Reunion at Thurtene Carnival expected to draw 1,900 alumni

About 1,900 alumni and friends are expected to return to Washington University in St. Louis this weekend for Reunion at Thurtene Carnival. They will enjoy many of the activities they loved as students — going to class, riding the Ferris wheel at Thurtene, watching the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium and drinking beer at Blueberry Hill.

The Alumni Association has scheduled about 75 tours, classes, parties, performances, barbecues and family-friendly events. Many activities are on campus; others are at St. Louis attractions such as Anheuser-Busch Brewery.

Highlights include:

Barbecue in Brookings Quadrangle. Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton will present awards to the reunion classes with the highest attendance and the highest participation in the reunion class gift while alumni enjoy reconnecting and reminiscing with each other.

20th anniversary of improv group Mama’s Pot Roast or, as members like to joke, the 10th anniversary of its 10th anniversary. Some 40 alumni will reunite on stage for two comedy shows.

Tour of Tyson Research Center. Barbara Schaal, PhD, dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences, will lead alumni through the Living Learning Center, Tyson’s natural ecosystems and its experimental venues.

“There really is something for everyone,” said Susan Cohen, executive director of Alumni Relations. “They are more classes to visit, more events with affinity groups like the Danforth and Ervin Scholars and a variety of family-friendly events. And, of course, there are a lot of opportunities to see what’s new on campus and meet today’s students.”

Several years ago, the Alumni Association started to shift many class reunions from Commencement Weekend to the weekend of Thurtene Carnival. All alumni who graduated less than 50 years ago now attend Reunion at Thurtene Carnival. (Those who graduated in 1964 or earlier will continue to gather at Reunion at Commencement Weekend.)

Cohen said the transition has been a huge success.

“Alumni want to be here when the students are on campus,” Cohen said. “And it’s great for our current students, too. When they see all of the alumni on campus, we hope it builds excitement for students as they look forward to returning for their own reunions.”

Learn more about a send-off for Rubelmann House. Get more details about Thurtene here.