Fine cuisine, good company bring alumni together
By Jennifer Thibeault
Spring and summer have been busy seasons for WPI's regional alumni clubs. New England events varied from an elegant cocktail reception in downtown Boston to a casual and carefree summer picnic at Wickham Park in Hartford. Alumni enjoyed the cultural activities and the fine cuisine and, as always, the opportunity to catch up with classmates and friends.
On June 14, the Boston Alumni Club sponsored a Summer Sunset Reception in the Bay Tower Room to welcome President Edward A. Parrish and his wife, Shirley. This was the first of several such events planned around the country to introduce the new president to alumni in the months surrounding his inauguration.
More than 80 alumni enjoyed the Bay Tower's famous hors d'oeuvres and carvings and view of Boston Harbor and the financial district while mingling with old and new friends. The president spoke about WPI's Class of 2000 and emphasized the importance of the Plan and global project centers in the preparation of WPI graduates. The setting was beautiful and the event was a lovely start to a summer weekend.
Forty alumni enjoyed first-rate entertainment at the Hartford Stage Company's production of Blues for an Alabama Sky by Pearl Cleage. The show, starring Phylicia Rashad of The Cosby Show, was a trip back in time to the Harlem Renaissance, complete with romance, betrayal and show-biz glamour. Prior to the show, several members of the group met at Brown Thompson & Company, a nearby restaurant, where they enjoyed both the cuisine and each others' company.
At the Comedy Connection in Boston's Faneuil Hall, several young alumni were mesmerized by hypnotist Frank Santos. The group met in the club before the show for cocktails and munchies from Zuma's Tex-Mex Cafe. While no one from the WPI group was brave enough to volunteer to take part in the show, everyone enjoyed Santos' outrageous humor and his wild antics with the hypnotized audience members on stage.
More than 40 Worcester alumni came to Higgins House in May to take part in a Spring Jubilee Brunch. The lavish buffet included Belgian waffles with toppings and omelettes prepared by a chef. After brunch, most folks took a few minutes to explore the blooming gardens surrounding Higgins House. The picture-perfect spring day was accentuated by the melodic strains of the WPI String Ensemble, under the direction of Douglas Weeks, administrator of applied music.
As the summer progressed, alumni enjoyed the great outdoors. The Hartford Alumni Club, in conjunction with the Admissions and Alumni offices, sponsored its annual picnic to welcome incoming freshmen and their families. Everyone enjoyed the barbeque and the outdoor activities at the Pavilion at Wickham Park.
On July 21, the Worcester County Alumni Club and Western Massachusetts alumni traveled to Tanglewood, summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, for a Sunday afternoon performance and gourmet picnic. The program, under the baton of Conductor James Conlon, included works by Martinu, Beethoven and Mozart.
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