Members of the Class of 2007 arrived on campus for their fifth reunion eager to reconnect with classmates, but this was also the first opportunity for many of them to mingle with alumni from numerous classes—especially Carls from earlier generations. They drank coffee and networked with the Class of 1987, played Ultimate Frisbee with the Class of 2002, and sat with the Class of 1972 at a presentation about the origin of the Oregon Trail, a computer game originally developed by three members from the Class of ’72.
The Class of 2007 also joined in the wild applause at Reunion Convocation when the Class of 1962’s $30 million gift was announced. “Older alumni—like the Class of 1962—are role models for my class,” says Kate Knutsen ’07. She and her classmates are already daydreaming about smashing the Class of 1962’s record at their own 50th reunion. “Giving a record-breaking gift to Carleton is like the Holy Grail of Carletonness,” she says.
President emeritus Stephen R. Lewis Jr. recalls the wide-eyed reactions from young alumni when generous 50th reunion gifts were unveiled during his tenure, but he also remembers how the young alumni inspired the 50th reunion class in return. “There is wonderful chemistry between the 5th and 50th reunion classes,” says Lewis. “The 50th reunion class is always knocked over by how enthusiastic the young alumni are and how many of them come back.”
Lewis describes the intermingling of reunion classes as “magic.” The Reunion 2012 attendees—who shared a weekend of memories, music, and merrymaking with alumni of all ages—would surely agree.