The Wire @ WPI Online
VOLUME 13, NO. 2     NOVEMBER 2000

Clockwise from top right, Pat Flaherty welcomes alumni and friends; Reunion Bear, the Class of '40 mascot, enjoys the festivities with Olive Kuniholm and Dick Messinger '40; Al Papianou '57 gets into the Reunion spirit with help from the Ragtime Rowdies; alumni proudly parade.


From June 2 to 4, Reunion 2000 brought hundreds of alumni back to campus to cherish the familiar and embrace change. Perhaps the most striking transformation was the "third tower" rising from the heart of the campus -- the long-awaited campus center, under construction at last. The skeleton of steel girders was an inspiring sight, although it did make getting around to receptions and events a bit challenging.

Neither construction detours nor a heavy downpour could deter the revelers who headed over to the Sweet Dreams Café in Higgins House on Friday evening. Those who made the trek were rewarded with a tempting array of European-style pastries, coffee and other libations, and with chamber music by the Classic String Trio of Worcester.

The Class of 1950 celebrated its half-century reunion in style. About 45 members were sworn in to the 50-Year Associates and presented with medallions at Friday night's banquet. With 36.58 percent of the group attending, they also captured the Class of '17 Attendance Cup. Joint 25th and 30th Reunion celebrations were held by the classes of 1975 and 1970. Their banquet featured musical entertainment by Len Pollizotto '70 and his band, "Crisis." These two classes also collaborated on an outstanding hospitality suite that won the annual competition. In an unusual move, the judges (Reunion co-chairs Al Papianou '57 and Charles Stasey '57) awarded a runner-up hospitality prize (a bottle of champagne) to the Class of 1940.

Recipients of this year's Alumni Association awards were honored for their accomplishments and service at the Awards Luncheon on Saturday. Robert Goodfader '60 took the Stephen J. Hebert Trophy in the annual alumni golf tournament at Stow Acres. John Vale '80 won the WPI Rocking Chair raffled off by Tatnuck Bookseller@WPI.

The Alumni Association elected a new slate of officers at its annual meeting on Saturday. President Edward Alton Parrish and Alumni Association President Patricia Graham Flaherty '75 took the opportunity to welcome alumni and to update them on recent happenings. In addition to improvements and renovations to the campus, Parrish stressed the need to prepare WPI students for a changing world. The forward-looking nature of the WPI experience was highlighted in a discussion on WPI's Global Perspective, hosted by Dean of Interdisciplinary and Global Studies Paul W. Davis, and by video presentations that focused on student projects and the diverse opportunities available to students at WPI today.

A Hard Hat Reception was held on Reunion Plaza to celebrate the new construction, and fireworks over the Quad Saturday night commemorated the Year 2000. But some things don't change. The Goat's Head -- WPI's beloved bronze mascot -- put in a special appearance at the Reunion Parade, under heavy guard by members of the Student Alumni Society. Some 50-Year Associates jockeyed for the opportunity to have their picture taken with the goat, just as they might have done more than a half-century ago. Rest assured, tradition still holds sway at WPI.

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Last modified: Dec 12, 2000, 14:26 EST