No need for an exotic locale to help you get away from it all this summer. Make Oswego your destination June 4 through 7 when Reunion 2009 comes to the shores of Lake Ontario again.
The Oswego Alumni Association has a boatload of special events lined up for the college's milestone classes. Take in a sunset, taste some barbecue or tour favorite downtown destinations via nightly shuttle buses.
As a Class of 1984 Reunion Giving Committee co-chair, Lori Golden Kiewe '84 has been reaching out to former classmates in hopes of collecting a significant gift and encouraging them to attend.
"That's what it's all about, seeing old friends and making new ones," said Kiewe, a former Alumni Association president. "We can't have that happen unless a good percentage of our class shows up."
Last year's festivities drew a record crowd of 1,100 Oswegonians.
Whether it's their 50th, 25th or 10th, all Lakers should find friends and fun when they make Oswego their port of call. This summer, the best getaway may be getting back to campus and reconnecting with great people and memories.
"I had a fabulous time at Oswego, I really enjoyed my years there," said Reunion volunteer Jerry "Jeep" Passer '59. "We had a small campus at the time and it was really easy to get to know everyone."
Of course, the more years that have passed since graduating, the more those connections to college friends have faded. Passer has relished the opportunity to catch up with his classmates.
"I'll tell you, every phone call I've had has lasted at least 30 minutes," he said with a chuckle. "It's been great."
Everyone is welcome, but special events are scheduled for certain classes and groups. Several Greek organizations have special get-togethers planned throughout the weekend.
As one of the founding sisters of the Oswego chapter in 1986, Dresden Engle Olcott '88 is looking forward to the first-ever official Alpha Epsilon Phi reunion. It'll be a busy few days for Olcott, who will also be celebrating her 20th reunion along with the classes of 1989 and '90. Her husband, Paul Olcott '84, is celebrating his 25th.
"Even though some of our old haunts are gone, the people are still there and the fun will be there," said Olcott.
Like other volunteers, she's been working on getting 60-plus pledge classes and as many classmates as possible back to campus.
"I'm reminding them of how beautiful campus is," Olcott said. "It truly will be like a vacation."
In addition to special events for the classes of '59, '84, '88, '89 and '90, there are also activities planned for the classes of 1999, '69, '64, '54, '49, '44, '39 and '34. Group reunions include: Alpha Epsilon Phi, Alpha Sigma Chi, Arethusa, Beta Tau Epsilon, Delta Chi Omega/TKE, Delta Phi Epsilon, Delta Kappa Kappa, Phi Lambda Phi, Psi Phi Gamma, Sigma Gamma, Sigma Tau Chi, Theta Chi Rho, Zeta Chi Zeta, LifeStyles Center and Newman Center.
Alumni registered for the barbecue dinner at Fallbrook Friday or "Taste of Oswego" Saturday can stay on campus in the newly renovated and air-conditioned Johnson and Riggs halls. The lake-view residence halls are within walking distance of many Reunion events and a continuous shuttle to downtown Oswego will run Friday and Saturday nights.
Residence hall reservations and event registration will be available beginning in mid-April. On-campus housing will be available for all Reunion guests who register in advance of Reunion Weekend.
-- Shane M. Liebler
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Oswego Alumni Association, Inc.
King Alumni Hall • SUNY Oswego • Oswego, NY 13126
315-312-2258 • 315-312-5570 (fax)
Web site: www.oswego.edu/alumni