Alumni Reunion Weekend aims to inspire, educate, reunite

Tamara Taylor (Oakes '92) and Akil Khalfani (Crown '94) reconnect at the 2007 Summer Bridge Program reunion.

UCSC alumni go off into the big world after graduation, but during a weekend in April, they'll learn how new ideas for education are bringing that world a little closer.

UCSC Reunion Weekend 2008 will include an Intellectual Forum on innovation and education in a global society. The forum, featuring some of the brightest minds in innovation, politics, high-tech, and digital media, includes the Alumni Vintners Wine Reception. Other Reunion Weekend events include the All-Alumni Reunion Luncheon and awards presentation honoring faculty and staff, a panel discussion on green entrepreneurs, tours, receptions, performances, and more. Events begin Friday, April 25, and extend through Saturday, April 26.

For the first time, the luncheon and awards ceremony will allow reunion guests to honor the contributions of faculty and staff. Environmental Studies Professor Stephen Gliessman will receive the Alumni Association's 2007-08 Distinguished Teaching Award, and the Graduate Division's Director of Student Services, Bob Hastings, will receive its Outstanding Staff Award.

The luncheon will also be opportunity for alumni to reconnect with former classmates and faculty. Special recognition will be given to grads celebrating 5- to 40-year reunions: the classes of '68, '73, '78, '83, '88, '93, '98, and '03. All members of the campus community--staff, faculty, students, alumni, and friends--are welcome to attend.

The first Intellectual Forum ever to be offered during Reunion Weekend will focus on innovation and education in a global society. Planned for Saturday, April 26, it will feature John Kao, author of Innovation Nation; political pundit Victor Davis Hanson (Cowell '75); and Silicon Valley leader Shellye Archambeau, MetricStream CEO. Katy Roberts (Kresge '74), the New York Times senior editor working on the paper's digital transition, will moderate. Afterward, a reception will feature wines by alumni vintners.

Earlier on Saturday, all alumni can celebrate College Eight's 35th anniversary by joining a conversation titled "Nurturing Green Entrepreneurs." College Eight provost Ravi Rajan, associate professor of environmental studies, will moderate the discussion by Spring Ventures founder Sunil Paul, LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, Nick Ellis of Bright Green Talent, and alumni guests.

Celebrate the release of feminist studies professor Bettina Aptheker's "Introduction to Feminism" DVD on Friday, April 25. Her former students have taped an entire quarter of the popular class; clips from the DVD will be shown.

Alumni can choose from several walking tours. UCSC campus architect Frank Zwart (Cowell '71) will introduce grads to the new Humanities and Physical Sciences buildings, McHenry Library renovations, and more. Tours of the UCSC Farm and Garden and the UCSC Arboretum will be offered. Lecturer Jeff Arnett and guests will tour the secret sites described in his book Unnatural History of UC Santa Cruz.

Alumni are invited to a host of departmental and divisional events including UCSC Orchestra and Concert Choir open rehearsals of the "The Consul," and a choral work by Darius Milhaud; a talk entitled "Biomedical Research at UCSC and Beyond"; and a presentation by students of the Global Information Internship Program on how the program is changing the world.

College receptions conclude the day. Merrill's 40th birthday events will include a panel discussion and alumni "Memory Circles"; provost receptions will be held there and at Cowell, Crown, Kresge, Oakes, Porter, and Stevenson.

Student resource centers, departments, and academic divisions will also hold receptions.

For up-to-the-minute Reunion Weekend details and a site for RSVPs, click here. For more information, call the UCSC Alumni Association at (800) 933-SLUG.