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W&L Celebrates Return of Alumni to Campus for Reunion Weekend The weather might have been slightly damp, but spirits were high as alumni enjoyed one another's company.

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Washington and Lee welcomed roughly 700 alumni and guests from the classes of 1972-2007 back to campus in May during its annual spring reunion weekend. Reunion participants traveled from 34 states to reconnect with one another and their alma mater. W&L had not hosted a typical Alumni Weekend on campus since 2019. The Office of Alumni Engagement held a special gathering on campus in March 2022 for all 16 classes who missed their Alumni Weekends in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The stormy weather experienced in Lexington on Friday and Saturday did not dampen the spirits of the attendees. Highlights of the busy weekend schedule included:

  • An Opening Assembly in University Chapel, featuring remarks by the Hon. Frank W. Friedman P’21, mayor of Lexington;
  • The ODK welcomed honorary initiates Ralph D. Caldroney ’72, Doug M. Ghertner ’97 and Margaret Ogilvie Stacy ’97;
  • 50th Reunion Sponsored Discussion featuring President Will Dudley. The Class of 1972 invited all alumni to this gathering for a review of the university’s strategic plan;
  • A Friends of the Library event featuring Tom Camden ’76 discussing “The Journey Home,” a reflection on his lifetime of connection with W&L;
  • A University Chapel tour and update from Lynn Rainville, director of institutional history;
  • Academic open houses, networking receptions, art exhibits and lifelong learning seminars;
  • W&L sports events, including the men’s and women’s lacrosse ODAC tournaments, the men’s and women’s tennis ODAC tournaments, as well as Generals baseball.
  • Friday evening class dinners, receptions and a Kentucky Derby party;
  • A champagne breakfast hosted by President Dudley.

The Annual Meeting of the Alumni Association was held in University Chapel on Saturday morning. The Alumni Association elected Lindsey Strachan Komisin ’09 of Richmond, Virginia, as incoming president and Jane Ledlie Batcheller ’03, ‘08L of Atlanta, Georgia, as vice president, as well as six new members of the Alumni Board of Directors: Kristen Youngblood Archer ’06 of West Orange, New Jersey; Jim Clifton ’86 of Lexington, Kentucky; Jerry Maatman ’78 of Winnetka, Illinois; Garrott McClintock ’10 of Fayetteville, Arkansas; Tom O’Brien ’88, ’91L of Louisville, Kentucky; and Rachel Weingartner ’06 of Birmingham, Alabama.

Saturday’s Generals Assembly also honored four recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award. Receiving the Alumni Association’s highest honor were Lex O. McMillan ’72, Edward “Ned” G. Moore ’72, Robert Covington ’97 and Erika Snyder Hagberg ‘97. In addition, President Dudley recognized Waller T. Dudley ’74, ’79L, executive director of Alumni Engagement, on his retirement and presented him with a commemorative plaque.

The success of the weekend was underscored by the class reunion gifts. Collectively, this year’s reunion classes raised more than $1.34 million for the 2021-22 Annual Fund and committed a total of $4.8 million in current gifts and future pledges to the Annual Fund. That figure was $400,000 more than these classes contributed five years ago at their last reunion.

Among the reunion giving highlights:

  • The Class of 2007 raised the third-largest gift for the 15th reunion ($540,347)
  • The Class of 1997 became the youngest class ever to raise more than $1 million in commitments for the Annual Fund in its reunion year ($1,065,311)
  • With 100% of the reunion registrants in the class making a commitment, the Class of 1982 won the Reunion Chairs’ Bowl
  • The Class of 2002 raised the second-largest gift for the 20th reunion ($858,635)
  • The Class of 2007 raised the third-largest gift for the 15th reunion ($540,347)
  • The Class of 1992 raised the third-largest gift for the 30th reunion ($855,568)
  • The 25th and 50th reunion classes have committed over $5 million to areas outside of the Annual Fund.

The weekend was a success thanks to the efforts of 170 reunion volunteers, who worked throughout the year to encourage classmates to register and raise money for class gifts. The following reunion chairs led the way for their respective classes: David Olson ’72, Harry Phillips ’72, Jim Lawson ’77, Trip Wornom ’77, Usher Winslett ’82, Mike McGarry ’87, John Oliver ’87, Lisa McHenry White ’92, Blair Allen ’92, Julio Mayo Bradbury ’97, Lamar Villere ’97, Elizabeth Kelsey Scruggs ’02, Steve Hostetler ’02, Katie Garrett Arcati ’07 and Charlie McCombs ’07.

“It was wonderful to welcome alumni back on campus for Alumni Reunion Weekend, reconnecting with one another and the university,” said Tom Jennings, vice president for University Advancement. “The commitment and loyalty of our alumni, and their energy and enthusiasm, were on display throughout the reunion events.  My colleagues and I were happy to celebrate with all who returned to campus for their reunions and grateful to all those who helped contribute to its success.”

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Reunion Awards

Reunion Bowl (highest percentage of classmates registered): Class of 1992

Reunion Trophy (greatest number of classmates registered): Class of 1992

Reunion Road Warrior Award (reunionist traveling the furthest distance to campus): Devon McAllister Rothwell ‘92, Mill Valley, California

John Newton Thomas Trophy (largest percentage increase in Annual Fund commitments over the previous year): Class of 2002

Trident Trophy (highest percentage of class participation in the Annual Fund): Class of 2007

Reunion Chairs’ Bowl (highest percentage of reunion registrants participating in the Annual Fund): Class of 1982

Colonnade Cup (largest reunion gift to the Annual Fund): Class of 1997