November 17, 2011 - 12 AM
Alumni Weekend 2011
Last weekend, my YLS community got a lot bigger. I spent the weekend as a Student Aide at the law school’s Alumni Weekend 2011: Human Rights in a Turbulent World. Hundreds of alumni, with representatives from the Class of 1948 to the Class of 2010, filled the building, attending panels and lectures, participating in class-specific reunion activities, and interacting with current students.
Alumni Weekend provides many opportunities for current and former students to connect. For example, current students were paired with alumni with similar interests to share breakfast and conversation as part of the Breakfast Connections program, enabling students to learn directly from alumni working in their areas of interest. At a Student Activities Fair, current students provided a glimpse into the vibrant extracurricular activity scene, describing their activities to interested alumni and learning about the alumni’s involvement as students here. Current students and returning alumni were encouraged to attend the panel discussions and lecture events throughout the weekend.
This year’s theme, Human Rights in a Turbulent World, featured many alumni on panels ranging from “Advancing Human Rights through International and Domestic Courts” to “Navigating the Tension between National Security and Human Rights,” and included a keynote address from YLS Professor and former Dean Harold Hongju Koh. Moreover, informal interactions throughout the weekend inspired conversations about YLS in different eras. Attendees celebrating their 50th reunion reminisced about lively bridge games in the student lounge. Several alumni described living in the law school dorms that no longer exist, and wondered how students found housing outside of the law school. Alumni and current students discussed favorite professors, most memorable courses, and life in New Haven then and now. I even learned about the experiences of two former Alumni Weekend Student Aides.
The busy hallways and packed lecture halls during Alumni Weekend provided a visible reminder that my YLS community is not limited to the three classes currently enrolled. Further, the camaraderie within the returning classes, their shared memories and lasting friendships, assured me that my connection to my own classmates will not end at graduation. I look forward to returning to YLS for future Alumni Weekends.