Reunion weekend is back.

After two years of in-person events being on hold due to the ongoing pandemic, the cherished tradition of Reunion comes roaring back this weekend at Lawrence. It will feature a celebration of, among other things, the classes of 1970, 1971, and 1972. All three of the classes will celebrate their much-anticipated 50-year reunions together between Thursday and Sunday.

The weekend also will feature a tribute to Celebrate!, the former music and arts celebration that was a spring tradition on campus from 1975 to 2003. The Class of 1997, marking their 25th Reunion, will hold a special nod to Celebrate! in the Wriston Amphitheatre on Saturday afternoon, featuring live music from Pat McCurdy.

Archive photo shows crowds gathered on campus for Celebrate! in 1990.
1990s flashback: Celebrate! was an annual embrace of music and arts on campus from 1975 to 2003. This photo from the spring of 1990 shows a crowd gathered on Memorial Hill. The Class of 1997 is giving a nod to Celebrate! at this year's Reunion. Pat McCurdy will perform in the Wriston Amphitheater at 1:30 p.m. Saturday. (Lawrence Archives)

“In-person reunions are back, and we couldn’t be more excited,” said Matt Baumler, associate vice president of Alumni and Constituency Engagement. “Reunion is a 146-year-old tradition—a tradition that was not and will not be stopped by the pandemic; a tradition that is part of what it means to be a Lawrentian or Downerite.” 

Alumni will begin arriving on campus on Thursday, with an Alumni Awards Celebration Dinner and an Early Arrival Reception set for Thursday evening. The full roster of festivities will begin on Friday.

“The weekend will feature beloved events such as Alumni College, the Parade of Classes, and Reunion Convocation, as well as an alumni recital, trivia, and plenty of storytelling in the Viking Room,” Baumler said.    

Find all the details about Reunion 2022, including the schedule of events

 The triple header 50th reunion for the classes of 1970, 1971, and 1972 will be a first for Reunion, a chance for the graduates of 1970 and 1971 to make up for in-person celebrations lost during the heart of the pandemic.

"We’ve got over 200 guests coming home for this celebration and it is certain to be a highlight of the weekend,” Baumler said of the 50-year celebrants.

Meanwhile, 2022 Alumni Awards will be presented to six alumni:

  • Scott Alexander ’71, recipient of The George B. Walter ’36 Service to Society Award;
  • Paris Brown Wicker ’07, recipient of The Marshall B. Hulbert ’26 Young Alumni Outstanding Service Award.
  • Jeffrey A. Fox ’72, recipient of The Gertrude Breithaupt Jupp M-D’18 Outstanding Service Award;
  • Alice “Boggie” Schroeder Wandt M-D’54, recipient of The Gertrude Breithaupt Jupp M-D’18 Outstanding Service Award;
  • Kyle Simon ’12, recipient of The Nathan M. Pusey Young Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award;
  • Eric Simonson ’82, recipient of The Lucia Russell Briggs Distinguished Achievement Award;

Get to know the 2022 Alumni Award recipients

The tradition-filled Alumni College, with sessions running much of the day on Friday, will feature speakers from among current Lawrence faculty as well as alumni. They’ll address topics ranging from why social context matters in the stories we tell and how and why certain television shows get made to the wonders of wine and beer making and the power of mindfulness.

In addition to the 50-year participants, classes and clusters celebrating reunions range from 1982 to 2012. Various, dinners, receptions, meet-and-greets, photo sessions, and social gatherings will be on the docket.

Among the weekend’s other highlights:

  • An alumni recital in Memorial Chapel at 8 p.m. Friday. See the live stream at go.lawrence.edu/reunion.
  • Coach Gene Davis Memorial Fun Run/Walk at 8 a.m. Saturday.
  • Parade of Classes at 10:30 a.m. Saturday near Memorial Chapel.
  • Reunion Convocation at 11 a.m. Saturday in Memorial Chapel. See the live stream at go.lawrence.edu/reunion.
  • All-Reunion Picnic at noon Saturday on Main Hall Green. Look for a pop-up shop featuring Lawrence gear.
  • Celebrate! Redux at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in the Wriston Amphitheatre.

In all, more than 700 alumni, family, and friends are expected to be on campus for Reunion weekend.

"It will be a celebration of all the people, places, and programs that make us uniquely Lawrence," Baumler said.