Sesquicentennial: Lakeland College celebrates 150 years

Sean Gilligan, Staff Reporter

The Lakeland alumni committee is putting together a number of events throughout the year for the sesquicentennial celebration culminating with the All-College Reunion June 21-24.

The reunion will consist of various events and demonstrations for alumni to experience. One of the highlights of this reunion, according to Assistant Director of Alumni Relations Emily Randall-Arajuo, is going to be the sesquicentennial square.

“The entire gym [Woltzen Gym] will be transformed into a museum,” Randall-Arajuo said. “The square will provide a place for the alumni to meet and converse with old friends and their favorite faculty members.”

As well as providing a museum full of Lakeland history, there will also be specific sections of the square devoted to the many different groups that make Lakeland College what it is, including athletics, alumni, the arts, Greek life, student media, and international endeavors. These areas will be arranged by representatives of each department to promote themselves and keep alumni up-to-date on the state of these groups.

The sesquicentennial square is just a small slice of all the events that are being coordinated for this All-College Reunion that includes everything from numerous banquets and luncheons to art exhibits and musical acts.

The reunion weekend is only one of many events that have been put together for this celebration that is carrying on throughout the entire year. Randall-Arajuo said that there are several events that, “may be more interesting to students,” including some trips being planned, most notably a London Theatre trip being led by professor Linda Tolman, which will be open for alumni to attend. There is also a possible cruise through the Caribbean being organized, but this will most likely be open to alumni only.

Another event that Randall-Arajuo claimed would be especially interesting to current Lakeland students was the “Great Thinkers” series that is organized in association with the sesquicentennial celebration. This is a series of six lectures on a broad range of topics. These convocations will be open to students as well as alumni.

“It’s a way to bring in the intellectual side to the sesquicentennial,” she said. The six different speakers for the event include Lonnel Coats, president and CEO of Eisai Inc., Alex Filippenko, a professor of Astronomy at the University of California-Berkeley, Will Allen, founder of Growing Power in Milwaukee, Emilie Towns, Professor of African American Religion and Theology, Lillian Daniel, senior minister, First Congregational Church, and, lastly, Paul Adams III, founder of Providence St. Mel School in Chicago.

As of now, there are 40 people registered for the weekend. Only certain events require prior registration, primarily the events that require payment – the banquets on Friday, the homecoming luncheon, and the alumni banquet.

The official invitations for the event don’t go out until March, at which time there is expected to be a large influx of registrations. Due to the fact that the college has never hosted such an event before, it is difficult to make a very narrow estimation as to the attendance for the event, but anywhere from 800-2,000 attendees are expected.

Lakeland has also produced a magazine sent out to the alumni that covers all the events for the sesquicentennial celebration in detail. This publication can also be found in PDF format on the Lakeland website under the alumni relations tab.  For further information and a full schedule to help keep all the events of the weekend straight, there is a special Sesquicentennial All-College Reunion website that provides it all, as well the information on how to go about registering to become a part of this event.