Alumni return to Brandeis for sun-splashed Reunion 2017

Members of the Class of 2012 returned to Brandeis to celebrate their 5th Reunion.

By David E. Nathan

Thirteen classes of Brandeis alumni returned to campus for Reunion 2017, relishing the opportunity to reconnect with each other and the University during a sun-splashed weekend that encouraged attendees not to act their age. 

Hundreds of alumni and their families participated in events both large and small during a nostalgia-filled three days at their alma mater. 

-- View a slideshow of photos from Reunion Weekend.
-- View a slideshow of photos from the Reasons to Return photo booth. 

-- Read about Alumni College.
-- Read about the emotional return to campus of Diane Lowe Bernbaum, '67, P'04.

“A joy of Reunions is not only spending time with old friends, but sitting down to talk with people you may never have known or may have forgotten,” says Diane Bernbaum ’67, P’04, who celebrated her 50th Reunion with about 100 classmates. “We are a community of interesting and thoughtful people.

For Shakira Pierre ’07 and Natalie Johnson ’07, their 10th Reunion represented an opportunity to reflect on their personal growth while they were students.

“It’s always good to come back to Brandeis,” Pierre says. “We came here as teens who thought we knew everything and became real people here.”

“It’s funny to think of the freshman year ‘me’ and the senior year ‘me,’ ” Johnson says. “I grew up so much here.”

Pierre and Johnson organized the Alumni of Color Network’s panel discussion and networking program on Saturday morning, which featured three alumni discussing the important role that networking has played in their career success. The Alumni of Color Network also hosted a dessert reception on Friday night. Both events drew large crowds. 

“Many alumni told me this was the best Reunion they had ever attended and wished they could return next year,” says Patsy Fisher, vice president of alumni relations. “It was a special honor to welcome back the ‘pioneer’ class of 1952 for the University’s first 65th Reunion.”

The 13 Reunion classes – 1952, 1957, 1962, 1967, 1972, 1977, 1982, 1987, 1992, 1997, 2002, 2007 and 2012 – raised more than $3 million to support the University (it’s not too late to make a Reunion gift; gifts received by the end of the fiscal year on June 30 count toward Reunion totals). 

The weekend kicked off with Alumni College, a day-long series of courses designed to provide attendees with a glimpse of the Brandeis classroom experience. Courses ranged from what the classics can teach us about leadership to the role of green chemistry in improving our environment.

Trucks and Tunes returned once again on Friday night, welcoming back alumni with offerings from some of Boston’s finest food trucks served with a side order of live music.

Under bright skies, the Ralph Norman Barbecue took over the Great Lawn on Saturday afternoon. Named for the University’s first photographer, the popular Reunion tradition included not only delectable food but also face painters, caricature artists, Ollie the Owl and more. 

Additionally, the afternoon’s festivities included the Ice Cream Social; tours of the Rose Art Museum; Ollie’s Family Fun; and Kegs and Kickball, followed by a conversation with Brandeis President Ron Liebowitz (pictured below with his wife, Jessica, and Tara Cook-Littman '97). Saturday night offered alumni a chance to reconnect at class dinners. 

A memorial gathering was held on Sunday morning to honor the members of the Reunion classes who have passed away. The weekend concluded with the traditional Farewell Brunch.


Categories: Reunion, Events
Date: June 13, 2017