The numbers tell the story of Reunion 2017.
For five days, Amherst College welcomed 2,300 alumni, their family members and friends. They came to represent 60 classes with graduations from five to 70 years before. The oldest alumnus graduated in 1943, while the youngest attendee (tentative class of 2040) was one month old.
The alumni came for a vibrant schedule—some 130 programs in total, with 200 presenters—that included everything from poker tournaments and trivia nights to live concerts, political discussions and improv workshops.
“This was an amazing Reunion with excellent programs,” said Director of Alumni Engagement Carol Allman-Morton. Two talks—“Trump and Putin in Historical Perspective,” with Professor Emeritus William Taubman, and an expert panel on “Resistance and Opposition During World War II”—were live streamed, while some 18 others were recorded and posted to the College’s website.
Reunion kicked off on May 24 with a reception at the Beneski Museum of Natural History, where alumni toasted the newly crowned mascot under the storied bones of a mammoth that students have dubbed “Bebu.”
On Saturday, May 26, as some 340 visiting children enjoyed a bounce house and magic show on the quad, the Advancement staff spent an hour giving away 1,000 mammoth shirts. The purple tees were emblazoned with the words “Lean, Mean and Pleistocene” and “Amherst Mammoths. Est. 2017.”
“Being on the quad and seeing people excited about getting Mammoth swag was really cool,” Allman-Morton said. “That was the nicest moment at Reunion for me.”
Grandparents snagged quite a few shirts for their potentially Amherst-bound grandchildren, she said, and at one point a bus pulled up.
“The driver said, ‘I’ve got some really young alumni in here who want some shirts.’ It was guys from 1952,” Allman-Morton said with a laugh, describing it as her drive-through shirt giveaway. “It’s good to see happy alumni.”