Monday, October 13, 2014

Jonathan Edwards Weekend at Yale

College reunions are now fashionable.  A new Yale tradition? Over 400 alumni and guests and 100 students helped celebrate Jonathan Edwards College. (Yale photo)
Is there a new trend for reunions on campus at Yale?  A new form of reunioning? A different type of Yale tradition?  In September, JE held an all-class reunion weekend filled with panels, presentations, and parties. It marked the fourth time a college had staged a celebration for alumni to come back en masse. (Stiles, Pierson, and Calhoun beat JE to the task.)  Classes from the 1940's to the present attended. They mingled, shared inside JE stories and memories, and reflected on what makes the college special or different. And they sang, since some alumni pronounced JE the "music college."

Some may have reviewed the Bladderball incident of the 1970's, where an accidental puncture of the ball ended the campus-wide game and, some contend, led to the demise of a Yale tradition. That led to a popular campus nickname for JE teams. Today JE students are the "Spiders."

An impressive list of JE alums appeared for JE Weekend, still beholden to what JE stands for and to the virtues of residential-college life. A U.S. senator (Amy Klobuchar '82) joined her JE-mates.  A college president (Marvin Krislov '82, '84JD) returned to celebrate JE, too.  Over 400 alumni and guests returned to campus. And of course, several Westchester alumni were in attendance (including three YWAA board members). English professor Penelope Laurans is the current JE master. Miko McGinty '93, '98MFA and Jonathan Dach '08, '13JD were co-chairs.

The weekend activities culminated in a gala dinner in Commons and the singing of the "JE Anthem." Yes, there is one.

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