Progress and Tradition: Colgate Celebrates Reunion Weekend

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Colgate University welcomed more than 2,000 guests to campus June 1–4 for Reunion 2023, where alumni and friends celebrated lasting friendship, Colgate’s academic heritage, and the progress underway as part of the Third-Century Plan.

One visible sign of that progress, construction of the Benton Center for Creativity and Innovation, provided an opportunity to offer campus guests a different view of Taylor Lake — while the University has traditionally located reunion tents on Whitnall Field, the weekend’s new hub was the area between Oak Drive and Willow Path, dubbed Tent City.

Viewing campus from a new angle, guests enjoyed favorite reunion traditions, including Reunion College sessions such as The Customer Revolution in Healthcare; The Search for Safe Haven: Global, Regional, and Local Dimensions of Refugee and Forced Migrations; and The Six Pillars of Healthy Longevity.

Alumni attended these events along with panels and talks that focused specifically on the Third-Century Plan, including a faculty panel discussion on the innovation made possible by the Robert Hung Ngai Ho ’56 Mind, Brain, and Behavior Initiative; a discussion on athletics in Colgate’s Third Century with coaches, student-athletes, and administrators; and an overview of admission and the Colgate Commitment, Colgate’s initiative in access and affordability.

During an Hour with the President, President Brian W. Casey detailed the progress on major campus renovations, including the Robert H.N. Ho Mind, Brain, and Behavior Center, the Benton Center for Creativity and Innovation, and more long-term efforts, such as the Lower Campus renovation, the Colgate Union, and the Ravine — a sweeping nature feature that will manage the flow of water down the hill while connecting Middle Campus to the Academic Quad. 

President Casey also shared plans to broaden the reach of the Colgate Commitment, expanding the no-loan initiative to include even more families.

“We have to keep loans down; we have to keep the cost of tuition down through support from alumni, donors, and friends,” he said. 

President Casey lauded alumni for their contributions to the Campaign for the Third Century, which recently hit the halfway milestone — raising more than $500 million toward the $1 billion goal.

At the Alumni Council Awards Ceremony, alumni and guests celebrated specific individuals who have strengthened Colgate through service and accomplishment. Honorees included recipients of the Maroon Citation, Ann Yao ’80 Young Alumni Award, entrepreneur and humanitarian of the year, and the Wm. Brian Little ’64 Award for Distinguished Service.

“This is what makes Colgate so special,” noted ceremony emcee and Alumni Council President Susie Becker Gould ’03, “Colgate alumni and friends gathering together, celebrating new and time-honored traditions.”

Throughout the weekend, alumni from various student organizations — including OUS, Swinging ’Gates, Theta Chi, Phi Delta Theta, LGBTQ+ initiatives, and the Alumni of Color Organization — also had the chance to reconnect.

Alumni celebrated milestone reunions with dinners in various locations on campus. In honor of their 50th reunion, President Casey hosted a special gathering for members of the Class of 1973 in the Class of 1965 Arena. In his remarks, he thanked the alumni for their record-setting attendance and philanthropy — and shared how their continued participation will help Colgate achieve its Third-Century goals. 

“Colgate is dynamic. Our boundless energy is a point of distinction. Paired with the loyalty of our alumni, it gives us the capacity for excellence,” he said. “And that is what the Third-Century Plan is all about: making Colgate the most excellent version of itself, a force in higher education that makes alumni proud — and makes the rest of the world take notice.”

See more photos from Reunion 2023.