More than 800 alumni and friends returned to campus on Oct. 29-30 to reminisce with old friends and reconnect with USC at Reunion Weekend 2010.
Sponsored by the USC Alumni Association, the two-day celebration coincided with Homecoming and welcomed three generations of alumni home to USC: the Class of 1960 for its 50-Year Reunion; the Class of 1985 for its 25-Year Reunion; and the Class of 2000 for the reestablished 10-Year Reunion.
Graduates from the classes of 2001-2010 also returned to campus for a young alumni tailgate before the Oct. 30 game.
The Class of 1960 opened the weekend with its 50th reunion luncheon in the Ronald Tutor Campus Center’s Trojan Ballroom.
Following a welcome by Alumni Association CEO Scott M. Mory, 50-Year Reunion Committee co-chairs Barbara Myers Cotler ’60 and John Hubanks ’60 led their classmates on a spin down memory lane, to the days when Trojans played good-natured pranks on the UCLA campus during rivalry week.
Special guest Art Bartner regaled the crowd with an overview of his 40-year career leading the Spirit of Troy. He also thanked the Class of 1960 for its steadfast support of the university’s band program.
Former student body president and current class legacy chair Wally Karabian ’60 informed his classmates that their generous reunion giving will ensure the Trojan Marching Band’s continued success.
Reunion Weekend programming kicked into high gear Friday afternoon. While some attendees toured the campus, others returned to the classroom for lectures on Duke Ellington and the 21st century communications revolution.
Patrick Auerbach, executive director of alumni relations, introduced the mid-career panel “It’s Been a Great Ride So Far … but What’s Next?,” featuring alumni from a variety of fields, including executive placement, sharing their strategies and advice for creating new professional opportunities.
Mory moderated the university presentation, “USC Today, Tomorrow and in the Future,” with three deans: James Ellis of the USC Marshall School of Business, Karen Symms Gallagher of the USC Rossier School of Education and Howard Gillman of USC College.
At sunset, members of the Class of 1985 gathered for a special “rededication ceremony” of a long-lost piece of USC history: a plaque commemorating the class’s original senior class gift of Senior Park.
Nearly two decades after its displacement, the plaque has been restored to its rightful place — a plinth on the north lawn of Leavey Library — thanks to the tireless efforts of the Class of 1985 Legacy co-chairs Steve Leland ’85 and Michael Reilly ’85.
The celebration continued at the Ronald Tutor Campus Center, where the Class of 1960 held a cocktail party at Moreton Fig.
In the Trojan Ballroom, a deejay evoked the era of Madonna, Miami Vice and new wave, spinning classic ‘80s hits at the Class of 1985 25th Reunion Celebration Dinner.
Reunion Committee co-chairs Lisa Goodwin Michael ’85 and Chris Schaller ’85 emceed the dinner, which concluded with a rousing performance by the Spirit of Troy that had many attendees cheering and dancing.
Meanwhile, the party was just getting started for the Class of 2000, which held its “Millennial Mayhem” 10th Reunion Celebration at Town & Gown.
Under the leadership of co-chairs Liana Constantinescu ’00 and Ross Necessary ’00, the 10-Year Reunion Committee transformed the room into a late-’90s era lounge, complete with video games, pool tables and video clips showing millennial pop culture.
With Reunion Weekend attendance up and class-legacy giving currently at $150,000 — up 20 percent from last year — USC’s expanded reunion program fulfilled two alumni association goals: providing alumni of all ages with meaningful opportunities to reconnect with USC and inspiring philanthropic support for current university initiatives.
In the words of Carol C. Fox MS ’62, the 2010-11 president of the USC Alumni Association board of governors, “Reunion Weekend 2010 represented another step forward in our efforts to build a reunion brand which resonates with Trojans of all eras. Our hats are off to the dozens of enthusiastic volunteers from each reunion class who gave generously of their time and energy to make this year’s reunion an across-the-board success. Their dedicated efforts demonstrate the potential for future reunion program growth.”