Alumni Reunion Zooms
For many of us, the pandemic has shined an ever-brighter light on the importance of connection and mutual support. Two members of the BTI community who shared that insight, faculty emeritus Dr. Alan Renwick and Aly Evans of the development team, partnered to reconnect with Alan’s former colleagues. Following is an update on the results of their efforts over the past year.
Alan: “I first became interested in using Zoom to contact old friends when we were housebound during the early stages of the pandemic. With Aly’s encouragement and technical help, I was able to contact my oldest friends from Yonkers and get them interested in meetings. This group we call the “Roaring 60s” consists of seven of us. Four of us started at the Institute during 1960 and the others joined in 1961 and 1962. One of the participants is now in his native Germany, and another is in her native Netherlands. This was a very close-knit social group at the time, so we have enjoyed recalling memories of parties, sporting activities and house-sharing, as well as work experiences in the BTI building.” The Roaring 60s have met three times.
The success of the Roaring 60s Zoom reunion encouraged Alan and Aly to continue their efforts, and two additional alumni groups have also met together via Zoom. The environmental biology program was an outstanding team effort under the leadership of Len Weinstein, whose members worked together in Yonkers from 1960 and continued on with new members joining in Ithaca. A third alumni Zoom group has formed with the help of alum Bill Langridge, who was one of the first scientists involved in the use of molecular genetic techniques in the Institute.
Technologies like Zoom — and people’s willingness to learn how to use it — have enabled renewed connections with and among our alumni, and that is something to be grateful for, as are the efforts of Alan and Aly on behalf of BTI. It has been rewarding to hear from some of the people who helped make BTI what it is today, and who still have a keen interest in BTI science, the well-being of the Institute, and one another. We hope to keep the connections strong, and all three groups look forward to future Zooms.