It was a brisk and sometimes rainy Homecoming and Family Weekend this year, but that didn’t deter hundreds of alumni, parents and families from visiting campus for three days of connecting and reconnecting at Calvin.

Homecoming 2013 was highlighted by a record attendance for the 45-year reunion activities. The Class of 1968 showed up in large numbers, with 171 coming back to Calvin for a full program of fun and reminiscence—with an amazing talent show and even an appearance from The Meistersingers of that era.

The Classes of 1973 and 1988 had gatherings on campus, too, with Patricia VandenBerg and Art Tuls bringing thoughtful reflections to class members and professor of congregational studies Todd Cioffi discussing the spiritual life of young adults with the ‘88ers.

The 10-year Class of 2003 met in the historic Inner City Christian Federation building, near Calvin on Cherry Street, and enjoyed the networking and refreshments provided by the alumni-owned Art of the Table.

On campus, parents and families appreciated the Family Weekend Tailgater, which allowed families to take crazy Calvin photos of themselves and the annual Cardboard Canoe Race, Improv shows, Music Festival and climbing wall opportunities were well-attended.

This year, a president’s Town Hall was added on Saturday morning, with President Michael Le Roy fielding a variety of questions from alumni and parents. The extended ovation after his time with Calvin guests was a testimony of the appreciation in the audience for his enthusiasm, vision and forthrightness.

Calvin alumni nurses also gathered this weekend, and were inspired by Carolyn Stoutmeyer Wilson ’83, president of the University of Minnesota-Fairview health system. Her analysis of health care changes and the key role nurses can play in this changing landscape was intriguing and challenging.

Nurses also heard presentations on the history of nursing education at Calvin—a diverse and interesting journey, with many alterations and options—and were updated on nursing training at the college today.

A core group of nursing department alumni hope to keep the conversation and occasional gatherings going in future years.