Alumni Weekend welcomes alumni back after two-year break
After a two-year hiatus, University Liggett School (ULS) welcomed back hundreds of alumni, friends, current and former faculty/staff on campus May 13-14 for 2022 Alumni Weekend events. Alumni from as far away as Sweden gathered at and around their alma mater to enjoy the two days with dear friends.
A variety of events – some traditional, some new – marked the weekend. Activities and gatherings included the following:
The weekend kicked off with Friday morning's Nena Dahling '50 CDS Memorial Flagpole Dedication. This dedication was made possible through the generosity of $400,000 in contributions to support ULS through the Dahling Family Challenge, spearheaded by Nena's sons William ‘74, Richard ‘77, and Peter ‘85 and bolstered by the support of Nena's many friends. Nena was an ardent supporter of the school and beloved by many in the school community, and beyond.
Also, Friday morning was the in-person meeting of 5th-grade students and their Class of 1972 penpals. During the school year, these students and alumni exchanged old-fashioned letters via snail mail. On Friday, they finally connected at a classroom meet-and-greet, and the students took the alumni on tours throughout the school.
On Friday afternoon about 25 alumni attended a ULS Lunch and Learn led by Emily Kutin, project organizer of the Black Bottom Street View historical exhibit. Black Bottom Street View is a “living archive” that allows viewers to walk through blocks of photographs that reconstruct Black Bottom, a once-vital Detroit neighborhood that was razed to make way for the construction of I-375. The event began with Kutin sharing fascinating historical details about the neighborhood, including its high concentration of resident doctors, lawyers and other professionals that made for an essentially self-sustaining community. After the presentation, the group headed over to the Boll Campus Center lobby where the exhibit is on display for school groups until June 2.
Friday evening, the “Golden Knights” (alumni celebrating class reunions of 50 years and above) gathered at Head of School Bart Bronk’s home for a cocktail party. A group of about 50 alumni were there to reconnect and reminisce. Two attendees were celebrating their 75th class reunion.
Friday evening also capped off the 50th Anniversary celebration of the school’s outdoor education trips to Proud Lake. About 50 alumni, current and former faculty and staff attended a 50th Anniversary Bonfire Celebration.
Saturday morning set the scene for Alumni Weekend’s fifth-annual Detroit bus tour, which was attended by more than 25 alumni. The two-hour guided walking and bus tour featured stops at Burns Avenue in Indian Village, an urban prairie, the riverfront, and Midtown. Throughout the tour, University Liggett school Faculty Emeritus David Backhurst gave %history lessons about each area and how each has changed over time.
On Saturday evening were class reunions for classes from graduating years ending in “2” and “7,” as well as the 2022 Distinguished Alumni Ceremony. ULS’s 2022 Distinguished Alumna is Lisa Black ‘77, who was in attendance for the honor. A wonderfully supportive alumna for decades, Black joined the University Liggett School Board of Trustees in 2009, and continues to serve as a member of the Investment Committee, which she chaired from 2010-2015. Black also served as Board Treasurer from 2012-2015. She has also played pivotal roles in several large fundraising initiative at the school
“I was a member of a terrific class and combined with the teachers, coaches, and staff, I had a wonderful six years at ULS,” Black said. “ULS laid the groundwork for my success both personally and professionally.”
2022 Alumni Weekend pictures can be found here