Past Homecoming Recaps
Watch highlight videos, browse photos and read recaps of past Homecoming celebrations!
Alumni from across the country came home to Shady Side on Sept. 28 and 29, 2018 joining students, parents, faculty and staff for a weekend full of celebrations. The beautiful weather allowed for guests to tour the campus and the new McIlroy Center for Science and Innovation, and enjoy the Kids Carnival and the Blue & Gold Community Tailgate. Reunion celebrations were held Friday and Saturday night for the classes ending in 3s and 8s, with the Class of 1968 celebrating their milestone 50th Reunion.
Enjoy the highlight video and photos from the weekend. Thank you to the SSA community who made the weekend such a success!
Blue and Gold spirit was shining bright at Shady Side Academy on the weekend of October 6 and 7. Homecoming 2017 was a much anticipated and celebrated weekend full of reflection and reconnection. New memories were made as hundreds of alumni and their families came "home" for reunion festivities. Events on campus connected alumni to current students and parents. Reunion celebrations were held Saturday night for the classes ending in 2s and 7s, with the Class of 1967 celebrating their milestone 50th Reunion.
It was a weekend to remember here at Shady Side Academy. Homecoming is a well honored tradition and one that brings hundreds of alumni and their families "home." This year’s celebration was full of reflection, reconnecting and creating new memories. The weather was unseasonable warm for a fall weekend, but it only added to the excitement of the already anticipated festivities. Reunion classes included those ending in 1s and 6s, with the Class of 1966 celebrating their milestone 50th reunion and the Class of 1991 celebrating its 25th reunion. Thank you to all of the alumni and friends made the trip “home.”
Homecoming & Reunion Weekend 2015
Homecoming 2015 was celebrated on Sept. 25-26. Reunion classes included those ending in 0s and 5s, with the Class of 1965 celebrating its 50th reunion and the Class of 1990 celebrating its 25th reunion. View the video and photos below to enjoy highlights from Homecoming 2015 events, including class reunions, Alumni Golf Outing, Alumni & Faculty Mixer, Alumni Art Show, Shady Stride, Kids Carnival, Alumni & Faculty Tailgate, Captains' Ceremony and more! Thank you to all of the alumni who came back to campus, especially those who attended reunions!
Homecoming & Reunion Weekend 2014
On a picture-perfect fall weekend, hundreds of alumni, faculty, students and parents came to the Senior School campus for Homecoming 2014 on Oct. 10-11. View the slideshow below to enjoy photos from all the homecoming events including class reunions, Alumni Golf Outing, Alumni & Faculty Mixer, Alumni Art Show, Shady Stride, Captains' Ceremony and more! And, read about the reunion giving successes of the Classes of 1974 and 1964. Thank you to all alumni who came back to campus, especially those who attended reunions.
Homecoming 2014 Reunion Giving
Class of 1974 Holds Record-Breaking Reunion
During Homecoming 2014, the Class of 1974 celebrated its 40th reunion. For some classmates, it would be the first time seeing each other since Commencement. In other instances, Shady Side helped them form bonds that have lasted more than 40 years. At any reunion the hope is that alumni return to campus, reconnect with old friends and remember the role the school has played in their life. The Class of 1974 did just that, but also did it in record-breaking fashion. Thirty-six class members attended and 50% contributed to the class giving effort to raise over $544,000 to date.
The seven-person reunion committee started to discuss plans and ideas almost a year prior to their reunion. Five of the committee members, Keefe Ellis, Steve Halpern, Mike Hannon, Fred Harchelroad and Tony Ross, were all living and working in Pittsburgh. Andy Mathieson and David Puth were in California and New York, respectively. “We gained additional inspiration for this effort from David Puth and Andy Mathieson showing their passion for SSA as out-of-town alums,” said Halpern. “The unity and strength from our classmates working together to make our 40th a success is a lasting memory.”
From an important historical perspective, 1974 was the first class to graduate girls, three of them. “To me, a highlight of the reunion was the fact that all three women we graduated with, who were such an important part of our class, attended,” said Hannon. Helen (Dupre) Durfee, Virginia (Franke) Kleist, and Ann (Leiper) McLarnan were there to mark an important moment in co-education at Shady Side.
Conference calls between the committee and the Alumni & Development Office were a regular occasion. The committee members attempted to reach every classmate to encourage attendance at the reunion in October. It turned out to be the most attended reunion the Class of 1974 has ever held. When the excitement and anticipation started to build, committee members saw an opportunity, not only to end up with a terrific turnout, but also to challenge the rest of the class to consider joining a major giving effort as part of the reunion. The reunion committee made multi-year pledges for the 40th reunion gift, and in addition, a match was established for up to $250,000 for all contributions and pledges made by the end of the year. The Class of 1974 chose to focus their fundraising effort on the new Center for Science and Innovation, an endowment fund for faculty and coaches, and a scholarship fund for children of alumni.
In addition to 36 class members, many current and former faculty members were invited to attend the reunion held at Wigle Whiskey in the Strip District. Some gave toasts and others made the evening even more special just by being there. “The speeches at our reunion dinner, including Bob Grandizio’s, were very funny and a reminder that our class has quite a sense of humor,” said Mathieson. Faculty member Angela Irvine brought copies of the Shady Side News to the reunion from Halpern’s time as editor of the paper. “I was very touched by Angela's bringing this part of my personal history of SSA to the reunion, and had great memories from reading these back issues,” said Halpern. In all ways, the weekend was a huge success, and the legacy of the 1974 40th Reunion will be lasting.
“The outstanding effort of the Class of 1974 will support the tireless work and dedication of our faculty and coaches, help deserving students have the Shady Side experience so valued, but often out of reach by their alumni parents, and help us build a state-of-the-art science and technology center that brings all of our science and technology learning together in one dynamic facility,” said Academy President Tom Cangiano. “In addition, annual gifts made to the Blue & Gold Fund touch every aspect of our school, from our students, faculty and staff to our buildings and grounds and assist in bridging the gap between the actual cost of a Shady Side education and tuition. We are grateful to the 1974 reunion committee and their classmates for this extraordinary effort that will so deeply and directly benefit the school.”
Class of 1964 Surpasses Reunion Giving Goal
The Class of 1964 set an ambitious goal of raising $250,000 in honor of its 50th reunion over the 2014 Homecoming weekend. To date more than $252,950 has been raised for the Samuel H Elkin ’64 Scholarship Fund, Endowment for Science Faculty Award, and the Blue & Gold Fund. This marks the most funds raised by a 50th Reunion Class in the last 10 years. Thanks to the following committee members for leading this successful effort; Dick Chalfant, Bill Guy, Bob Maloney, Jerry Stephenson, E.J Strassburger and John Wolf. ”Homecoming was a glorious fall weekend of reconnecting and reminiscing with classmates and faculty,” said Bob Maloney. ‘We were all reminded of how special it was to be a part of the Class of 1964 and how important SSA continues to be to us all.”
On Sept. 27-28, the SSA gates welcomed hundreds of alumni and their families back home to celebrate Homecoming 2013. Beautiful, sunny and blue skies added to the excitement of the already anticipated weekend reunions, athletic contests and community events.
Homecoming 2013 kicked off Friday morning during the first period of classes. Several alumni visited classrooms and had the opportunity to feel what it was like to be a student at SSA in 2013. For some alumni, it had been 50 years since they walked the halls of Rowe, for others it was an opportunity to visit a teacher that had a profound effect on their lives. Many of the visiting alumni also attended the community assembly where this year’s alumni artist, Caroline Washburn ’08, addressed the students, faculty and staff. Washburn spoke about her mentor, art teacher Cari Batchelar, and how she played a significant role in her love of art. She also shared with the audience her journey as an artist and her impressive portfolio. Her work was on display in McCune Dining Hall and the Benedum Visual Arts Center for homecoming and throughout October. That same morning, a group of alumni, past parents and grandparents were teeing off at the annual Alumni Golf Outing held at the Fox Chapel Golf Club. Alumnus Kevin Kelly ’73 scored the lowest round of the group.
On Friday evening, alumni, faculty and guests gathered in Memorial Hall to celebrate and remember the lives of those alumni who passed away this year. The presider of the Memorial Service was Rev. Tom E. Johnson ’73.
At the conclusion of the Memorial Service, alumni and faculty made their way over to the Alumni and Faculty Mixer at McCune Dining Hall. The mixer brought alumni and faculty together for a night of hors d’oeuvres, cocktails and conversation. The evening also included a brief welcome address from Academy President Tom Cangiano, where he presented the Robert E. Walker Award and the Paul R. Pigman ’52 Prize. This year’s recipient of the Walker Award was Barb (Pippin) Thai ’83 for her dedication, commitment and service to the Academy as an alumna and parent. Thai spoke about how receiving the award was an honor and reflected on the sacrifices her parents made for her to attend SSA. The Pigman Prize was awarded posthumously to Major Benjamin H. Follansebee ’99 for his devoted and noble service to our country. His brother, Christopher W. Follansebee ’01, graciously accepted the award on behalf of Ben and his family. Follansbee expressed the impact that SSA had on Ben’s life and the appreciation his family felt from the outpouring of support from the community.
Saturday morning festivities were off to running start as alumni, students, parents and faculty participated in the Al Stewart Memorial Shady Stride. Will Stewart ’17, grandson of Al Stewart, officially started the race. Zac Prizant ’14 was the first to cross the finish line with Connor Colombo ’16 a close second.
The President’s Coffee and Campus Walking Tours were well attended by groups of alumni and families. The tours were led by current student ambassadors, and provided alumni the chance to meet the Academy President before taking a walk down memory lane. This was a chance for alumni to meet the Academy President before taking a walk down memory lane. As the activities throughout the day continued, many Junior School students and children of alumni enjoyed the petting zoo, balloon artist, inflatable obstacle course, music and face painting at the Kids Karnival. Alumni and their families connected with fellow classmates and former faculty members at the Picnic Box Lunch and the Blue & Gold Alumni Faculty Tailgate.
Athletic contests were also a big attraction of the day. But the girls Varsity Field Hockey game against The Ellis School resulted in a disappointing loss for SSA. Boys Varsity Soccer scored big against Mars 3-1, and girls Varsity Soccer defeated St. Joseph High School, 9-0. The day concluded with the football game as the team swept Freeport with a win 28-0. During halftime, athletic team captains from reunion class years were recognized on the field for their leadership.
On Saturday evening, alumni gathered in various venues around Pittsburgh and on campus to reminisce and celebrate their time at SSA.