Reunion Weekend

A wet start to the weekend didn’t dampen the spirits of the 300 alumni and their nearly 150 guests who returned to campus to celebrate milestone reunions. There were lots of hugs, smiles and enthusiastic greetings, and you could feel the excitement throughout the campus. Alums were clearly thrilled to be back on the campus that held so many heart-warming memories.

Four alumni were honored for the contributions to Hood, to their professions and to their communities. Gretchen Howe Russo ’63 and Phil Bowers ’83 were recognized for Excellence in Service to Hood College; Christine L. McHenry, M.D. ’73 was named this year’s Distinguished Alumna; and Tiffany Taylor Newmuis ’03 was selected for the Recent Alumna Award.

Saturday brought not only the sun but also traditional Reunion Weekend events: a state of the College message from President Volpe, a luncheon and awards presentations, a picnic, bus tours to local areas of interest, class dinners, campus tours and an all-class coffee house.

Following Sunday morning’s traditional strawberry breakfast and chapel service, weary alums headed home with renewed connections to the College and classmates.

Pictured: Brian and Elizabeth Aghjayan Vigorito ’08, Elizabeth Lipke Bowen ’08 and Matthew Bowen ’06.


Reunion Weekend: Just Around the Corner

Alums from across the country are packing their suitcases, making final travel preparations and getting ready to head to Hood for Reunion Weekend. They are looking forward to reconnecting with classmates, sharing stories from their years at Hood, laughing and remembering. Starting Friday, 300 alumni from the classes of 1945 through 2008 will arrive with spouses, children, significant others and friends to attend luncheons, class dinners, picnics, mini-class sessions, excursions to local attractions, traditional strawberry breakfast and more. We at Hood have been busy planning for the weekend and are eagerly awaiting their arrivals.

Alums will be excited to see all the changes on campus—renovated residence halls and academic buildings, new tennis courts and aquatic facilities, new athletic center, attractive landscaping, inviting gathering places and more—and to learn about new programs and cutting-edge initiatives that keep Hood in the forefront of academia.

Welcome alumni. We can’t wait to see you on campus!


A Day Without Shoes: Taking Things for Granted

For a number of years, Hood College students have participated in One Day Without Shoes, an event designed to create awareness about world poverty and the things we take for granted—shoes and sight. Toms, an organization committed to helping those in need, and its eight international organization partners team up each year for this fun, yet meaningful event. And throughout the year, with every shoe or eyeware product purchased from Toms, the organization donates a like item to individuals who can’t afford them.

Hood students joined thousands of students on campuses across the country who are concerned about world poverty. Even though the music was blasting on the Whitaker Campus Center patio, the mission was serious. The pile of donated shoes, which grew throughout the afternoon, made a clear statement: Hood students care and are committed to service and helping those less fortunate.

Students in Tim Jacobsen’s photojournalism class recorded the day’s events, which can be viewed on YouTube.

Isabel Duartes, Hood College Junior Double Major in History and Interdepartmental Gender and Sexuality Studies

Scene at Hood: Take Five

I started here as a freshman. I transferred out because I had a little trouble adjusting to college. But I missed Hood so much I transferred back in. My adviser, Professor Ann Derbes, emailed me three times during the semester I was gone, asking me if I wanted to come back. I’m so glad I did!”

~Isabel Duartes, junior, double major in history and interdepartmental gender and sexuality studies


Commencement: 116 Years and Going Strong

The tent went up Wednesday in preparation for the May 19 Commencement exercises. The day dawned cloudy—and remained that way—but that didn’t dampen the spirits of the 317 undergraduates and 212 master’s degree candidates who received their diplomas during two ceremonies held on the residential quad.

Graduating seniors were excited that Antonio Mendez, artist, author and former Central Intelligence Agency officer, delivered the Commencement address during the 10 a.m. ceremony. A few weeks earlier they were treated to a showing of the Oscar award-winning film Argo, so they were well informed about his single-handed rescue of six American diplomats from Iran during the 1979 hostage crisis.

Retired Army Col. Zygmunt Dembek, M.S. ’82, senior scientist for the Center for Disaster and Humanitarian Assistance Medicine’s Cooperative Biological Engagement Program at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md., spoke at the 3 p.m. graduate school ceremony. Throughout his very impressive career, Zygmunt has worked to protect and prepare the citizens of the nation and the world against bioterrorism and the outbreak of disease.

They, along with chair of the board of trustees Cheryl Brown Dreiling ’69, one of the longest serving members of the board—her tenure has spanned the terms of three presidents—received honorary degrees.

Former trustee Charlie Nicodemus, LHD ’05, and his wife, Kathryn, LHD ’05, were each recognized at the undergraduate ceremony with the Hood College Presidential Medal of Excellence for their generosity and commitment to the College.

 Oh the Places You’ll Go with your Hood degrees: as you start or look to expand your careers, or seek more advanced degrees at graduate schools throughout the world, we at Hood are quite certain your successes will know no bounds!

View all the photos from Commencement.

Pictured: Graduating seniors Bridgitte McColligan and Will Lane.


Students Dig a Gorgeous Day

So what does one do when the sky is blue, the temperature hits 75 degrees and the shorts are begging to be pulled out of storage? Plant flowers, of course! Students gathered one warm afternoon before exams to help enhance the already beautiful campus with colorful annuals. Organized by the facilities department, the activity attracted a number of students, including senior Elaheh Eghbal and sophomore Travis Gilbert, who gladly volunteered to take a break from their studies to dig in the dirt, spread around some mulch and plant red petunias around the Pergola on the residential quad. Even President Volpe, known to never let an opportunity to work side by side with students pass him by, joined in the fun and got his hands dirty.

By the time commencement rolls around in a few days, the beds will be in full bloom, adding a spectacular display of color to the center of campus.


Scene at Hood: Take Four

There’s a cartoon called Adventure Time. It’s designed for small children, but I recently read that something like 80 percent of those who watch it are over 16. I love the style of the cartoon, so I painted scenes from it on these shoes. I’m actually painting a pair for my sister, who is getting married in June, as a wedding gift. I’m going to put a cartoon version of her one shoe and a cartoon of her fiancé on the other.”

~Lew Dean, first-year, studio art and mathematics double major

Commuter Bash_3818

The Commuter Connection

Commuters flocked to the Whitaker Campus Center patio for the annual Spring Commuter Celebration last week, taking full advantage of the beautiful weather to get together for some good food and fun. There were lawn games, raffles for gift cards to local eateries and businesses, pizza and more. Students could purchase commuter student-designed T-shirts and tie dye them to create unique pieces of wearable art.

These events are a great way for commuter students to get to know the commuter council officers as well as each other, and to just hang out. In addition to Commuter Celebrations held at the beginning of the fall and at the end of the spring semesters, a holiday party is scheduled each December and themed booths, designed to cater to commuters and their interests, are set up around campus each month.

Commuter students such as seniors Ashley Ortiz and Jessica Manuel (pictured above) are an integral part of the Hood community. They bring a diverse perspective to the social, cultural and academic life on campus. We celebrate the eclectic mix that is Hood College.

Natalie Hernandez. Hood College Sophomore Communications Major

Scene at Hood: Take Three

I’m really enjoying my second year here. I’m making more friends, and I’m really more involved in things. I chose communication arts as a major because there are so many fields I can go into. I want to concentrate on digital media, and I’m really into advertising and design.”

~Natalie Hernandez, sophomore, communication arts major


Honors Convocation

It’s an annual tradition for the campus community to gather together in the spring to celebrate student, faculty and staff achievements during the past year. Yesterday, in Coffman Chapel, 107 students were honored for excellence, some earning awards in several categories. Six staff members were recognized by their peers and students for service and leadership. Oney Smith, associate professor of biology, walked away with three awards—outstanding contributions to his profession and the College through scholarship and service, exceptional advising and inspirational teaching—well deserved! In all, 93 prizes were awarded to 114 people.

Stephanie Taylor (above, with President Volpe), a senior from Huntingtown, Md., was a recipient of The Biology Faculty Award. She has distinguished herself as a researcher extraordinaire—she completed a bioinformatics internship in parasite genomics at the J. Craig Venter Institute in Rockville, Md., and conducted research on genotyping patients with chronic kidney disease at the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research at Fort Detrick. Wow!

We applaud Hood students, faculty and staff for their accomplishments.