“Don’t just reminisce. Renew.” As current students leave campus for the summer, alumni fill in their places for one weekend when they come together for class reunions. Approximately 1,000 people come back each summer to celebrate their Lawrence and Milwaukee-Downer experiences. Reunions were originally held during commencement week, but there have been various forms of reunions occurring annually since 1876.
This year, class reunion is happening from June 15 to June 18. The classes of 2011, 2012 and 2013 will be celebrating their fifth cluster reunion while the classes of 1986, 1987 and 1988 will be celebrating their thirtieth cluster reunion. Other reunions that will be celebrated include the tenth reunion for the class of 2007, twenty-fifth for the class of 1992, 40th for the class of 1977, fiftieth for the class of 1967, fifty-fifth for the class of 1962 and the Golden Reunion for Lawrence and Milwaukee-Downer alumni from classes of 1966 and earlier.
A wide variety of events held all weekend will keep the alumni busy. On June 15, there will be a 50-Year Connection. This event started in 2012 to give alumni an opportunity to experience social and intellectual stimulation based on the common ground of a Lawrence and Milwaukee-Downer education. June 16 provides the clusters and classes a chance to meet with one another within their various gatherings. A dinner will be held on the Main Hall Green and after, an alumni recital will be held featuring an array of talented alumni musicians. The alumni will also be given the chance to attend school again by participating in multiple sessions and learn to about a variety of topics, from Lawrence’s history to The Beatles.
June 17 will start off with the Gene Davis Memorial 5K run/walk in memory of Coach Davis. There will also be an opportunity to meet with Lawrence’s president at the Breakfast with Burstein. Next, each of the classes will join in the traditional march to Memorial Chapel for the Reunion Convocation. This convocation recognizes the special contributions made by Lawrentians and Downerites, music by the Alumni Choir, President Burstein’s Convocation address and reunion class gifts and alumni awards. The clusters and classes will take reunion photos and enjoy receptions, dinners and an all-reunion picnic.
The last day of the Reunion weekend, June 18, includes a day trip to Bjorklunden where alumni can revisit or discover the beautiful retreat. There will also be a Multifaith Alumni Prayer Service held that will be filled with prayers, wisdom and music. Alumni can both participate, help shape and lead the service.
Alumni can relive their college years a little bit more by choosing to stay with each other in the dorms on campus. This year, the fifth cluster and tenth reunions can stay in Plantz Hall. The twenty-fifth and thirtieth cluster can stay in Sage. The fortieth, fiftieth, fifty-fifth and Golden Reunions would stay in Hiett. All alumni are welcome to bring family members as well.
The registration deadline for attending the Reunion weekend is June 8. To know the dates of any future reunion, Lawrence’s website has a class reunion calculator that provides the information. Milwaukee-Downer and Lawrence have not only provided opportunities to students current and past, but keep giving each student a place to create memories to remember for the rest of their lives. The Reunion weekend is a chance to relive those memories and to see how both the campus and the lives of former classmates have changed.