With perfect spring weather as a backdrop, alumni, families, and friends returned to campus May 25 to 28 to celebrate Alumni Weekend 2023. In a year marked by significant physical changes to campus — from the closing of Sharples and opening of the Dining Center to drilling for our geoexchange system — this year’s reunion theme, “You Are Here,” asked alumni to ponder how their individual Swarthmore stories and experiences remain a foundational part of Swarthmore’s campus. Undeterred by construction, over 1,300 guests filled the campus and members of the Classes of 1953 through 2018 took part in the annual Parade of Classes.
On Friday afternoon, professor of computer science Ameet Soni and professor of film studies Patricia White joined senior planner Roderick Wolfson and Language/Media Center director Michael Jones to discuss the future of Martin Hall, which is currently undergoing renovations. Later that day, alumni, staff, faculty, and friends gathered in Old Tarble alongside President Valerie Smith for the dedication of the Constance Cain Hungerford Mural Room. Following an all-alumni receptions and class dinners, guests closed out the evening by celebrating under the stars at our all-alumni party.
During Saturday's Alumni Collection, Alumni Council President BoHee Yoon ’01 began with a moment of silent reflection before awarding this year's alumni service awards. Christopher Edley, Jr. ’73, H’99 gave this year’s collection address, “Considering the Humanly Impossible.” Following his address, BoHee Yoon ’01 passed the Alumni Council gavel to Ayanna Johnson ’09, welcoming her as the new Alumni Council President. Members of Essence of Soul, Grapevine, Mixed Company, and Sixteen feet concluded Collection with a performance of the Alma Mater.
Later that afternoon, John Mather H'94 ’68, Nobel laureate and senior project scientist for the James Webb Space Telescope at NASA, delivered a lecture about the telescope. He presented a selection of the latest images from the James Webb Space Telescope and discussed what humanity can learn from seeing farther back into time and space than ever before.
Class reunion committees planned a wide range of activities throughout the weekend, including panel discussions, campus tours, trivia games, receptions, wine and chocolate tastings, memorials, lawn games, and performances. Affinity groups, including the Swarthmore Black Alumni Network, LGBTQ+ Alumni Network, and Young Alumni Ambassadors Program organized events for alumni to connect with these growing organizations, including the SBAN Town Hall, Lavender Table Talk, and Young Alumni Meet and Greet. A special thank you to all of our reunion committee members this year who worked hard to find fun and accessible ways for classes to reconnect and reunite!