WPI Wire, Vol. 10, No. 1 - Spring 1996

Alumni Chronicle

Regional Club Roundup

by Christopher J. Boffoli and Jennifer L. Thibeault

Boston toasts the College Club; Worcester paints the Woodland School and invites Santa to brunch


In November, members of the Worcester County Alumni Club assembled in the great hall of Higgins House to sample some Wachusett Brewing Co. ales, along with sausage, sauerkraut, baked beans, hot pretzels and a variety of mustards. Wachusett founders Kevin Buckler '89, Ned LaFortune '90 and Peter Quinn '89 were on hand to talk about their company brews.

About 50 alumni, friends and staff gathered at the College Club in Boston on Oct. 26. A wine and hors d'oeuvres reception was followed by a presentation by Margaret F. Riley, Gordon Library's former coordinator of networked resources, who gave an on-line demonstration of the World Wide Web.

Barry B. Sylvia '91, chair of the Boston Regional Club, and James P. Atkinson '69 coordinated the event with help from the Alumni Office. Several volunteers responded to Sylvia's request for support for a permanent Boston Club Committee. The event attract ed alumni from various classes - from R. Kingman Webster '54 to Jay Lamb '95. A few noted that it was the first event they had attended since graduation and many expressed interest in attending future Boston-area events.

The College Club, on Commonwealth Avenue, is located in a 19th-century brownstone on the block adjacent to the Public Garden between Arlington and Berkeley streets. Several New England colleges, including WPI, pay yearly membership fees to use the functio n space; the club also has a restaurant and there are guestrooms for overnight stays. WPI alumni are welcome to stay at the club when they visit Boston. Rates are very reasonable. Arrangements may be made through the Alumni Office.

On Nov. 18, Worcester-area alumni and members of the Student Alumni Society gathered for their annual Community Service Workday. Members of the Worcester Club Steering Committee decided this year to move the location from the Thorndyke Road School, where volunteers had worked the last couple of years, to the Woodland Street School, where they lent a hand with a much-delayed painting project. By noon, an entire side of the school had had its windows decorated with colorful stars, balloons and lettering. Th e stenciled windows complement the school's current focus on learning about different world cultures.

The annual Worcester County Alumni Club Holiday Brunch drew some 90 alumni and guests to Higgins House on Dec. 3. Guests dined in the Great Hall, the library and the sunporch while WPI groundskeeper Tom Bullens played Christmas songs on the piano. Simple Harmonic Motion also stopped by to sing Christmas carols a cappella. Santa Claus came in from the North Pole via Stratton Hall - leaving the office of Assistant Director of Human Resources David Everitt suspiciously vacant. While Santa talked with some of the younger guests, taking careful note of who had been naughty or nice, President Parrish dropped by to chat with their parents. With fireplaces blazing on this chilly but sunny winter day, the brunch was a welcome respite for the alumni who took time f rom their busy holiday schedules to relax and enjoy the company of their classmates and families.

The Worcester club's spring events included an after-work Weekend Warm-up with a cash bar and games at Jillian's on Grove Street on April 11, and a Spring Jubilee Brunch at Higgins House on May 5.

Alumni and guests are invited to make reservations now for the Worcester and Western Mass. alumni clubs' annual gathering at Tanglewood on Sunday, July 21. This year's concert will feature the Boston Symphony Orchestra, conducted by James Conlon. The prog ram includes works by Mozart, Beethoven and Martinu, with a special appearance by pianist Leif Ove Andsnes.

The $25 per person cost includes a box lunch and transportation from Worcester. All seats are in the Koussevitzky Music Shed. Call the Alumni Office to reserve tickets.

"Traditions" trivia competition scores big with students

Four students showed their mastery of WPI history in a trivia contest sponsored by Newspeak, the student newspaper.

Matthew Denicourt '99 took first place, followed by Deborah Foley '97, Matthew Dowling '97 and Michelle Vadeboncoeur '98.

Questions were based on a series of 10 articles written by Associate Editor Donna Emma Edzards '96. Each installment focused on an aspect of WPI history and traditions. Topics included John Boynton and Ichabod Washburn, the Freshman-Sophomore Rivalry, the "Camaraderie of Calculus," Winter Carnival, and WPI during the war years.

"WPI has a truly unique history that most students do not know," says Edzards. "I wanted to try to inform others as I learned myself. Also, I thought that it might inspire a bond of kinship between students, faculty and staff. Researching and writing this series has given me a deep appreciation for all this campus has offered me and others."

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