Alumni Come Home for Reunion Weekend 2018
Alumni Come Home for Reunion Weekend 2018
Liz Torrey

St. Andrew's celebrated its annual Reunion Weekend June 8 through June 10, and welcomed more than 300 alumni back to campus for the three-day celebration. This year's reunion honored class years ending in 3s and 8s, from the Class of 1948 to the Class of 2013, but alumni from all years of the School's history were in attendance. The Class of 1968 celebrated its 50th Reunion, while the class of 1993 celebrated its 25th Reunion. Weekend events offered activities for every age and interest, including a discussion about the School's draft strategic plan; an alumni lecture by Bulent Atalay '58 on "Lunacy and Genius"; yoga in the dance studio and crew races on Noxontown Pond, and much more.

The oldest attendee from a Reunion class was Rob Van Mesdag '48, who traveled from London to attend the festivities. Chris Reeve '68, and Sean Morley '98, both from Australia, traveled the furthest distance to attend Reunion Weekend. Classes with the strongest showing at Reunion were the Class of 2013, with 60% of the class attending, followed by the Class of 1993, with 43% of the class attending.

At the all-alumni Reunion Banquet on Saturday night, the Class of 1988 was awarded with the Giving Bowl, which recognizes the Reunion class that has contributed the largest total amount of gifts to the Saints Fund (as of Reunion Weekend) in the current fiscal year. Our 1988 alums have given $80,260 to the Saints Fund in 2017-18, which is a new 30th Reunion record.

The Fishers of Men and Women Plate, another annually given Reunion award that recognizes the two reunion classes (pre-1974 and post-1974) with the greatest percentage of alumni making gifts to the Saints Fund (as of Reunion Weekend) in the current fiscal year. The pre-1974 Fishers Plate was awarded to the Class of 1968, with 76% of the Class making a gift to the Saints Fund this year. The post-1974 Fishers Plate was given to the Class of 1998, which achieved 72% participation in Saints Fund giving, a new participation record for a 20th Reunion class.

Alumni giving is also honored with a third award: the Founders Cup. Instituted in recognition of the School's 75th anniversary in 2004, the Founders Cup recognizes the importance of alumni support of every kind, and is given to the Reunion class that has given the greatest total support to the School (Saints Fund, capital, endowment, and planned gifts and pledges) since the prior reunion. (Prior to 2018, the Founders Cup was given to the Reunion class who had the great total giving to the School during the current fiscal year.) This year's Founders Cup was awarded to the Class of 1988, for their total giving of $892,026 to St. Andrew's since their last Reunion in 2013.

Finally, this year's Distinguished Alumni Award was jointly given to Dick Schulze '53 and Sophie Stenbeck '98.

Schulze received his undergraduate degree at Princeton and his medical degree at Johns Hopkins. He developed a very successful ophthalmology practice, Schulze Eye and Surgery Center, in Savannah. Schulze and his wife Tricia own a large plantation outside Tillman, South Carolina. In the 1980s, Schulze devoted considerable energy and resources into reintroducing the cultivation of Carolina Gold rice in the Lowcountry, where it had not been grown since the 1920s, and later wrote a short book about this experience. "As one of the most brilliant and successful physicians in St. Andrew's history, Dick found his intellectual, moral, ethical, and athletic foundation at St. Andrew's," said Head of School Tad Roach at the Reunion Banquet. "He was described by Walden Pell as the 'student who has made as much of his opportunities here as any student who has entered St. Andrew's.'

In addition to her professional career as a social entrepreneurship investor, Sophie Stenbeck '98 is a significant philanthropist through the Sophie Stenbeck Family Foundation, which focuses on furthering child rights, education, and the fight against human trafficking. "Sophie has established a remarkable program for St. Andrew's students that invites them, challenges them, and funds projects in social entrepreneurship," said Roach in his banquet remarks. "The two year program gives students the experience of designing their own projects and pitching their proposals to professionals in the world of social entrepreneurship. Sophie is generously funding all accepted programs for our students, thus creating remarkable work experiences for a new generation of St. Andreans."

The Distinguished Alumni Award is presented to the alumnus/a who has distinguished him or herself professionally, personally, and in service to the community and country, with strength, commitment, and perseverance, in the opinion of the Headmaster. The Distinguished Alumni Award Fund, created by the Class of 1959 on the occasion of its 50th Reunion, brings the recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award to campus during the following School year to engage with students.

Thank you to all of our alumni who made the trek back to campus for Reunion Weekend 2018! If you weren't able to make it, please know that you were sorely missed by your fellow Saints.

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To make a 2018 gift to the Saints Fund, visit standrews-de.org/give by June 30.

To view photos from Reunion Weekend 2018, visit our Flickr page.