Stanford Report Online

Stanford Report, October 18, 2000
Record 6,000 expected for Reunion Homecoming weekend


They've been warming up with e-mail lists and class books that contain their biographies and photographs.

They'll certainly be fired up by an agenda that provides opportunities to reconnect with old friends and includes weighty panel discussions, screenings of films by their classmates and the inauguration of the university's 10th president.

Stanford is a hot ticket for the record 6,000 alumni and guests expected to participate in the university's four-day Reunion Homecoming 2000, which kicks off Thursday. This year's reunion welcomes the 12 classes between 1940 and 1995 with years ending in the numbers zero and five.

While last year's reunion homecoming tally of 5,500 was the largest to date, "all indications are that this year's will be at 6,000," predicts Leslie Gasner, reunion homecoming director. She attributes the increase to several factors, including classmate outreach, Alumni Association advertising and the Oct. 20 inauguration of President John Hennessy.

Along with the standard campus tours, open houses, receptions, dancing, dinner, tailgate parties and the Cardinal football game against the University of Southern California on Oct. 21, participants have their pick of class panels and more than 50 Classes Without Quizzes.

Class panels include the Class of 1955's "The Fundamental Standard ­ Dead or Alive Today?" and "Where Are We Going? How Did We Get Here?" with members of the Class of 1965. The topic of discussion for the class of 1990 is " Right, Left or Straight Ahead? Turning Around Is Not an Option."

The Classes Without Quizzes run the gamut from a lecture by religious studies Professor Arnold Eisen to a toymaking workshop taught by mechanical engineering lecturer Craig Milroy.

"Stanford Family Plots: A Tour of the Mausoleum and More," led by John Rick, associate professor of anthropology, may not be a typical homecoming activity on other campuses, but it has become a reunion tradition here in recent years.

Alumni are invited to join the larger campus community in celebrating Hennessy's inauguration at Frost Amphitheater at 9:30 a.m. Friday. A reception on the Main Quad will follow the ceremony.

Later that day, some of the university's most prominent alumni of color will be inducted into the Multicultural Hall of Fame. James Montoya, vice provost for student affairs, will serve as master of ceremonies.

Saturday's main event is a morning roundtable panel titled "History Will Judge: Politicians, Public Policy and Leadership Today," moderated by Charles Ogletree, a Stanford trustee and Harvard law professor. Panelists will include John Glenn, former U.S. senator and astronaut; Otis Chandler, former publisher and editor of the Los Angeles Times; Maria Echaveste, deputy chief of staff for President Bill Clinton; and Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David Kennedy.

Saturday evening's Flicks Night will be renamed "Flicks Night Seriously" for this occasion and feature short films and documentaries produced and directed by Stanford alumni.

In keeping with the annual tradition of giving special recognition to a school or department, this year the spotlight will be on the Haas Center for Public Service, which is celebrating its 15th year. Receptions and other activities will welcome those who performed public service during their Stanford years or are currently doing so. One event that will focus on this theme is "Stanford Upward Bound: A Service Alternative to Football," which invites alumni to participate in the Haas Center's regular Saturday afternoon tutoring program for first-generation, college-bound high school students.

On Sunday morning, there will be the annual Theta Breakers "Run for the Children," a 5K/10K benefit walk or run. Proceeds will support Child Advocates of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. The Rev. Maurice Charles and Rabbi Patricia Karlin-Neumann, associate deans for religious life, will officiate a multifaith public worship service at Memorial Church at 10 a.m. The weekend will end with a homecoming finale and farewell luncheon.