Alumni Grateful for Return of Reunion Weekend to May

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  • Category: Campus News

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY, Pa. – For the first time in five years, Lincoln University held the annual alumni Reunion Weekend in May to coincide with Commencement. Hundreds of Lincoln University alumni returned to campus from May 4 through May 6 to share old memories and create new ones.

“I heard over and over again how much our alumni appreciated Dr. Allen bringing Reunion Weekend back to May,” said Deborah Johnson, director of Alumni Relations.

The Class of 1978 gathers for a photo wearing their “The mighty and great Class of 1978” t-shirts in front of the Thurgood Marshall Living Learning Center on Saturday, May 5, 2018.

Dot Smallwood ’78, of Woodstock, Maryland, joined more than 60 members of her class in celebrating their 40th reunion.

“We always say when we come back to the campus that it’s magical. There’s nothing like coming back and forgetting everything else that is going on outside of these 400 acres.”

Smallwood, who has been president of the Baltimore Metro Chapter of the Alumni Association of Lincoln University since 2016, said she often returns to campus but this year was different because her classmates were able to stay together on campus in Apartment Style Living, complete with a hospitality suite with food, personal photos, and memorabilia.

“Five years ago our class had our 35th reunion off campus, so by having it on campus this year we were able to experience the change with everyone having the convenience of staying in the residence halls. We were all in the same dorm, all on the same floor, all hung out on Saturday and Sunday.”

“I’m getting phone calls and text messages, and now that we’ve rekindled our bond, they want to get together again.”

Smallwood said the class — who refers to themselves as “The mighty and great Class of 1978” — raised more than $30,000.

Members of the Class of 1968 and President Brenda A. Allen (front, second from left) gather in Student Union Building at the conclusion of the annual Emeritus Luncheon.

Several special events took place for classes ending in 3’s and 8’s, who together raised more than $130,000 from January through May. The Class of 1968 participated in the annual Emeritus Luncheon, which is held annually during reunion weekend for the class that is celebrating their 50th year reunion with prior years also invited. Johnson said everyone was moved when attendees sang the alma mater and the sound resonated off the walls.

The return of the Bull Roast on Saturday hosted by the University and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. allowed alumni to mingle with the graduating class.

“Bull Roast brought back big and tall stories of days gone by to seniors about to graduate,” Johnson said. “Dr. Allen wanted seniors to interact with alumni.”

Johnson said alumni were impressed with the engagement of current students throughout the weekend, some of whom helped in big and small ways, such as carry luggage into the residence halls for alumni checking in.

On Friday, the Class of 1978 hosted Party with a Purpose to raise money in memory of classmate Diana Meachem Jones who died in 2014. Smallwood called the Sunday morning Class of 1978 memorial service in honor of all Fallen Lions on Alumni House porch an “emotional, spiritual, and memorable experience. It was interactive: we laughed, we cried; it was simply the perfect ending to our weekend. Everyone left on a high note.”

Other weekend activities included the AALU Council Meeting, a prayer breakfast, and the Alumni Awards Banquet, which featured live music, food, giving opportunities and the recognition of four outstanding alumni. Alisa R. Drayton’90 earned the Alumni Service Awards, Charisse A. Carney-Nunes ’88 earned the Professional Achievement Award, and Michael J. Hancock ’88 and Guy A. Sims ’83 earned the Public Service Award.

It’s not too late to give. Donations are still being collected for the 3’s and 8’s — among many other giving opportunities — at the online giving site.

Photos from the weekend can be found on online: emeritus luncheon, bull roast, AALU general body meeting, welcome reception, Party with a Purpose, Alumni Awards Banquet, prayer breakfast.

Article by Shelley Mix, Office of Communications and Public Relations