Every summer for Alumni Weekend, alums and their families return to campus to reconnect with each other and the College. At this year's Weekend, nearly 2,000 people enjoyed three full days of events and activities. To help check them in, show them around, and answer their questions, almost 100 students - easily identified by their green "Parrish Beach Patrol" t-shirts - worked as valets, golf cart drivers, movers, meal and dorm hosts, and babysitters. Connecting them is the early glimpse they shared of what life after Swarthmore can look like.
This year I was a dorm valet, which is a little bit of everything. I ran around a lot, answering questions, helping orchestrate meals, getting extra keys - essentially serving as a point person.
When I worked Alumni Weekend last year, I met Sen. Carl Levin '56 (D-Mich). When I began work on Capitol Hill later that summer for the Small Business Committee, I saw him coming out of a hearing. I introduced myself - I'm bold - and ended up working for him, too. Those were some memorable experiences.
Randall Benjamin '09
Political science and Black studies
South Brunswick, NJ
Susannah Gund '08
Linguistics with Arabic and French
I think they noticed we weren't sleeping much. By Saturday night we were hallucinating, thinking they were calling us when they weren't. On Sunday, after they were all gone, we cleaned up, and then I slept until Monday afternoon.
But it was cool. I met Vernon McCabe '57, whose family built McCabe Library. He was really chill. And I met Welles Reymond '57, who holds the patent on LED lights. We thought he might be making it up, but when we Googled him, he was definitely there. He was so funny. "You should change the lights in here," he said. "These are so inefficient."
Another man was 11th in the world in triathalons. He carried his wife's luggage up the stairs in the dorm, saying, "I'm a man's man." One lady had set up schools in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan (Marcia A. Grant '60), another guy headed the National Science Foundation and ran the human genome test that showed how alike we all really are.
Stephanie Appiah '10
50th reunion class valet
I met a guy from the Class of 1937. He's 94, still works two jobs. We sat on the back of a golf cart and he told me how much Swarthmore meant to him. He described the picnics he used to have in the Crum and pointed put buildings that he remembers being built. He has come back every five years, so he's seen the transitions and thinks they've been wonderful.
Swat alums are always doing interesting things. I made some connections and got some recommendations on good books to read. It was inspiring to meet them and I had a great time.
Maisha Howard '08
Educational and social psychology