of the class of 1983.
And the evening culminated under the tent as all classes converged for drinks, dinner, and dancing as the Alumni Awards were given out. This year’s recipients:
· Lew Rabinowitz ’53, Founders Award
· James Cain ’68, Distinguished Service Award
· Theodore Babcock ’68, Daniel and Jane Carpenter Award
· Thomas Duffus ’78, Williston Northampton Medal
· Johnae Strong ’08, Alumni Trailblazer Award
Congratulations to the awardees, and many thanks for your contributions to Williston Northampton School. And thank you to all the alumni who returned to campus this May!