Co-chair for her class's reunion and first-time reunion attendee Geni Venable '12 is looking forward to being back on campus for Reunion Weekend.
"Whitman continues to have a special place in my heart and I loved the idea of helping us gather all together again," said the politics major, one of around 750 alumni and guests planning to attend this weekend's celebrations for Whittie graduates ranging from the class of 1952 to Venable's 2012 cohort and beyond.
Being on campus as an alumna rather than a student also has its benefits: "Getting to catch up with friends and professors without that nagging feeling that I have a book to read or paper to write sounds like an incredible way to spend a weekend!" she said.
Events will include dinners at local hotels and wineries, residence life and academic department receptions, special exhibits in the Maxey Museum and Sheehan Gallery, and talks by faculty members and current students.
Venable, a communications specialist with Alaska Airlines in Seattle, sees reunions as an opportunity to build upon the connections made as a student.
"Whitman really is a community and not just a place to get an education," she said. "You're not in a self-contained track with people in your year—your classes and your activities will connect you with Whitties of all ages."
Starting this Thursday, first-timer Venable will have the opportunity to connect with alumni like K. Waegelin Baxter '77, who has missed only one reunion.
"And I don't plan on missing any others," said Baxter, reunion co-chair for the class of 1977. "Life is too short—I intend to take any chance that's offered to spend it with people I've loved for 40 years."
A psychology major and retired attorney from Idaho Falls, Idaho, Baxter has a strong family connection to Whitman—her daughters are Jacqueline Baxter '05 and Katherine Baxter Biagi '09 and her mother-in-law is Janice Nye Baxter '48.
Her fondest memories as a student include "the feeling of the sunshine on those incredible spring days; the sound of music blaring out of the dorms and students enjoying life on Ankeny; my freshman roomie; the kids from Hawaii running outside in their shorts and flip-flops to feel the first snowfall."
Baxter's exemplary reunion attendance record comes down to one thing: "For me, Whitman is the place you make your lifetime friends."
Reunion Weekend will take place Oct. 12-15. Alumni can see the full schedule of events and register online.