More than 1,000 DePauw alumni due for annual campus gathering

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Annually Alumni Weekend at DePauw University offers a chance to catch up with old friends and meet new ones, to spend another night in one of DePauw's residence halls or Greek houses, and to sit in on lectures organized by professors and alumni who are experts in their fields.

But the 2012 version of Alumni Weekend June 6-10 adds to all that the excitement of the university's 175th anniversary celebration, which has created even more interest among alumni this year.

"The response has been tremendous," Jennifer Clarkson Soster, executive director of alumni relations at DePauw, said. "The schedule includes several special 175th anniversary events, including a 'Met and Married' vow renewal ceremony. It promises to be one of the biggest celebrations we've had in recent years."

Officiated by university Chaplain P.T. Wilson, the Met and Married vow renewal ceremony is one of many ways this year's Alumni Reunion Weekend will honor the people who have made DePauw a special place for the past 175 years.

On Saturday at 2:30 p.m. in Watson Forum of the Pulliam Center for Contemporary Media, the university will host a Celebration of Life for Thomas "Tommy" A. Mont Jr., who died in January.

Alumni and guests interested in attending the Celebration of Life for Tommy Mont are asked to RSVP to the Office of Alumni Relations by calling 877-658-2586 or emailing

Mont served as DePauw's head football coach from 1959 until 1977, and then as athletic director until his retirement in 1987. Former players and coaches will pay tribute to Mont, who will no doubt be remembered as much for his sharp wit as for his lessons in leadership.

Members of this year's 50th reunion class of 1962 may best remember Mont for his dominance over Wabash College in the Monon Bell rivalry game. In the 1960 game, a year into his tenure as head coach, Mont faked an extra point rather than going for a tie. The call paid off, stealing a win and beginning a five-year run of keeping the bell.

Alumni and guests interested in attending the Celebration of Life for Tommy Mont are asked to RSVP to the Office of Alumni Relations by calling 877-658-2586 or emailing

Also on Saturday, DePauw's Rector Scholars will gather to recognize the important place of their scholarship in university history. Susan Price Miller, Class of 1962, who earned a Rector when it was required that a female recipient have higher grades than any male Rector in her class -- joins a group of speakers that includes Class of 2012 Rector Morgan M. Hooks and Daniel L. Meyer, vice president for admission and financial aid, who will address the role of the award in the 21st century.

When it was established in 1919, the Rector Scholarship was described as the largest academic scholarship of its kind. Edward Rector, a trustee who founded the award with his wife, Lucy Howland Rector, described their gifts to DePauw as "investments in humanity, in the men and women who are to carry on the work of our country and the world when you and I are gone."

Since then, more than 4,000 graduates have received Rectors, and many are among DePauw's most distinguished and honored alumni.

A 2010 gift from Rector Scholar M. Lewis Gulick, Class of 1944, helped to renew what he called the "Rector spirit" on campus and off. With the gift, DePauw named Professor Emeritus of Mathematics and Economics John "Jack" E. Morrill director of the Rector Scholarship Program -- its first in nearly three decades. Morrill, a Rector Scholar himself in the Class of 1957, oversaw the creation of a new Rector Scholarship website and revived the long-dormant Rector Record newsletter.

"I am very grateful to Lew for his many contributions reminding DePauw of the history and significance of the scholarship," said Morrill, who will read a special message from Gulick at the event. "It has been a privilege to participate in re-establishing the Rector tradition."

Kevin Armstrong, president of Methodist Health Foundation, will be a featured 175th Distinguished Lecturer during the Alumni Chapel on Sunday morning, capping the weekend's festivities. Armstrong is a 1982 DPU graduate.

More than 1,100 people have registered for the 2012 Alumni Reunion Weekend so far, and many others are expected to attend.

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