On May 8th and 9th, close to 600 Middlesex alumni and guests gathered on and off campus to celebrate their various class reunions. The span of years was impressive as the Class of 2010 returned for the popular 5th year reunion, and local resident Henry S. Thompson ‘35 joined us on Friday to celebrate his 80th Class Reunion! At 97 years young, Henry posed next to his plaque (a golfer) and fondly recalled his years playing Middlesex football and baseball.
Friday’s on-campus activities began with a festive revue performed by the cast of the school musical “Ragtime”, followed by a 50th Reunion dinner at the Head of School’s home, and a wonderful gathering of our Old Guard (51+ years graduated) in the Dining Hall. One of the highlights of the Old Guard dinner was the performance of the once-again popular Umfundisis. Off campus, there were many other lively receptions for the various classes, including the Class of 1990, who broke the unofficial record for Friday attendance as they managed to gather over 75 people for their special evening!
Saturday always starts bright and early as we try to make sure our returning alumni have a full and enriching day. Lives of deceased classmates were celebrated at the annual Memorial Service in the Chapel, and then attendees were onto a dynamic Alumni Assembly in which some of the details of a very successful capital campaign were presented by outgoing Board of Trustees President Pete Olney ’66 P’00’00. Pete then introduced incoming Board of Trustees President Steve Lari ’90 who announced the impending groundbreaking of the newest dorm, Landry House, scheduled to begin construction this summer. MxAA President Hunter Moorman ’60 then introduced Ned Seligman ’65 (returning to campus from Africa) as the recipient of the Henry Cabot Lodge ’21 Distinguished Alumni Award for his life-long career as a humanitarian. Ned addressed the audience of gathered alumni and implored them to pursue those interests about which they are passionate, “for it is the passion that pushes you to endeavor and achieve.”
The Athletic Hall of Fame welcomed four new members to its ranks. Sam Vokey ’81, Tori Scott ’00, Mollie Mattuchio ’04 and Eric Kester ’04 all received their framed awards and distinctive red blazers with great enthusiasm and gratitude to their teammates and coaches. Current Middlesex athletes were well represented by Student speaker John Schuster’15 who recounted his MX athletic experiences and the lessons learned along the way.
The afternoon weather was glorious, and provided a perfect backdrop for a continuation of indoor and outdoor activities. The highlight however was the Afternoon Jazz and Faculty Tea reception where retiring faculty member Jim Beaton P’98 ‘01 was honored for 35 years of dedicated teaching, coaching and mentoring. As a surprise, it was announced that the Class of 1990 was dedicating the soon-to-be new common room in Clay House in honor of Jim, a fitting tribute to Jim and his wife Carmen for their long tenure as house parents in Clay.
As easy as it would have been to linger in the Bancroft Courtyard, folks managed to make their way back to the Reunion Tent for the last hurrah; an all-inclusive New England Clambake catered by the acclaimed Woodman’s of Essex. As the sun set and the music played, the backdrop of the light-filled campus windows promised to all: your time here was special, and your memories of and from Middlesex will endure for five, ten…even 80 years.