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Alums Connect and Celebrate at Reunion 2024

Alums Connect and Celebrate at Reunion 2024

About 750 Northfield, Mount Hermon, and NMH graduates gathered on campus from May 30 to June 2 for three-and-a-half days of panel discussions and special ceremonies, dinners and campfires, bird walks and pickleball, art and music  —  and countless opportunities to reconnect with old friends.

This year’s reunion celebrated classes that end in 4 and 9, with alums from the Classes of 1949 to 2019. The fun kicked off on the evening of May 30, with a special screening of “The Holdovers,” the Oscar-winning film that was shot, in part, on campus. 

The weekend included several “Back to School” panel discussions exploring the school’s history and the ways that alums have carried their NMH experience with them in their lives and careers. A “Northfield Campus, Past, Present, and Future” panel looked at the difficult decision to consolidate the two campuses and the fate of the Northfield property, most of which is now owned by Thomas Aquinas College. Patrick Ford, the college’s director of east coast development, joined the conversation, expressing his school’s deep appreciation for Northfield’s legacy and for the campus, which since 2022 has borne a plaque honoring that legacy. Ford also led several tours of the Northfield campus throughout the weekend.

This year’s 50th reunion class hosted a panel called “The Class of 1974: Making a Difference,” moderated by Ed Pitoniak, founding CEO of VICI Properties. Panelists Margaret Honey, CEO of the Scratch Foundation; Valerie Jarrett, former senior advisor to Barack Obama; and Betty Edwards Johnson, who was a geophysicist at Chevron, spoke about their professional journeys and the ways they’ve found opportunities to make positive change in the world. The Class of 1969, meanwhile, hosted “Defying Expectations: How NMH Helped Overcome Career Stereotypes of Gender, Race, and Social Background,” with moderator Al Gilbert. Panelists Brian Bauer, Barbara Deinhardt, Walter Lowe, and Carol Ward discussed the effects that social movements and political upheaval — including the anti-war movement and campaigns for civil, women’s and gay rights — had on them as students and in their careers in medicine, law, and business.

A panel on “Doing Well and Doing Good” brought together alums from across the decades — Toni Bush '74, Rob Werner ‘79, Dawson Her Many Horses '94, and Daisy Gordon '09 — for a discussion about citizenship and leadership, which was the 2023-24 “learning theme” for NMH students. The panel was hosted by Mariah Calagione ’89, who this summer leaves her role as chair of the NMH Board of Trustees. Later that day, she and her husband, Sam Calagione ’88, with whom she founded Dogfish Head brewing company, joined Chip Samson ’04, co-owner and founder of Shaidzon Beer, for a conversation about their work and a chance to taste a special NMH Reunion beer they created together.

The Class of 1974 also hosted an art exhibit in the Gallery at the Rhodes Arts Center, with work by Kate Barber, Anne Flash, Barbara Forshay, Stephanie Gerson, Peter King, Ginger Hinman McEachern, Laura Nelson, Carolie Parker, Andy Tofuri, and the late Yolanda Suarez. On Saturday, Bonita Hyman ’74 and Jonathan Towne ’74 brought down the house at a concert with pianist Raymond Harvey, their class’s choir instructor.

On Friday morning, Rick Hendrickson, who joined NMH as athletics director last year, met with alums for a conversation about the school’s diverse athletics program. Later that day, Head of School Brian Hargrove offered a glimpse of current happenings and future priorities at the school. On Saturday, Nancy Hanson, NMH’s new farm director, gave a tour of the farm and spoke about developments there, including the Farm Semester program that launched last year. That afternoon, Delphi Lyra ’24 brought more than a few alums to tears with a presentation about her research into Memorial Grove, where 19 trees honor Mount Hermon students who died in World War I.

Alums took part in a number of reunion traditions, including memorial services for deceased classmates, a hymn sing, and the Pie Ride, Reunion Row, and Mec Peller Memorial 5K race. They also played disc golf and soccer, relaxed in paint-and-sip art sessions, enjoyed an astrology workshop, connected at affinity-group lunches for alumni of color and LGBTQ+ alums, and caught up with old friends at class campfires, dinners, and dances.

“It was a glorious weekend!” said Stacie Hagenbaugh, NMH’s director of alumni engagement. “There was something for everyone at this year’s fantastic reunion. Alumni Council and class volunteers were incredible collaborators who worked closely with us to curate a robust and thoughtful schedule of events and activities. The buzz on campus was palpable and the smiles on everyone’s faces said it all.”

See photos from Reunion 2024 on our alumni Flickr.

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