MCI reunion class years 0 and 5 are featured inside the Trustee Student Center. Contributed photo

PITTSFIELD — For Maine Central Institute alumni, the first weekend of August is a moment of celebration. A time when they can return to the 23-acre campus that means so much to them, connect with old friends whom they may not have seen in years, make new connections with alumni from other graduating classes, and share their stories.

Like so many events last year, COVID-19 threw a wrench in a weekend celebration for those who graduated in 1960 or 1970, up to those celebrating their fifth-year reunion having just graduated in 2015.

From left are MCI Darrell Goodridge ’70, James Christie ’85 and Dennis Goodridge ’70 in front of Founders Hall on the Boutelle Savage front lawn at the 2015 summer reunion. Contributed photo

Alumni Association Executive Committee members Milton Webber (class of ’71), and Bill Cunningham (class of ’70) decided to not dwell on last year’s misfortunes and make this year’s Alumni Weekend, Aug. 6 and 7, bigger and better than ever before. This year, instead of celebrating the reunions of classes ending in “6” and “1,” MCI Alumni Weekend will also celebrate those ending in “5” and “0.”

“Rather than let COVID-19 take yet another opportunity from us, we decided to create something even more special for this year’s MCI Reunion Weekend,” said Cunningham, according to a news release from MCI. “This is always meaningful for MCI alumni, but this year we’re honoring twice as many milestone graduating classes as we usually do, and it couldn’t come at a better time. I know many of our alumni have spent the last year cooped up in their houses, with little in-person interaction with their family, colleagues, and friends, and that’s a shame. This weekend, however, while we abide by health and safety guidelines, our alumni will have the opportunity to socialize with one another, and we’re all excited to return to campus and see each other, many for the first time in a very long time.”

MCI alumni Milton Webber ’71, left, and Ralph Damren ’64 at the 2015 MCI summer reunion. Contributed photo

While the executive committee found success hosting Alumni Association Zoom trivia nights and Zoom meetings throughout the winter, they found nothing could replace the face-to-face interaction of alumni weekend.

“By doubling the honored classes, we are hosting double the number of class parties on Saturday, Aug. 7, which means alumni have twice as many opportunities to meet up with their own classmates, as well as those in nearby graduating classes,” said Webber. “Though most alumni haven’t been back to campus, or possibly Pittsfield, during the pandemic, I know some old friends who haven’t returned since they graduated 50 years ago. A lot has changed at MCI and within the town, and one thing is certain: This will certainly be an Alumni Reunion Weekend to remember.”

MCI reunion luncheon on the Boutelle Savage front lawn of the MCI campus in Pittsfield. Contributed photo

In addition to the expanded celebration, MCI is to induct two new honorees into its hall of fame on Friday, Aug. 6: Andi Vigue (class of ’89), president and CEO of Cianbro Corporation, and Ed Miller, who taught math at MCI from 1983 to 2019 and received the Faculty Chair in 2003.

For more information on MCI’s alumni weekend, call 207-487-5915.

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