Last weekend marked the great CMC get-together for the Class of 2011, which converged on campus for its five-year reunion.
This year’s event, which took place June 3-5, was hosted exclusively for the Class of 2011. All other CMC classes celebrated their one-, 10-, 15-, 20-year, etc., reunions during Alumni Weekend earlier in the spring.
The packed schedule included a class reunion dinner and dance, tour of the new Roberts Pavilion, an In-N-Out-catered lunch, “Tacos at Sunset,” brunches, snacks, class photos, and much, much more. And for alumni who never quite recovered from their separation anxiety after leaving CMC, three instructional class sessions were held Friday, proctored by professors Zachary Courser, Dan Krauss, and Ward Elliott. The three “Continuing Ed” lectures were for enterprising alumni who wanted to get a taste of what current students at CMC are learning.
“What activity wasn’t part of the reunion?” says Tammy Phan ’11, member of the Class of 2011 planning committee. “It was, like our entire experience at CMC, a great mix of work hard/play hard. There were Ath-style lectures by our former professors, a tour of the new Roberts Pavilion (one word: wow), and throwback parties in North Quad that made us feel like 2011 was just yesterday, and definitely not five years ago. And there were rumors of In-N-Out and snow cone trucks, and no way were we going to miss that. College may have been just a four-year experience, though CMC will always be our home. Simply put, we missed home.”
It was a sentiment shared by many of the returning alumni.
“We did expect and have a big turnout which was great!” says Mike Whatley ’11, another member of the planning committee. “I think one of the great things about the size of CMC is that you really develop a close group of friends that sticks together long after graduation and loves to hang out. Also because we are such a small school, you know almost everyone in your class, which makes reunion even more of a draw. Plus, who wouldn’t want to hang out in the beautiful SoCal sun with their former classmates in large, inflatable pools?”
According to committee member Milan Reed ’11, the five-year reunion is a big deal because of the close and broad relationships fostered during students’ time at CMC. “There is a really collective feel to the whole school,” he says. “Everybody has their circle of best friends, but at the same time, there is a lot of familiarity and openness outside that circle. CMC did a good job of fostering a community dynamic where the students here feel like a part of something more than just a sprint to get a degree.”
Kathryn Mgrublian ’11 agreed. “For the last two or three years, friends from previous classes raved about their reunion experiences — seeing people and experiencing the weekend and that it was not to be missed!” she says. “I booked this weekend for vacation nearly a year ago.”
For Reed, the reunion wasn’t only about the scheduled activities. “I was really looking forward to the quiet moments with old friends to just catch up on things and see how the world was moving on their end,” he says. “I imagine some of my classmates felt similarly. Life moves so fast for a lot of us between all the high-level jobs, graduate schools and the varied daily grind, it is great to have a weekend marked on the calendar to sit down, unplug and chill out, and you know some great people you really like will be there to share the moment with you.”
And those moments — different for every returning alumnus — abounded. “The high point for me was walking into Collins on Saturday evening and seeing the way the place had been transformed into a classy upscale venue,” Reed says. “DJ, dance floor, lounge, tables with tablecloths, and a big light-up sign reading ‘CMC 2011’ was the perfect touch; the place was beautiful and unrecognizable.”
Whatley may have spoken for the group when he said: “I think we are all already looking forward to the next reunion in five years.”