UR students, along with 6,000 registered guests, enjoyed perfect weather and entertaining performances mark this year’s successful Meliora Weekend.

“We had 800 more people than last year, which is in line with prior years,” Director of Alumni Relations Mary Jo Ferr said. “What is certain now is that we have a very popular fall tradition.”

Family and alumni began flooding campus on Friday morning, attending various reunion luncheons and department open houses. Others simply took advantage of the nice weather, walking around campus and along the Genesee River.

“The weather was great this year, compared to last year where it rained so hard that a lot of people chose not to go out,” Ferr said. With temperatures reaching 75 degrees during the weekend, and clear skies, everyone spent a lot of time outdoors, enjoying all Rochester has to offer.

But the beautiful weather only supplemented the exceptional programs offered throughout the weekend, from a presentation by award-winning author Alan Burdick to a roundtable discussion led by Harvard Law professor Arthur Miller ’56.

“The programming went great,” Ferr said. “I especially loved that the students had their second annual symposium on sustainability. Now students not only have their social events, but have sponsored their own academic affairs as well.” This symposium took place on Saturday afternoon and featured Nobel Prize winner Steven Chu ’70.

Also on Saturday, after enjoying two comedic performances from Drew Carey and the Improv All-Stars in the Palestra the night before, guests celebrated Delta Kappa Epsilon’s 150th anniversary with a tailgate party to pre-game the football team’s win over the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

“It was a wonderful 150th reunion and a great opportunity for our younger brothers to meet some of our highly esteemed alumni,” Delta Kappa Epsilon brother and senior Andrew Laughlin said.

“A great time was had by all who came and it was undoubtedly the highest concentration of gentlemen, scholars, and jolly good fellows in one location on campus that this University will ever see until the next large DKE reunion.”

On Fri. and Sat. evenings, the fraternity quad was the place for alumni of all ages to mingle with current students and remember what college life was like. “It was so good to be back and see lots of old friends and relive college for a weekend,” Katheryn Nave ’06, said. “However, at the same time, I realized I am in such a good place right now that I don’t miss it as much as I thought I would. I am happy that I have moved on and now have truly realized that there is life beyond college and it doesn’t have to be the best four years of your life.”

The positive atmosphere was reflected by the many e-mails received by the Alumni House in the days following. “On Mon. and Tues. we received a lot of e-mails from people sending their congratulations, and saying ‘we don’t know how you do it every year,'” Ferr said. In addition to the strong organization and leadership from the Alumni House, the success of the weekend was made possible by the support of the 50-60 student volunteers.

“It would have been impossible for the weekend to run without the students who volunteered,” Student Volunteer Coordinator and sophomore Yorda Yenenh said. “These students greeted alumni, helped to set up the nighttime activities and worked at the class reunion dinners.” The alumni very much appreciated all of the student involvement. “The alumni liked to see the students now, and to talk to them about what’s going on here now,” Yenenh continued. “They all represented school well – there was a good amount of people from different organizations, the Greek community, and all class years – there was a good representation of campus.”

All in all, the weekend lived up to its motto – that it is always better. “Meliora was wonderful! I have never met so many energized alumni, students and faculty,” President Joel Seligman said. “So many programs received strong praise; I loved every moment.” Paret can be reached at eparet@campustimes.org.

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