Reunion Weekend to return this summer

Reunion Weekend is a longstanding tradition at Allegheny that brings together alumni and community members. However, the last two reunion weekends were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Reunion Weekend will return this year over June 2-5.
Director of Alumni Relations Sally Barrett, ’92, believes that reunion weekend is among the best events on the college calendar.
“Reunion Weekend is the best and most fun time,” Barrett said. “It is a time where everyone gathers together and rejoices in their unique memories of Allegheny.”
Barret explained that reunion weekend consists of six landmark reunions.
“We celebrate the 5th, 10th, 25th, 30th, 40th and 50th reunion classes each year,” Barret said. “During a typical reunion year, the six classes spend the whole year planning activities for their reunion.”
Barrett also added that members of each of the landmark classes also fundraise throughout the year to facilitate their reunion plans.
In addition to the landmark reunion classes, this year’s event also reunites graduates of or before the class of 1969, — known as “college torchbearers” — members of the Association of Black Collegians/Association for the Advancement of Black Culture and the alumni, current students and friends of the Allegheny Choirs.
Amanda Harris, ’01, will be chairing the ABC reunion for this reunion weekend.
“Typically, ABC alumni meet every two or three years on reunion weekend,” Harris said. “2020 was supposed to celebrate 50 years of ABC’s existence.”
Harris said that the ABC reunion will be organized on a much smaller scale as the overall event will be sizable.
“Since three years worth of reunion classes are meeting, the event will already be very happening and populated,” Harris said. “(ABC) is hoping to do more low-key events such as meet and greets which will allow members to connect.”
The reunion class for 2020, 2021 and 2022 will be meeting at the reunion weekend year.
Barrett believes that the most significant attraction of reunion weekend is attendees staying on campus.
“Alumni are given the opportunity to stay in the room they occupied as students at Allegheny for the duration of their stay,” Barrett said. “The rooms are allocated on a first come, first served basis based on when someone registers.”
Barrett mentioned that there will be an event planned for every hour during reunion weekend.
“Those who attend will have to pick and choose what they can attend as it won’t be possible to go to every event since there’s so many of them,” Barrett said.
Senior Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Engagement Sara Pineo added that the reunion will offer an event for everyone.
“No matter what it is, someone is interested in learning about or connecting with others over, we plan to have it at reunion weekend,” Pineo said. “For example, if someone wants to learn about sourdough bread, (Christine Scott Nelson, ’73, Endowed Professor of Environmental Science and Sustainability) Eric Pallant will be holding an exhibition.”
Barret noted that other activities such as yoga and tours of Bentley Hall will also be offered over reunion weekend.
Harris believes that reunion weekend is a great way for alumni and the administration to connect and catch up with each other.
“I know that ABC will be holding a meeting with President (Hilary) Link over the reunion weekend,” Harris said.
On April 10, a MyAllegheny announcement asked for student workers for reunion weekend. According to Pineo, this is common practice at the college in relation to the event.
“We’ve always hired student workers for reunion weekend because that’s what the college prefers,” Pineo said. “It’s sort of meaningful in the sense that current students make the arrangements to welcome the alumni that have long before been in their place.”
Student-workers for reunion weekend will be responsible for the logistics of the event, explained Pineo.
“Students will move tables and chairs, help decorate for events and dinners, and even be asked to participate in events,” Pineo said.
Barrett thinks students contribute to the great energy present at reunion weekend.
“Everyone is always very excited about catching up with their friends,” Barrett said. “Having the students there is refreshing and almost promotes a sense of nostalgia.”
Harris agrees with Barrett and believes that reunion weekend is also a time of reflection.
“It’s such a special experience to return together as a group and observe all the changes that have occurred since our time at Allegheny and the things that have remained the same,” Harris said. “It’s really a time of sitting together and reminiscing old memories.”
Pineo noted that students can learn more about reunion weekend and alumni affairs by contacting the alumni affairs office in the Patricia Bush Tippie Alumni Center.
Alumni can register for reunion weekend by filling out an online form available on the Allegheny College website.