Snapshots: 2014 Homecoming Reunion & Family Weekend Celebrations Include ’64 Endowed Scholarship

| September 22, 2014
The well-attended Homecoming Garden Glow event welcomed alumni back to campus Friday evening.

The well-attended Homecoming Garden Glow reception welcomed alumni back to campus.

Events commemorating Webster University’s 100th anniversary were interwoven with the 2014 Homecoming Reunion & Family Weekend 2014 Sept. 19-20.

One alumnus even traveled from as far as India to attend his 25th Webster University reunion. Vipon Menon is an information technology professional who resides in the city of Bangalore, which is known as the Silicon Valley of India. “A centennial is a major milestone for an institution,” Menon said. “For an individual it is a lifelong memory and a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Menon received a master’s degree in computer resources management in 1989. He said he chose Webster because of the many faculty members who were working professionals and could share their career experiences in the classroom. “No book can give you that kind of knowledge,” he said. With no Internet or Google to facilitate his college search back in the 1980s, Menon said was able to identify and choose Webster through research he conducted at a U.S. Embassy Library in India.

Friday, Sept. 19: Garden Glow, Mason Film Screening
A wonderful evening outside the East Academic Building and the Anheuser-Busch Rain Garden.

A wonderful evening outside the East Academic Building and the Anheuser-Busch Rain Garden.

Following the afternoon’s Illuminate the Century Street Party in downtown St. Louis, the Garden Glow Wine Tasting and Beer Garden event in the Anheuser-Busch Rain Garden was held on the Webster home campus Friday evening. About 400 Webster alumni, parents, faculty, staff, students and community friends attended the party, enjoying food pairings with beer from St. Louis’s best and wine from several regions around the world.

President Stroble, Centennial Committee Chair Elizabeth Robb '65, Alumni Association President Chris McGee '01 and Provost Schuster lead the alumni in a toast to Webster's 100th year.

President Stroble, Centennial Committee Chair Elizabeth Robb ’65, Alumni Association President Chris McGee ’01 and Provost Schuster lead the alumni in a toast to Webster’s 100th year.

[View more photos of the Garden Glow & Wine Tasting event here.]

Later that evening, class of 1964 alumna and actress Marsha Mason was honored at a film tribute celebrating her favorite film, Only When I Laugh. Mason’s career includes four Academy Award nominations and two Golden Globes. In her remarks to the audience, Mason noted that her first reunion at Webster was this year’s – her 50th – calling it a “revelatory, wonderfully warm and affectionate experience.”

Mason said the film is her favorite because she loves its title and that it is an “ensemble” film. “Each person’s story in the film was inspirational to me,” she said. “I’m also very proud of my work in it, and I dedicated it privately to my mom. She gave me the strength and purpose to be my best.”

Saturday, Sept. 20: Class of ’64 Enters Golden Circle, Create Endowed Scholarship

On Saturday, the Class of 1964, celebrating 50 years, was inducted into Webster’s “Golden Circle” at a luncheon in the Music Quad. In her welcome remarks, President Beth Stroble said, “This year’s Golden Circle class begins to give us a hint of some of the changes to come.” Stroble noted that the assassination of John F. Kennedy happened in the fall of their senior year, and that they were equipped to deal with the turmoils of the day. “Your loyalty to one another and to Webster is noteworthy,” she said.

In celebration of their 50th reunion, and in memory of the faculty who taught them and their classmates who have passed away, the reunion planning committee for the class, including Kathryn Coakley Springs (from Denver), Mary Ellen Wurm, Karen Luebbert, Katie Roberts Woodward (from Cypress, Texas) and Mary Ann Lause, agreed to pursue creating an endowed scholarship to benefit future students at Webster. Forty-three alumnae returned for their 50th — the largest number ever — and met during a private reception on Saturday evening to discuss the scholarship.

They have already raised $26,500 in gifts and pledges and the classmates’ discussions on Saturday resulted in their challenging themselves to raise $100,000!

Members of the Class of 1959 — the first class to create an endowment in honor of their class reunion — were also at the reunion to celebrate their 55th. Chaired by Martha Armes (from New York City), the Class of 1959’s endowed scholarship has been awarded to seven Webster students so far.

The class of 1964, celebrating 50 years, was inducted into the Golden Circle, and received a commemorative Golden Circle pin.

The class of 1964, celebrating 50 years, was inducted into the Golden Circle at the luncheon, and received a commemorative Golden Circle pin.

Other Saturday events included a Tailgate and Military Thank You party; 10th Annual Student vs. Alumni flag football game in the Quad [view more photos at the University’s Facebook page]; 10-minute “Lightning Talks” by Webster alumni, faculty and students in the University Center; and a Multicultural Center and International Student Affairs reception paying tribute to the memory of the department’s first director, Aliah Mubarak-Tharpe.

Webster Alumni won the 10th Annual Flag Football game, beating out Webster students.

Webster Alumni won the 10th Annual Flag Football game, beating out Webster students on the Quad.

Later that evening, at a cocktail reception prior to the Homecoming Awards Dinner and Dance at the Frontenac Hilton, the Class of 1964 announced the formation of an endowed scholarship.

Several Alumni Award winners were recognized at the dinner: Eileen Schneider Edelman, BA ’85, Loretto Award; Ricardo Falla, BA ’09, MA ’11, Youn Alumni Award; John Nickel, BA ’75, Mary Elizabeth Newell Loyalty Award; and Nancy Hernreich Bowen, BA ’68, Distinguished Alumni Award.

The MCISA office held an event to honor Aliah Mubarak-Tharpe, its first director.

Multicultural Center & International Student Affairs held an event to honor Aliah Mubarak-Tharpe, its first director.

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Category: Advancement, Alumni, Campus Snapshots, St. Louis Campus News, Student Affairs and News, Webster Events

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