More than 400 Brooksians returned to Great Pond Road on June 10 and June 11 to reconnect, visit old haunts and enjoy new spaces during Alumni Weekend 2022.
The school was ready for their return following two years of COVID-19-related barriers, and the mood on campus was one of joy and reconnection. The school invited alumni from class years ending in 0, 1, 2, 5, 6 and 7 to honor the missed in-person gatherings in 2020 and 2021. Brooks offered tours, a dinner and dance, and panels and opportunities for discussion about the past, present and future of the school.
The weekend kicked off with the traditional Ashburn Luncheon, which honors the members of the FDA Society and alumni who were celebrating their 50th reunion and beyond. The luncheon was served in the waiting room of the school's new admissions building — a space that has already seen its share of gatherings despite only having opened this spring.
Following the Ashburn Luncheon, the 50th reunion classes of 1970, 1971 and 1972 were treated to a tour of campus led by Sarah Benjavitvilai '23, Chapin Dobbins '23, Gray Dobbins '22 and Philip Mwangi '24.
Friday night saw class cluster dinners across campus, as alumni from class years that were close together gathered for their first opportunity to reunite as a class. Alumni also had opportunities throughout the weekend to peruse the school archives, Henry Luce Library, the Robert Lehman Art Center and the school store.
Saturday's scheduled activities began with the school's Memorial Chapel service, presided over by Chaplain Emeritus the Rev. Timothy Cogan H'98, P'88, which was followed by a touching tree planting in memory of Breck Denny '06.
Brooksians were again invited to stretch their legs with another campus tour before gathering in Ashburn Chapel once more for Head of School John Packard's State of the School address. The well-received address gave way to lunch under a tent set up by the school's flagpole and overlooking the school's expanse of fields leading to a gleaming Lake Cochichewick.
The youngest Brooksians also took advantage of Family Fun Fest just outside the tent: Children of alumni were treated to face painting, outdoor games and other family-friendly activities.
Saturday afternoon programming was plentiful, too. Alumni had the option to enjoy the campus and its outdoor amenities. They could be found playing pickup soccer, tennis and disc golf, and also striking out across the lake in kayaks and canoes. Brooksians also crowded into the main theater in the Center for the Arts for two presentations:
- a career panel featuring three alumni award winners: Marquis Daisy '01, Lisa Petzold '00 and Richard V. Spencer '72, who discussed how Brooks has served as a foundation in their professional careers
- and the formal presentation of the alumni awards by John Packard.
Watch the presentation of this year's Alumni Bowl award to Valentine Hollingsworth III '72, P'17 and Alumni Shield to Lizette Williams '97. The school also honored 2020's and 2021's respective Alumni Shield winners, Lisa Petzold '00 and Marquis Daisy '01.
Two new events were added to this year's Alumni Weekend programming, as well: gatherings for alumni of color and for LGBTQIA+ alumni. Faculty advisors to the school's Black Students Union and Gender and Sexuality Alliance attended the events to meet with alumni and update them on the school's current efforts.
"The gathering gave our alumni an opportunity to connect with each other on a meaningful level," says GSA advisor Rebecca Binder. "I also appreciated the chance to brief our alumni on the school's recent successes and current opportunities and feel their support as we move forward."
Saturday concluded with a raucous celebration under the tent, as Alumni Weekend attendees gathered for a cocktail hour followed by dinner, dancing and the presentation of Distinguished Brooksian awards to two impressive alumni: former Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer '72 (below) and retiring board president Steve Gorham '85, P'17, P'21 (following).
OTHER RECENT STORIES
Celebrating the Graduates
The class of 2022's graduation from Brooks was a sun- and fun-filled weekend.
Building the Beloved Community
When students report to campus this fall, they will be greeted by a new dean of diversity, equity and inclusion: Reverend Terri Ofori.
Shining a Light on Spring Activities
Coaches bestowed afternoon activities and athletics honors during our awards ceremony shortly before graduation.