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Friends and Memories Bring 5,000 Back to Campus

BU alums recall their past and glimpse the future

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  • Boston University, BU, Alumni Weekend 2013, Rhett Terrier

    Click through the gallery above to see photos from Alumni Weekend.

  • Boston University, BU, Alumni Weekend 2013

    Ying Lin (CAS’15) poses for a photo with Rhett outside the Alumni Weekend welcome tent at Marsh Plaza. Photo by Cydney Scott

  • Boston University, BU, Alumni Weekend 2013, Celebration of Football

    Memorabilia at the Celebration of BU Football event. Photo by Dave Green

  • John Meschino, Robert Minihane, Carol Hughes, Pat Hughes, Celebration of Football, Boston University, BU, Terriers, Alumni Weekend 2013

    John Meschino (from left), Robert Minihane (SED’61), Carol Hughes (SED’67), and Pat Hughes (SED’70) at the Celebration of BU Football. Photo by Dave Green

  • Scarlet Key Society induction ceremony, Boston University, BU, Alumni Weekend 2013

    Student leaders are honored at the Scarlet Key Tapping Ceremony. Photo by Cydney Scott

  • Howard dePass Jr., Scarlet Key Society Tapping Ceremony, Boston University, BU, Alumni Weekend 2013

    Howard dePass (CAS’14) at the Scarlet Key Tapping Ceremony. Photo by Cydney Scott

  • Danielle Eble, Scarlet Key Society Tapping Ceremony, Boston University, BU, Alumni Weekend 2013

    Danielle Eble (SAR’14) at the Scarlet Key Tapping Ceremony. Photo by Cydney Scott

  • Scarlet Key Society Tapping Ceremony, Anik Das, Justin Pennisi, Emma Rehard, Christopher Roys, Zachary Hobbs, Boston University, BU, Alumni Weekend 2013

    Anik Das (SMG’12) (from left), Justin Pennisi (SAR’13), Emma Rehard (CAS’14), Christopher Roys (COM’14), and Zachary Hobbs (CAS’08) at the Scarlet Key Tapping Ceremony. Photo by Cydney Scott

  • Boston University, BU, Alumni Weekend 2013

    Fran Lockett-Hofstetter (CGS’71, SED’73) (from left), Pamela Souza (CGS’71, MET’75), and Marsha Spellman (CGS’71, SED’73) at Marsh Chapel. Photo by Cydney Scott

  • Golden Terriers, Class of 1963, Boston University, BU, Alumni Weekend 2013

    Golden Terriers from the Class of 1963. Photo by Dave Green

  • Analjit Singh, Best of BU Luncheon and 66th Annual Alumni Awards, Boston University, Alumni Weekend 2013

    Analjit Singh (SMG’77, GSM’79) thanks the audience after receiving an Alumni Award at the Best of BU Luncheon & 66th Annual Alumni Awards. Photo by Cydney Scott

  • David Hemery, School of Education Dean Harden Coleman, Best of BU Luncheon and 66th Annual Alumni Awards

    David Hemery (SMG’68, SED’88) and School of Education Dean Hardin Coleman at the Best of BU Luncheon & the 66th Annual Alumni Awards. Photo by Cydney Scott

  • Jack Parker, Boston University, BU, men's ice hockey coach, Alumni Weekend 2013, Best of BU Award

    Retired BU men's ice hockey coach Jack Parker (SMG’68, Hon.’97) speaks after receiving a Best of BU Award. Photo by Cydney Scott

  • Boston University, BU, Alumni Weekend 20213,Best of BU Luncheon and 66th Annual Alumni Awards

    Joan Crimlisk (GSM’89) (left) and Madeline Brown (PAL’43) raise a glass at the Best of BU Luncheon & 66th Annual Alumni Awards. Photo by Cydney Scott

  • Stephen Epstein, Golden Terriers, Boston University, BU, Alumni Weekend 2013

    Golden Terrier Stephen Epstein (COM’63) at the Best of BU Luncheon & 66th Annual Alumni Awards. Photo by Cydney Scott

  • Alumni Awards, Boston University Alumni Weekend 2013

    At the CGS Alumni Awards, Ed Westerman (CGS’66, COM’68) (from left), Natalie McKnight, CGS interim dean, awardee Elissa Altman (CGS’83, CAS’85), Meghan Fay (CGS’97, COM’99), and David Buttolph (CGS’77, CAS’79). Photo by Dan Aguirre

  • BU COM Distinguished Alumni Awards 2013, Mark Walton, Pete Souza, Stephanie McMahon Levesque, Jeremy Christopher Hobson, Boston University Alumni Awards 2013

    College of Communication Distinguished Alumni Award recipients Mark Walton (COM’76) (from left), Pete Souza (COM’76), Stephanie McMahon Levesque (COM’98), and Jeremy Christopher Hobson (COM’04). Photo by Cydney Scott

  • BU COM Distinguished Alumni Awards 2013, Stephen Frank, Pete Souza, Boston University Alumni Awards 2013

    Stephen Frank, a College of Fine Arts assistant professor of art, (left) shares a photo with Pete Souza (COM’76), chief official White House photographer and Distinguished Alumni Award recipient. Photo by Cydney Scott

  • Boston University, BU, College of Communications COM Distinguished Alumni Awards, Alumni Weekend 2013

    Susan Walker (left) and Anne Donohue (second from right), COM associate profs, Jeremy Hobson (COM'04) (second from left), and COM Dean Thomas Fiedler (COM'71). Photo by Cydney Scott

  • Boston University, BU, Alumni Weekend 2013, All Alumni Rhett Together and Craft Beer Tasting

    The All-Alumni Rhett-Together and Craft Beer Tasting at the George Sherman Union. Photo by Cydney Scott

  • Boston University, BU, Alumni Weekend 2013, Brooklyn Brewery, All Alumni Rhett Together and Craft Beer Tasting

    Alums sample beer from Brooklyn Brewery at the All-Alumni Rhett-Together and Craft Beer Tasting. Photo by Cydney Scott

Thousands of alums returned to BU this weekend to reconnect with the University, celebrate a changing campus, and honor former classmates. And while many Alumni Weekend events drew well over 100 people, it was a quiet tour of Marsh Chapel that brought 3 alums closer to their alma mater.

Marsha Spellman (CGS’71, SED’73), Fran Lockett-Hofstetter (CGS’71, SED’73), and Pamela Souza (CGS’71, MET’75) met as freshmen and have been friends ever since, returning to campus for Alumni Weekend every 10 years. They had just completed the Marsh Chapel art and architecture tour on Saturday afternoon when they paused to reflect on their weekend together, and their student years.

“I’m so glad I came to Marsh Chapel,” said Souza, who traveled from Indiana. “I love the history, and learning this history has made me feel more proud of BU.”

“We came from the generation of the revolution,” said Spellman, who’d flown in from Oregon. “For us, it was all about protesting the war in Vietnam. We spent much of our years, especially our freshman year, on strike in Marsh Chapel, having demonstrations, moratoriums against the war. I came here now because I feel connected to BU.”

But mostly, said Lockett-Hofstetter, who lives in New York, the weekend gave the friends a chance to meet up again. “The three of us never get together,” she said. “It’s a good excuse to have a weekend together.”

For many alums, it was an opportunity to glimpse where the University is headed. Former Terrier football players still rue the cancellation of their beloved program, but they heartily greeted fellow players. School of Law alums raised a glass to toast the long-awaited construction of a new building and the renovation of the existing tower. And a crowd gathered in the George Sherman Union Metcalf Ballroom to salute the distinguished alums being recognized with awards.

One of them was British-born former athlete David P. Hemery, who won the gold medal in the 400-meter hurdles at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico (breaking a world record) and silver and bronze medals at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. Hemery (SMG’68, SED’88) was among those receiving University Alumni Awards, the BU Alumni Association’s highest honor, at the Best of BU Luncheon & 66th Annual Alumni Awards on Saturday.

He recalled the training he endured as an undergraduate, describing his coach, Billy Smith (SED’55,’58), as “the architect” of his Olympic victories. He remembered a winter day when Smith refused to cancel training—outdoors, during a snowstorm: “He said, ‘Out there is the road to Mexico.’ I really thought he was joking. And he stood with his collar up against the blizzard while I did a series of 800 meters. I have no idea how he didn’t absolutely freeze to death. But my respect for him went up enormously for going through it with me.”

Hemery, who went on to found the charity 21st Century Legacy, was joined by Analjit Singh (SMG’77, GSM’79), chairman and managing director of Max India Limited, a health care corporation. The third Alumni Award recipient, Jennifer Yeo (LAW’85), chair and senior partner at Yeo­Leong & Peh in Singapore, was unable to attend the ceremony.

Two others were honored at the luncheon. BUAA president Mary Buletza (SMG’80) presented the Young Alumni Award to Sera Bonds (SPH’04), founder of the nonprofit Circle of Health International, and the Best of BU Award to Jack Parker (SMG’68, Hon.’97), who retired last spring after four decades as men’s ice hockey head coach.

Parker got a standing ovation as he walked to the podium to receive the award. Like Hemery, Parker fondly recalled his undergraduate mentor, saying that while he had great teachers at BU, “I thought that my best professor was my hockey coach, Jack Kelley. He seemed to know more about his subject than most of the guys I had in class. He certainly drove me harder than the professors I had in class….In all the years I’ve been here, the thing that has made it special are the people of BU.”

Scores of students were also recognized over the weekend. New members of BU’s Scarlet Key Society, all seniors in the Class of 2014, were tapped on Saturday; they will be inducted into the society next spring. The Scarlet Key Society, the University’s highest honor for student leaders, was established in 1938 by the General Alumni Association—now the Boston University Alumni Association.

Mary Perry (CAS’79, GRS’80, LAW’83), a member of the nominating committee, remembers when she was inducted, in 1979 in a ceremony at the Castle. “It was a wonderful honor,” said Perry, who recently retired from the US Air Force after serving as a judge advocate general (JAG) for 26 years. “It felt like someone out there took notice of me. It was the boost I needed to have confidence that what I was doing mattered.”

Howard dePass (CAS’14), a Posse Scholar, a resident assistant, and one of this year’s inductees, knows how Perry felt. “It feels good to have someone recognize the effort you’ve put in during your years at BU, that you’ve contributed to campus life, in my case residential life,” said dePass. “And you get to etch your mark in BU’s history.”

Looking ahead

Some of the weekend’s events focused on what’s ahead. On Friday, more than 250 LAW alumni, faculty, staff, and students celebrated the construction of LAW’s new Sumner M. Redstone Building and the renovation of the tower. Redstone (Hon.’94) gave $18 million for the school’s new building.

Richard C. Godfrey, a BU trustee and chair of LAW’s Building on Excellence Campaign, described the project as a “transformational event” in the school’s history. “When I was here in the 1970s, we talked about the rumors of a new building,” said Godfrey (LAW’79). “And here we are, some 30 years later, and the building is rising….As a lifelong Cubs fan, if we can build a new building here at BU, I believe that in my lifetime we’ll actually see a World Series.”

William Schwartz (LAW’55), LAW dean from 1980 to 1988, read a message from Redstone, who taught the school’s first course on entertainment law. Meghan E. Kelly (LAW’15) will be among the first students to take classes in the new building. She said the project will bring the LAW community closer together.

President Robert A. Brown said Kelly’s words were apt. “It’s about having that space where students can learn from each other, because, with all due respect to the faculty, they learn at least as much there as they do in the classrooms,” Brown said. “The addition of the Redstone building will not only give us wonderful classrooms, it will give us that kind of space for collaboration and study that we so desperately need for the quality of students in the school.”

Some alumni spent part of the weekend talking about their own ideas for the future of BU—one that they think should include a football team. At a packed reception for former Terrier football players, cheerleaders, managers, and marching band members, many expressed lasting disappointment that the University trustees canceled the football program in 1997 after 91 seasons, largely because of the expense and poor attendance.

Bruce Foucart (CAS’84, MET’85), who was an inside linebacker, said football “is still in our veins.”

Dominic Dell’Olio (SMG’62), a quarterback from ’58 to ’62, said he came back “to meet old friends, and hopefully to try to get football going again.”

All told, the weekend drew some 5,000 alumni, a number that Brown said reflects alums’ “strong connection” to the University and a growing engagement with BU. “Just a few years ago, BU alumni were gathering a little more than three times a week on average,” Brown said at the Alumni Awards ceremony. “Today they gather almost three times a day at events around the world. That’s an astounding change.”

1 Comments
Cynthia K. Buccini, Managing Editor, Bostonia alumni magazine, Boston University BU
Cynthia K. Buccini

Cynthia K. Buccini can be reached at cbuccini@bu.edu.

One Comment on Friends and Memories Bring 5,000 Back to Campus

  • Gary Capehart on 10.29.2013 at 12:09 pm

    I thought of the distain of others. Was something lost? On Saturday morning I walked coldly and alone to a registration booth for Reunion 13. I wore an old BU Football blazer that BU and I had paid for in 1968. As I approached a woman in the booth said to another. “He’s a BU Football player,” as though I had a game to play. Well this old Marine started to well up. They were great. They got me on my way. At GSU I start bawling again when they ask my name and Sue Richardson settled me down with a hug and fellow alumni who asked about our Pasadena Bowl Team in 1969. The day just got better, better, and better. I didn’t cry anymore for I was truly with friends. They were former players, alumni, and the Boston University staff that made my day and day for so many others, great. President Brown, thank-you for supporting such a wonderful reunion with the inclusion of our once lost football players. When I walked back to my car at 10:00 p.m. I wasn’t cold at all.

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