Recap of CBE’s 2013 All-Class Alumni Reunion

When we first thought about having a reunion, it was expected to be a very moderate affair. “Fifteen or twenty people, most of them local” was the prognosis. To our surprise and delight, that turned out not to be the case.  The final count of attendees at the Tailgate on the Terrace portion of the reunion — which included spouses, faculty, and a smattering of student volunteers — was 105!

A photo of many of the attendees — taken by our wonderful volunteer photographer, Geoff Hulse — appears above.  To see the rest of Geoff’s pictures, visit

The Reunion got off to a chaotic start as dozens of people assembled at the small Gilbane Trailer site to participate in the tour of the new Koffolt Labs building.   So many people RSVP’d for the tour, we had to split it into segments.  Luckily Gilbane Construction was able to accommodate everyone and we very much appreciate their flexibility. Guests donned hardhats, vests, safety glasses and in some cases, gloves, and began the trek through the new building, which is now fully enclosed.  While the first group embarked on the tour, remaining guests were offered Cheryl’s cookies and bottled water to bide their time chatting with fellow alums.

Later that evening, 65 people met up at The Blackwell to enjoy a Reunion Dinner.  The room was abuzz with excitement as old friends greeted one another and embraced former faculty and friends for the first time in many years.  Guests enjoyed a light meal of lemon chicken, sauteed green beans, spaghetti squash, salad, and fruit cup with an almond cookie, and a special vegan meal of stuffed Portabello mushroom caps was also available.  During dessert, Dr. Cooper gave a short introduction of a special guest — Tom Koffolt, son of Joe Koffolt — who made a trip from Alabama to join in the festivities.  Dr. Cooper also highlighted several longtime faculty in attendance:  Bob Brodkey, who has been with the department for over 50 years, and Harry Hershey.  Harry Hershey and Larry Latta, by the way, spearheaded the effort for a cocktail hour at The Blackwell prior to the dinner.  An excellent suggestion!

On Saturday, E100 Scott Labs hosted 100 people for lunch.  Tables of scarlet and grey linens sporting a gift bag door prize at the center of each table greeted guests, who enjoyed a buffet lunch of turkey sliders, corn salsa and chips, salad, and Cheryl’s cookies.  Vegetarians had the option of a quinoa and tofu salad.

Many members of the group then assembled on the steps of Old Koffolt for group photos before enjoying coffee and cookies during Dr. Cooper’s “Department Overview” given in 207 Koffolt Labs.

The featured event on Saturday was the Tailgate on the Terrace.  Held on the second floor terrace of Knowlton Hall, the Tailgate attracted 105 guests.  Visitors had a bird’s eye view of all the tailgating activities going on below, and the weather was fairly cooperative.  Some found it a bit too cool to remain on the terrace for long,  preferring cups of hot coffee and cocoa from a deluxe Coffee Bar — complete with coffee flavorings, Creme de Menthe chocolate, and whipped cream — rather than the glass carafes of refreshing “fruit water” (slices of oranges and strawberries) on the terrace.  The Tailgate food was outstanding:  beef brisket and pulled chicken sandwiches; cheesy potatoes; Buffalo chicken dip and chips; and the Ambrosia salad (marshmallows, Mandarin oranges, sour cream, coconut, and cherries) was also a big hit.

The game started at 8:00 pm and most people had tickets in the ‘shoe.  But a number of guests stayed to watch it in the auditorium in 250 Knowlton — an experiment that proved only partially successful, since the picture tended to lock up after about half an hour each time.  However, some guests stayed until the very end.

We hope you all enjoyed the reunion as much as we did.  It was just great to meet so many of you in person and see everyone enjoying one another’s company.  Clearly…. “once a Jewel, always a Jewel.”


Photo by Dave Woosley



“We’re back home now, and glowing with wonderful memories of meeting old friends and making new ones. Thanks so much to everyone for a marvelous time!  Thanks, Geoff, for the photos, too!  (We didn’t take any! too bad for us!)  Looking forward to the next one, maybe when the new labs are OPEN!  Yay!  All the best to everyone!  Leonore Witchey, ’83 BS, ’84 MS.”

“It was wonderful seeing some of the members of my ChemE tribe to catch up & discuss a few things.  The tribute video of Dr. Brodkey is stellar.  You should ask him about his “average” picture of man & woman which he shared with some of his grad classes.  And I’ll likely never forget his surprise Hydraulic Jump question on the 1st exam.  Thanks again for your hospitality and many thanks to all who made it fun, inspiring and memorable.  Smiles,  Paul Woosley, ’84 MS.”

“Thanks again for a wonderful weekend of events for the CBE 2013 Alumni Reunion.  Every meal and activity was well done, and the opportunity to reconnect with former classmates and faculty was greatly enjoyed.  Wes regrets not being able to attend, and hopes to attend any future events.  Go Bucks!”  Paula (Fulk) and Wes Oren, ’88 BS.”

“I truly appreciated all the effort from everyone who helped make this weekend so enjoyable.  My husband and son also had a good time.  It was marvelous to see the new building, but also nice to roam through the old building.  I’m sure the new students will benefit greatly from the improved facility. Some of the guys talked about having a similar reunion next year around the week of the ribbon cutting ceremony.  Maybe even have it line up with a home football game.  Not homecoming – it was nice having the campus sort of to ourselves.  I know it was a lot of work and expense, but it sure would be nice. Once again, thanks to everyone for the wonderful weekend.  Julie (Davison) Balmer, ’71 BS.”

“The tour, dinner and tailgate were very well done. It was nice to get together with some faculty and classmates. Hopefully this event will happen again in two or three years. Thanks to everyone involved in making this reunion a success!  Best regards, Stuart Doty “89 BS.”

“Everything was organized so well for the reunion, which in turn made it very enjoyable.  Thanks!  Jim Flerchinger, ’68 BS.”





















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