Feature Story

Coming Home for Alumni Weekend 2014

May 29, 2014 – by Pam Besel

For those Ohio Wesleyan alumni who celebrated their reunions at Alumni Weekend earlier this month, it was a special time to experience and savor the excitement of a college campus in motion, and celebrate the lives and accomplishments of dear OWU friends. This year, more than 700 alumni who graduated in years ending in “4” and “9” traveled back to campus. They came from many states in the U.S., but also places as far away as Dubai, Bolivia, and Australia. They rekindled relationships, talked about their special years at Ohio Wesleyan, and immersed themselves for three days in May, into an inspiring blend of alumni and OWU celebratory events. And they had fun along the way!

For bird—and Jed Burtt—lovers, Saturday’s 7 a.m. bird walk at the Kraus Wilderness Preserve was a must. But for others, there were campus tours, including the soon-to-be renovated Merrick Hall; the Golden Key Diploma Ceremony in Gray Chapel; reunion dinners; Alumni College Sessions on Friday and Saturday by Sahan Dissanayake ’04, Dr. Joseph Campbell ’74, Maggie Smith-Beehler ’99, Dr. Ed Folsom ’69, and Dr. Rich Gordin ’73; an All-Alumni Picnic, followed by the traditional Parade of Classes and a Gray Chapel program celebrating the accomplishments of several OWU alumni.

Receiving the Distinguished Achievement Citation Awards this year were: Alice Moore Batchelder ’64, Dr. Joseph Campbell ’74, Claudia Coulton ’69, Ed Folsom ’69, and Rich Gordin ’73. Alumni Awards were presented to Kathy Butler ’74, Kathe Law Rhinesmith ’64, and Dick and Ann Colson Cassell ’64. And finally, Maggie Smith-Beehler ’99 and Sahan Dissanayake ’99 received Young Alumni Awards. The rest of the weekend’s events included a different kind of walk down Memory Lane, with a reenactment of OWU’s 1964 College Bowl Championship, dancing under the stars on the Stuyvesant Hall patio, and Sunday morning Convocation.

“Returning to campus was bittersweet,” shares Pooja Dutt ’09, who celebrated her first Alumni Weekend reunion. “It was great to see all the renovations on campus and how downtown Delaware had changed over the years. I got to see a few of my professors and several staff members, and it was wonderful catching up with them, but several friends have moved on, as did I.” Dutt lives in Australia and works as the Key Relationships Coordinator at the Australian Conservation Foundation.

View photos and videos from Alumni Weekend 2014.