This post was written by S’18 alumna Audra DeLaney. Audra enjoys visiting the ocean, going on adventures, and telling the unique stories of the people and places around her.
Every college program deserves a homecoming of sorts: an opportunity for people to reflect on their experiences and learn from fellow alumni. Williams-Mystic’s homecoming is the annual alumni reunion that takes place right where it all started: Mystic, Connecticut.
The 41st Williams-Mystic Reunion took place September 21-23 under the direction of Lyndsey Pryke-Fairchild (F’03), Katy Robinson Hall (S’84), and countless other alumni and faculty and staff members.
For maritime historian Alicia Maggard, this was her first time experiencing a Williams-Mystic reunion.
Alicia fully enjoyed her time speaking to alumni of various ages. Each conversation taught her something different about what it means to be a Williams-Mystic alumnus.
“I was struck by the robustness of the community. I believe that speaks to the impact the program has on the lives of each and every student,” Alicia said. “Knowing that brings about great responsibility, but also such great joy.”
As a faculty member, Alicia worked behind the scenes to help make sure the events on each day went smoothly. While doing so, she was able to connect alumni with current F’18 students.
“Connecting current students with alumni was exciting because those students could learn how Williams-Mystic could affect different aspects of their lives, both personally and professionally.”
Alicia thoroughly enjoyed meeting alumni who have dedicated their lives to the maritime industry as well as those who are working in different career fields.
For example, Alicia mentioned an S’88 alum who spoke to how many of his classmates chose to work in the maritime industry or remain passionate about maritime topics — and also how Williams-Mystic teaches students how to approach issues in a way that can be useful whatever career you pursue.
Matt Novosad, an F’17 alumnus, commented on the live auction portion of the reunion.
“There was a pretty good bidding war between two groups on a stay in Johnston House,” an item only available to recent alumni, Matt said. “Seeing Katy [Robinson Hall (S’84)] take on the role of being an auctioneer was so memorable and hilarious.”
Alicia also enjoyed the live auction.
“It was so zany, so exciting!” Alicia said. “I enjoyed seeing fellow faculty members, [Executive Director] Tom, and alumni getting super into the bidding.”
Another highlight for both Alicia and Matt: Josiah Gardner (alias Glenn Gordinier, Williams-Mystic’s just-retired maritime historian) made an appearance.
“Going to the reunion this year was a great chance for me to catch up with my classmates, one of whom flew in from Minnesota,” Matt said. “Life changes, but Williams-Mystic is something that will always bring us together.
THANK YOU to all those who helped with the Reunion this year. Your dedication to Williams-Mystic is evident. See you next year!