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Reunited and It Feels So Good

August 22, 2012

For a large portion of the 2012 calendar, Memorial University had the wheels in motion to bring graduates back to campus for Reunion 2012.

With the festivities now in the rear view mirror, there's little question it was a resounding success. Two Faculty of Education events, the Harlow Reunion and the Faculty Reunion at the Sundance, certainly added to the hype.

"It was a great event, I'm extremely pleased with the turnout." said Hayward Blake, who spearheaded the committee for the Harlow Reunion. "It's great the people were so pleased to be [there]," he added.

"[Reunion 2012] made a connection between the faculty, Memorial University, and the people who are out there teaching in the province. It's not often we get to socialize with them, and be in an environment where we can thank them for the work they've done and perhaps make some new connections as well."

People who made their way to the Harlow Reunion came from all over, and came from all generations. Members who visited England in the 1970s mingled with those who were there as recently as this year, giving the event a great atmosphere.

"It was life-changing, for sure," said Alison McCarthy, who just returned from Harlow as part of the class of 2012. "We were invited to [the event] and everyone [was] having a chat. The older classes engaged us, asked a lot about the changes over there."

"The older generations love the stories of how things have changed on the campus," added Michael Adams, also of the 2012 group.

Others said they came to see old faces.

"I came to meet up with people from my group," said Evelyn Lundrigan from the class of 1984. "I was in the classroom for 21 years and I'm at the Department of Education now, and this [was] a lovely event. Just lovely to come back."

The night's biggest excitement came from Wanda Cassell, who secured herself a ticket back to the Harlow campus for two weeks as part of the evening's prize draw. Her yelp of excitement told people just how enthusiastic she was when Memorial president Gary Kachanoski drew her name.

"I can't believe it, I wanted it so bad," said the 1996 Harlow alum. "To go back and see my school, I couldn't afford it all these years. I came [to the reunion] only hoping to see my colleagues [from Harlow]. I can't believe I'm going back."

A night later, faculty, students, staff, and alumni made their way to the Sundance on George Street for the Faculty of Education Reunion.

The event was another large turnout for the faculty and the university's Reunion 2012 celebration, featuring everything from a live band to a speech from Phil Warren, well known for the Warren Report on the state of education in the late 1990s.

"The people you meet along the way, you don't forget them. You come to things like [Reunion 2012] to see them again, to see the people who were with you, and to see some of the younger students as well," said Education alum Bryce Hodder.

"We have a legacy piece that's important we celebrate. We have a community that we call Memorial University," said Dean of Education Dr. Kirk Anderson, who addressed the gathered Reunioners on both nights. "It's important that people be a part of that, that people celebrate that legacy and be part of that community."

"Reunion 2012 allowed us to do that. It was a big success."

For pictures from the events, check out the Faculty of Education Facebook by clicking here.