More than 3,000 guests are expected on campus this weekend for Alumni Weekend 2018, with 150 events scheduled in alums’ honor. But many are open to students, faculty, and staff as well. From marking old traditions to celebrating new creative talents, the schedule has something for everyone.
Here are 10 (mostly free) events to check out this weekend.
1. Oboes and cellos and flutes, oh my!
Start your weekend early with the BU Symphony Orchestra. Grammy-winning maestro Bramwell Tovey, CFA director of orchestral activities, leads the top instrumentalists from the School of Music in a free concert.
When: September 21, 12:30 to 1:30 pm. Where: Tsai Performance Center, 685 Commonwealth Ave. Cost: free.
2. Celebrate black alumni
This year’s Alumni Weekend shines a light on the legacy of BU’s black alumni with a series of events that spotlight civil rights icon and Nobel Peace Prize winner Martin Luther King, Jr. (GRS’55, Hon.’59) and Howard Thurman (Hon.’67), dean of Marsh Chapel from 1953 to 1965 and the first black dean at a predominantly white US university. Festivities begin with the Celebration of Black Alumni Welcome Reception and an exhibition of Thurman photographs and memorabilia at the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center, in Mugar Memorial Library (visit the permanent exhibition in the Martin Luther King, Jr., Reading Room while you’re there). Join Kenneth Elmore (Wheelock’87), associate provost and dean of students, for breakfast to learn about BU’s plans for making 808 Commonwealth Avenue the new home of the Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground by 2019. There will also be a free screening of the new NBC documentary Hope and the Fury, exploring the ways that King and his contemporaries used the media to further the Civil Rights Movement.
Celebration of Black Alumni Welcome Reception and Howard Thurman Exhibition: When: September 21, 5:30 to 7 pm. Where: Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center, 771 Commonwealth Ave. Cost: free.
Expanding the Common Ground: Howard Thurman Center breakfast: When: September 22, 10:30 to 11:30 am. Where: George Sherman Union (lower level), 775 Commonwealth Ave. Cost: free (advance registration required).
Screening of Hope and the Fury: When: September 22, 5 to 6 pm. Where: Rajen Kilachand Center for Integrated Life Sciences & Engineering, 610 Commonwealth Ave. Cost: free (advance registration required).
3. Are you ready for some football?
Thought BU didn’t have football? That changes once a year when BU’s Air Force, Army, and Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) face off in the Curtis Cup Flag Football Tournament. Coed teams of cadets and midshipmen play a round-robin tournament, with the winner taking home the Curtis Cup—and bragging rights for the year.
When: September 21, 6 to 9 pm. Where: New Balance Field. Cost: free.
4. Welcome a new school
For the first time since Boston University and Wheelock College officially merged in June, the BU and Wheelock communities will come together to celebrate the newly formed Wheelock College of Education & Human Development. Join David Chard, Wheelock dean ad interim, for a special welcome reception and enjoy The Wonder of Learning—The Hundred Languages of Children, an interactive exhibition highlighting the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education.
When: September 21, 6 pm. Where: Wolf Room, Fenway Campus, 200 Riverway. Cost: free.
5. Explore the new Dahod Family Alumni Center, formerly the Castle
From a pub night to a jazz brunch, Alumni Weekend is packed with chances to explore and enjoy the new Dahod Family Alumni Center, formerly the BU Castle. Get a free peek on a tour inside the renovated mansion, which has been closed for construction for 15 months, and enjoy refreshments during the Grand Open House.
When: September 22, 9 am to 1 pm. Where: Dahod Family Alumni Center, 225 Bay State Road. Cost: free.
6. Take in a showcase of art
Check out the diverse talents of current CFA undergrads at the School of Visual Arts Undergraduate Showcase. Among the works by more than four dozen sophomores, juniors, and seniors are paintings, prints, and sculpture.
When: September 22, 9 am to 8 pm. Where: Commonwealth Art Gallery, first floor, and Gallery 5, fifth floor, 855 Commonwealth Ave. Cost: free.
7. Witness one of BU’s oldest traditions
BU’s 80-year-old Scarlet Key Honor Society welcomes 30 new candidates from the Class of 2019 and 3 new honorary members at its annual Tapping Ceremony. The candidates were selected from a pool of nominees based on their excellence in scholarship, leadership, and extracurricular activities. Each will be “tapped” with a ceremonial sword—a nod to the society’s earlier tradition of finding new selections on campus and notifying them of the honor by tapping them on the shoulder. An induction ceremony will be held in May.
When: September 22, 10:30 am. Where: Rajen Kilachand Center for Integrated Life Sciences &Engineering, 610 Commonwealth Ave. Cost: free.
8. Dine with dignitaries
Join generations of Terriers at one of the weekend’s marquee events: the Best of BU Luncheon and Distinguished Alumni Awards. This year’s Distinguished Alumni honorees are Bill Brooks (Questrom’89), a former NFL player, sports analyst, and consultant; Binoy K. Singh, M.D. (ENG’89), associate chief of cardiovascular medicine at Northwell Health–Lenox Hill; and Marylou Sudders (CAS’76, SSW’78), Massachusetts secretary of health and human services. Erika Ebbel Angle (MED’12), CEO and cofounder of Ixcela, will receive the Young Alumni Award. The honorees will also participate in the panel A Conversation with BU Distinguished Alumni: Transforming Communities.
Luncheon and Distinguished Alumni Awards: When: September 22, noon to 2 pm. Where: Metcalf Ballroom, George Sherman Union, 775 Commonwealth Ave. Cost: $30 per person.
Panel: When: September 22, 3 to 4:30 pm. Where: Rajen Kilachand Center for Integrated Life Sciences & Engineering, 610 Commonwealth Ave. Cost: free.
9. Talk about art
The current the 808 Gallery exhibition, A Few Conversations Between Women, features art from more than three dozen female artists. Works by members of the CFA visual arts faculty are paired with pieces created by their mentors or alumnae and students they have advised. Alumnae who have opened galleries and studios or created collaborative art projects will participate in the special Alumni Weekend panel discussion Creative Capital: Building Collaborative Art Spaces.
Exhibition: When: ongoing through September 28, noon to 5 pm. Where: 808 Gallery, 808 Commonwealth Ave. Cost: free.
Panel: When: September 22, 3 pm. Where: 808 Commonwealth Ave. Cost: free.
10. Cheer on your Terriers
This weekend six varsity teams are competing, five at home and one across town. It begins at Franklin Park on Friday afternoon when the men’s and women’s cross country teams compete against Boston College and a field of Division I rivals in the Boston College Coast-to-Coast Battle in Beantown. Saturday’s action starts at noon when the softball team takes on Providence College in a doubleheader and field hockey faces off against Colgate College. The games continue with men’s soccer versus American University at 1 pm and women’s soccer versus Lehigh University at 4 pm. Softball wraps up the weekend on Sunday with a game against Merrimack College at noon.
Men’s and women’s cross country: When: September 21, 3 pm. Where: Franklin Park, One Franklin Park Rd., Boston. Cost: free.
Softball: When: September 22, noon and 2 pm. Where: BU Softball Field. Cost: free.
Field hockey: When: September 22, noon. Where: New Balance Field. Cost: free.
Men’s soccer: When: September 22, 1 pm. Where: Nickerson Field. Cost: $5 at the gate.
Women’s soccer: When: September 22, 4 pm. Where: Nickerson Field. Cost: $5 at the gate.
Softball: When: September 23, noon. Where: BU Softball Field. Cost: free.
Marc Chalufour can be reached at email@example.com.