While many undergraduates will relax on sandy beaches or hit the slopes over Spring Break, the tercentennial staff will be hard at work preparing to greet Yale’s most active alumni for the April tercentennial event.
The University sent out over 2,000 invitations to alumni to return to campus April 19-22 for a weekend of events entitled “Creativity and Discovery.” Associate Dean of Yale College Penelope Laurans, coordinator of this event, said the response cards have been rolling in and have been exceedingly positive.
“The responses are scarily favorable,” Laurans said.
The alumni weekend, which will feature 52 panels, discussions, tours, plays and concerts, is the second of three major tercentennial events this year. Former President George H. W. Bush ’48 will deliver a speech to all attendees on the Saturday afternoon.
With so many attendees, there are many preparations for the event and tercentennial staffers will be working hard over the next two weeks to make final arrangements.
“We are gathering volunteers, organizing meals, registering attendees for different events, and making arrangements to videotape everything,” said Janet Lindner, coordinator of the Tercentennial.
She added that her office has not had any cancellations from any of the speakers thus far.
Laurans said she is starting to contact everyone who will be speaking on panels and organizing conference calls for panel leaders to discuss their sessions and make sure “everything is the best it can be.”
While she added that planning has been ongoing for over a year, there are still last minute details that need attention.
“From cell phones, bathrooms, transportation, hotels, to parking — we’re like an army marshalling all of our forces together at the end,” Laurans said.
Yale College Council President Libby Smiley ’02 said she is meeting with Laurans tomorrow to figure out how the University will apportion spots for students at each of the 52 events.
Laurans said she can see from the response cards that certain events are more popular than others. She said the two Beinecke Library exhibits with Patricia Willis and Howard Lamar and the Garry Trudeau ’70 talk are among the oversubscribed events.
The University extended invitations to many famous alumni politicians including President George W. Bush ’68, Senator Joseph Lieberman ’68, former President Bill Clinton LAW ’73, Senator Hillary Clinton LAW ’73 and former President Gerald Ford LAW ’41.
George W. Bush and Ford will not be able to attend the event. Tercentennial officials are awaiting responses from the Clintons and Lieberman.