By Carina Sorrentino
As per tradition as the school year reaches its end, the campus community will open its doors from Thursday, May 30 to Sunday, June 2 for the Union alumni to return to their alma mater.
Alumni from all years are invited back and encouraged to bring friends and family to participate in the ongoing festivities.
Special programs are offered for those celebrating their first, fifth, 25th and 50th anniversaries of graduation.
Each year the campus expects around 2,000 visitors for the weekend. Of the most traditional ReUnion programs are the Alumni Parade, Alumni Convocation, fireworks display and the Bon Voyage Brunch. During the parade, each class marches together in their designated costumes around campus.
Alumni Convocation follows, in which the alumni and faculty are presented honors and awards for the year.
The ceremony is concluded with the Senior Handshake, a rite of passage in which the 50th ReUnion class inducts the graduating seniors as new alumni.
As the sun goes down on Saturday night, Union students and alumni gather on Library Plaza for the highly anticipated fireworks display.
Events are put together with the help of Greek life, an array of clubs and teams and the help of the Garnet Society. New to campus this year, the Garnet Society “aims to improve and facilitate communication and involvement between Union’s campus community, past and present.”
Alumni Relations work-study student and Garnet Society member Jenna DiSalvio ‘15 stated, “Alumni relations and the Garnet Society have been preparing for a long time to produce a successful weekend. We’ve been reaching out to all alumni and encouraging them to return for such an exceptional weekend.” Tours of the entire campus are offered to allow the alumni to see what has been altered since their departure. Outside of campus, tours of the Stockade District and Jay Street will be provided in order to highlight the progression made in Schenectady in recent years.
New events such as the International Craft Fair will be hosted by returning Minerva Fellow Shalini Singaravelu ‘12 who will be selling one-of-a-kind items from Africa and donating the proceeds to Project STAR. For the first time, Sigma Delta Tau will be hosting a wine and cheese event on Friday evening.
As a spin on a Union tradition, the 25th ReUnion class of 1988 will be invited to participate in painting the Idol with their classmates and families.
Whether traditional or newly coordinated events, ReUnion weekend strives to give alumni the opportunity to see their campus in full swing and show students the everlasting ties that Union maintains after graduation.