Feature Writer Karen Crowder – Another Great Alumni Weekend at Perkins

Friday afternoon June 14, I rode with Carol and Bonnie on the 1:10 PM Fitchburg train to North Station in Boston. We were attending the annual Perkins alumni weekend. At North Station, Carol Fithian, a Perkins student in the 1960s, patiently waited for us. It was nice conversing with Carol. I had not spoken to her in years.

At 4 o’clock we walked with other alumni to the grand Howe building. Standing in a long line, we slowly proceeded toward the registration area in the museum. At the registration table we were handed weekend schedules, name tags and a list of students staying at Perkins.

Young volunteers walked us to our assigned cottages. I was in Brooks cottage on the west side of the campus with my three friends.

After my kind volunteer left my room, I perused the schedule and list of students.

At the annual President’s reception, there was an atmosphere of congeniality. President Rothstein cordially welcomed us, before the annual talent show.

It began at eight o’clock. There were 22 acts with many songs and piano selections. I read two poems and two women performed a hilarious skit, which had everyone laughing.

Saturday morning was busy. After breakfast there was a chapel service report from the President and the annual alumni meeting. Many former Perkins students who live in the Boston area just come for the meeting and afternoon activities and some stay for the banquet.

While the alumni meetings are going on there are Perkins apparel such as t-shirts, sweatshirts, tote bags, and other items at the tables outside the chapel.

After the annual memorial service there is lunch and afternoon activities. I did not choose to go to the technology demonstration at the New Grosbeck center or the tour of the renovated pond and new lower school. I chose to help make lovely centerpieces for the banquet tables.

On this warm afternoon, ten to fifteen alumni walked with volunteers to the classroom adjoining the Perkins greenhouse.

A pleasant teacher who teaches horticultural classes to students during the academic year would help and guide us. With volunteers, we would enjoy arranging centerpieces in a relaxing oasis.

As we listened to her talk we were passed roses, daisies, mums, irises, carnations and non-fragrant flowers. Water was poured into vases and we started arranging centerpieces. With experience doing this the previous year, I arranged the most fragrant flowers in the center. I was complimented on this arrangement before leaving my kind volunteer and heading to the peaceful greenhouse where there is lavender, rosemary, thyme, lemon mint and lemon geraniums. The sound of softly flowing water from fountains and a small pond and the perfume of flowers, herbs and small fruits, make this greenhouse aesthetically lovely and soothing to the mind and spirit.
At the banquet I chatted amiably with friends and the meal was good, especially the salad, crusty Italian bread and the chicken entree. Conversations were interspersed with announcements of door prizes and speeches by former staff and students. After singing the Alma mater at nine o’clock, another alumni weekend was almost over.

At Fisher cottage there is a coffee house for relaxation and refreshments. I was about to leave when a friend entered Fisher cottage. We sat sharing memories of alumni weekends past and our lives for over an hour.

Sunday breakfast was simple French toast, fruit and coffee. At nine thirty Bonnie, Carol and I took Para transit to North station. We said our goodbyes to Carol Fithian vowing to keep in touch. We got on the11:20 train tired and content after a lovely, unforgettable alumni weekend.

To find out information about Perkins go to www.Perkins.org. For information about the wide range of products Perkins carries go to www.perkinsproducts.org. If you wish to find more information on their apparel or the Alumni Association call Perkins at 1-617-924-3434

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