Reunion Weekend Photos Available at:
Kiski hosted Reunion Weekend on June 3 and 4 for one of the largest groups of alumni to return for the celebration. Knowing it would be nearly impossible for each class to return in great numbers every year, the drive for attendance is focused on classes that have reached a five-year increment of their graduation. This year; although the focus was on graduates from classes ending in '2 and '7, there were guests representing many years in between. All eras were represented and many stories were shared regarding what has changed and what remains the same with their beloved Kiski.
As in the past, the great response can be directly attributed to volunteers from all classes that made phone calls, sent texts and emails, and even built social media platforms dedicated solely to drawing their classmates back for the party. That effort for most started last summer. The investment of time was proven well worth while once everyone was reunited for a short but memorable gathering.
Our guests enjoyed a number of activities during a busy Saturday morning. Some used a laser cutter to etch custom Kiski mason jars. Others constructed phone speaker amplifiers, or created custom jewelry. A golf clinic was offered before a large group of alumni took to the Kiski course on a picturesque day. Neill Andritz ’86 led another group of kayakers courageously down a fast flowing Kiskiminetas River. Ed Denny ’77 shared his passion for biking by leading a late-morning tour through the Saltsburg trails. Impromptu and scheduled tours of our continually evolving campus were offered throughout the day and night. As always, some simply enjoyed the company of friends, rehashing old memories, and catching up at the Swank Student Center during the day.
The highlight of the day was once again the cocktail hour and Kiski banquet. Kiski brothers and their families packed the student center to hear Headmaster Chris Brueningsen’s brief update covering recent Kiski triumphs and plans for the near future. Associate Headmaster, Steven T. Szilagyi ’88, followed those remarks by presenting awards to the farthest traveling alumni. Father-son combination, Jeff ’80 and Cooper ’12 Urbany, made the longest trek from Santa Cruz, Ca. Oscar Galo ’82 was also recognized for a notable second-longest journey made from Nicaragua. The eldest alumni visiting – or “most experienced” as we like to say –were Frank Urbany ’51 and Walter McPhail ’51.
The Class of 1967 was recognized for their commendable turnout in honor of their 50th. The Class of 1962 raised the Headmaster’s Cup triumphantly as they were recognized for the highest participation in The Kiski Fund – an annual competition between classes celebrating milestone reunions. All reunion alumni were thanked for over $135,000 that they raised so far for the current Kiski Fund drive ending on June 30, 2017. Praise of all was extended for the astounding $1.7mil total that has been raised through The Kiski Fund, Capital Campaigns, and other restricted gifts since the current fiscal year started on July 1, 2016.
The highest honors Kiski can bestow upon an alumnus – the School’s Distinguished Alumnus Award – was given to Walter McPhail ’51. Chairman of the Kiski Board of Trustees, John Jacob ’89, read a citation noting Mr. McPhail’s accomplishments before Headmaster Brueningsen and Steven Szilagyi presented him with a crystal award with the crowd supplying a raucous cheer.
The classes proceeded to take group photos before reuniting under the tent for a delicious meal and live music. Many transitioned slowly from their table to gather near the bonfire for additional stories, or back to the student center to see game three of the Stanley Cup Finals. Time seems to elapse quickly during these special assemblies and it felt all too soon when the Saltsburg’s Canal Day fireworks launched as guests watched from the Class of 1962 Outdoor Classroom.
The campus was quiet and peaceful by mid-Sunday, and we instantly renewed our hopes for another successful Reunion Weekend in June of 2018. The Office of Advancement and Alumni Relations will build reunion outreach committees for the 2018 reunion. Years ending in '3 and '8 will be celebrated but we sincerely welcome all to join in the fun. If you are interested in contributing to the outreach efforts, any and all assistance will be sincerely welcomed. Please contact the Advancement Office at firstname.lastname@example.org by calling 724-639-8029.