Reunion Report: 1943

By John R. Hess / July / August 2003
June 22nd, 2007
Despite four days of rain and drizzle, no dampened spirits were evident in the sixty-five graduates and others who attended the 60th reunion of the class of ’43. Festivities began Friday with an opening reception at class headquarters and ended with a luncheon on Monday at the Sharpe Refectory. Many activities were packed in between.

Class of ’43 returnees had dinner Friday night at the Sharpe, with some braving the elements to attend Campus Dance. A late-evening “snack” at headquarters concluded the evening.

Saturday has always been an active reunion day, and this year was no exception. The day began with a variety of campus forums, followed by the class lunch and meeting. We knew early on that the weather had eliminated any possibility of having the pops concert on campus that night. So after the class dinner at the Hope Club, many classmates headed to downtown Providence to see the pops at the Providence Performing Arts Center. This was the first time at PPAC for the pops. Harry Connick Jr. delivered a wonderful performance. The pops committee did a masterful job of arranging the seating at the default location.

Traditional events became a big part of Sunday, beginning with an address from President Ruth Simmons, followed by the all-class memorial service at Sayles Hall. Lunch was held in the Leung Gallery, while later in the day a trolley ride around Providence showed off the city’s beautiful architecture. A special WaterFire closed a busy Sunday.

One of the great events of reunion weekend is the Commencement March. A heavy rain greeted this year’s group of alumni, faculty, and graduate marchers on Monday morning. It did not stop those groups, nor did it stop the ’43 contingent as it followed newly elected class president Ruth Webb Thayer behind the 60th reunion banner down the hill to honor the graduating class of 2003. The procession served as a climax to an unforgettable weekend.

John R. Hess

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July / August 2003