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Reunion Homecoming - the four-day celebration has begun

The Stanford Alumni Association staff and its campus partners have created more than 400 back-to-back, morning 'til night, something-for-everyone programs during Reunion Homecoming. More than 9,000 people are expected – alumni and guests.

L.A. Cicero Ford Center decorated for Reunion Homecoming 2011

Ford Center was the first stop for visiting alumni as they picked up registration packets and shopped for Stanford paraphernalia to set their best foot forward on Reunion Weekend 2011.

BY KATHLEEN J. SULLIVAN

Cory A. Booker, the mayor of Newark, N.J., and more than 6,000 other Stanford alumni are taking a short break from their workaday lives to return to the Farm for Reunion Homecoming, a four-day celebration that began Thursday.

Booker's dance card may be fuller than most during Reunion Homecoming, since he'll be inducted into the university's Multicultural Alumni Hall of Fame on Friday afternoon, and report to Maples Pavilion on Saturday morning as a panelist to discuss "Education Nation 2.0: Redefining K-12 Education in America, Before It Redefines Us" during the 2011 Roundtable at Stanford.

Booker, who earned a bachelor's degree (1991) and a master's degree (1992) at Stanford, was nominated by the Black Community Services Center to join the Multicultural Alumni Hall of Fame. He is one four alumni who will be inducted this year. The other honorees are:

  • Stephanie A. Fryberg, MA '00, PhD '03, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Arizona. Her research focuses on the impact of American Indian mascot images on Native American student self-image and achievement. She was nominated by the Native American Cultural Center.
  • Frank O. Sotomayor, MA '67, a senior fellow at the Institute for Justice and Journalism. He is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, and a mentor and advocate for diversity in the news media. He was nominated by El Centro Chicano.

Jam-packed Reunion Homecoming 2011

The Stanford Alumni Association staff and its campus partners have created more than 400 back-to-back, morning 'til night, something-for-everyone programs for Reunion Homecoming. More than 9,000 people are expected – alumni and guests.

It is a gathering of the "1s" and "6s," people who graduated in 1951 and 1956, 1961 and 1966, etc., up to 2006. Recent grads – members of the classes of 2007 through 2010 – are also coming, with more than 600 expected to attend.

The oldest alumnus attending this year's event is Marcus "Marc" Krupp, AB '34, MD, '39, who is celebrating his 77th reunion with the other members of the Cardinal Society, which honors all alumni who have celebrated their 65th reunions and beyond.

Alumni are arriving from 37 states, and some are coming from as far away as Singapore, London, Australia and Peru.

President John Hennessy will welcome alumni and their guests Friday morning in Memorial Auditorium. He will be followed by a panel of faculty members who will talk about new discoveries in research on the brain.

Over the next few days there will be tours – of Memorial Church, of outdoor sculptures, of the Stanford Red Barn. There will be open houses – of the Humanities Center and of the new Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center.

The Reunion Homecoming program also features the ever-popular Classes Without Quizzes taught by Stanford scholars, including "From Here to Hilarity: What Makes People Laugh," by Jack Bunzel, senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution; "How to Power the World for All Purposes with Wind, Water and Sunlight Alone," by Mark Z. Jacobson, professor of civil and environmental engineering; and "How to Lead the Good Life: Lessons from the Ancient Greeks," by Marsh McCall, professor emeritus of classics.

There will be opportunities to cheer Stanford's sports teams – Women's Softball vs. St. Mary's, Women's Soccer vs. Utah and Stanford Football vs. Washington.

Reunion Homecoming will end Sunday and that day's events include an interfaith service at Memorial Church, a farewell lunch and the Stanford Book Salon with medicine Professor Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting for Stone.