A groundbreaking ceremony for Lippman Hall and a talk by the president and chief operating officer of Warner Bros. were among the highlights surrounding ReUnion 2009 Saturday, May 30.
More than 1,500 visitors came to campus for the annual celebration of Union’s graduates, held Thursday through Sunday.
A substantial gift from Jim Lippman ’79 and his wife, Linda, will support a major renovation of the Social Sciences building. The building will be renamed Lippman Hall in honor of Jim Lippman’s father, Robert G. Lippman ’50. Members of the Lippman family joined College officials, including President Stephen C. Ainlay, Stephen Dare, vice president for College Relations and Frank Messa, chairman of the board of trustees, at a noontime ceremony on the south side of Library Plaza.
The renovations include “smart classrooms” that employ state-of-the-art technology and will support the work of faculty and students both within and across departments. Opened in 1967, the Social Sciences building houses classrooms and faculty offices for the departments of Anthropology, Economics, Sociology, Political Science and History.
Renovations are expected to begin in January 2011 and be completed before the end of the year.
"Your generosity in making this renovation possible is absolutely imperative to the future of Union College," Ainlay said. "We are going to have a first-rate facility that will be a magnet for future generations of students who want to come here. It's going to be a remarkable cornerstone to a remarkable campus."
Jim Lippman reflected on the integral role the College has played in the family's life and how fitting it was to be able to dedicate a building on campus in his father's honor.
"My dad is my idol, my mentor and the man who more than any other has shaped me, and is responsible for the success I've been so fortunate to attain," said Lippman, chairman and CEO of JRK Property Holdings, a Los Angeles-based commercial real estate firm he founded in 1992
Robert Lippman retired as director of marketing for Campus Sportswear. Robert pioneered the use of sports licensing as a major marketing tool. At one point, Robert managed licenses for the NFL, NBA, MLB, USTA, NHL, National Hot Rod Association and Harlem Globe Trotters. He also developed marketing programs for several major college teams, many of which are still in effect today. He also worked with Cove Point Realty in Oyster Bay, N.Y., which was founded by his wife, Barbara.
He recalled how the Lippman family's long association with Union got started when his mother, who grew up in Schenectady, called the College "the greatest school in the entire world." Other Lippmans who are members of the Union family are Jim’s brother, Donald ’82, and niece, Meredith ’09. Jim's son, Matthew, will become the newest member of the Union family this fall when he joins the Class of 2013.
"I love this place," said Robert as he reflected on his life as a student. "I can't tell you what makes Union so special. But as you get older, and you move away from being an active student, the memories come back even stronger and Union becomes even more important."
At Taylor Music Center, Alan Horn ’64 offered his perspectives on the movie business. As president and COO of Warner Bros., Horn leads Hollywood’s most successful movie studio of 2008. The studio is responsible for blockbusters such as “The Dark Knight,” and the Harry Potter franchise.
During an engaging chat moderated by Doug Klein, dean of interdisciplinary studies and special programs, Horn shared stories about some of Hollywood's biggest stars, such as Clint Eastwood. He also addressed some of the challenges facing the industry, including piracy and soaring cost of making a movie.
Horn, who grew up in Long Island, described his time at Union as "great for me," and a place where he met many friends and professors. He also touched on his brief musical career at the College.
"I was in a band called the Golden Berries," Horn laughed. "We didn't put out too many albums, though."
The Saturday series of speakers also included Chris Sheridan ’89, a writer and character voice for “Family Guy”; and Scott Siegler ’69, the creative executive behind shows like “Growing Pains and Night Court.”
At Alumni Convocation on Saturday at Memorial Chapel, the College hosted a ceremony to present Alumni Gold Medals, the Faculty Meritorious Award, parade trophies and class gifts. The ceremony closed with the traditional Senior Handshake between the Class of 2009 and the 50th ReUnion Class, welcoming the senior class into the Alumni body.
The College also honored outstanding engineering alumni at the Engineering Awards Reception.
To read more about the award winners click here.
To find out about ReUnion 2010, click here.