It’s been 50 years.
So take a few days to remember your days at West Virginia University. That’s what Al Ware and the rest of the Graduate Emeritus committee would like to see from WVU’s more than 12,000 alumni who graduated 50 or more years ago.
The annual emeritus reunion held May 6-7 will feature a wide variety of social and educational activities to celebrate the return of WVU’s alumni who are part of the fabric of the University’s past and laid the foundation for its future.
Ware, a 1950 alumnus who is chairing this year’s reunion committee, estimates there are more than 12,000 WVU alumni still living who graduated 50 or more years ago.
Attendees will be welcomed by WVU President Jim Clements and his wife, Beth, at Blaney House. From there, they can take part in educational sessions on tracing genealogy, physical fitness and WVU forensics’ crime scene houses. Campus tours and social events will also be held throughout the weekend.
Attendees are encouraged to bring memorabilia from their time on campus and may participate in a project to gather their stories about the people, places and events that made their time at WVU so rich.
When these emeritus graduates attended WVU, the Mountaineers played football where the Life Sciences Building now stands. The student body held just about 6,000 students. Most learning happened on the downtown campus as the Health Sciences and Evansdale campuses were in their infancy.
The benefits to both WVU and these graduates of a relationship grow stronger as both age, Ware said. The graduates serve as high-level links between WVU and their career fields and as generous supporters. The University remains for them a strong emotional home.
At the reunion, graduates can get a good picture of the research, education, diversity, international activity and overall development of their alma mater, he added, while allowing the University to draw in a group of major stakeholders at a critical time in WVU’s history.
“WVU will encourage these graduates to become more involved and will present various opportunities where they can use their talents and life experiences in giving back to their University,” Ware said.
Dee Brown, a 1960 alumna and former WVU administrator, said the reunions are an enjoyable way to catch up on progress in her alma mater.
“I’m sure alums are very interested to know how the University is interacting in the greater world,” Brown said. “From my perspective what I enjoyed watching is the growth in the student body, not necessarily in size but in their aptitudes and their interests and the University taking on a more student-centered attitude.”
Here is a tentative schedule of selected events.
Friday, May 6
2-5 p.m. _ Welcome and registration at Erickson Alumni Center
5:30 p.m. Welcome Reception hosted by President & Mrs. James P. Clements, Blaney House. Entertainment provided by the WVU Steel Drum Band
Saturday, May 7
8 a.m. _ Breakfast Hosted by the WVU Foundation at The Erickson Alumni Center, Ruby Grand Hall
9 a.m. _ Business session at The Erickson Alumni Center
9:30 a.m. _ Chapter outreach at The Erickson Alumni Center
10 a.m. _ Campus Bus Tour
10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. _ Extended/On-Line Learning Presentation: Genealogy, presented by Sue Day-Perroots
11 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. _ WVU Art Show, College of Creative Arts
Noon _ Heritage Luncheon at The Erickson Alumni Center
1:30 p.m. _ Special needs guided tour
1:30 p.m. _ Crime Scene Tour, board the bus at The Erickson Alumni Center for a tour of WVU’s Forensic Sciences crime scene houses
2 p.m. _ Physical Activity Seminar: You’re Getting Older, So Are We! presented by Dr. Corine Mancinelli, MaryBeth Mandich, WVU Department of Physical Therapy
5:00 p.m. _ Ole Thyme Derby Reception, The Erickson Alumni Center, Kennedy Club Room
7 p.m. _ Honors Banquet, The Erickson Alumni Center
CONTACT: Tara Curtis, WVU Alumni Association
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