Great Gathering of 2004
On Memorial Day weekend, 2004, over 2,000 alumni returned to L-S to say good-bye to the building that had sheltered their high school years.
True to the cliche, it was a weekend like no other. It was the school's first ever all-class reunion, mixing together current students, alums all the way from '57 to '03, and a generous dollop of little kids running around the halls, and up and down the ramp. There was laughter, tears, and plenty of reminiscing. There was perhaps something more serious as well: many participants took the opportunity to reflect back on an unusual school and on teachers who had helped form them. For everyone, there were imperishable moments to recall in this part of the building or that: a great class, a first love, a play, a chance meeting, days of victory and defeat, courtyard days.
There were a number of organized activities: different classes were assigned to specific rooms for mini-reunions, and each room has a white board for messages, phone numbers, etc.; outside alumni musicians played, while alum parents and their kids snacked on hotdogs and hamburgers. Later there would be a dinner for present and former teachers, and entertainment by a student chorus. Alumni poured into the cafe to hug their old teachers and be hugged in return.
On Saturday night, the courtyard outside the cafe became the main venue. Alum and student bands played. An alumni chorus under the direction of Dean Aldrich sang some old classics. Duncan Nelson, the father of eight L-S graduates, recited an ode of tribute to L-S in the old bardic style. Students and teachers trooped up to an open mic to speak of their feelings for the school. This went on for quite a while.
But there was also a lot of walking around the building. searching out old lockers, favorite classrooms and hangouts. One alum was astounded to find (and to recall) the very same smell outside the old cooking rooms.
With the hour growing late, most went home, but some stayed all night, talking with old high school chums or sleeping at what became know as 4-Corners (the senior hang-out) or on the Rogers Theater Stage. A few hardy souls camped out in the courtyards. It was an amazing event. Happy. sad. powerful. Over the next month, still more alums returned to the school to take a last look, a last picture, or have someone take their picture by the cabin, in a courtyard, or in front of a mural. Many alumni later said it was hard for them to drive by when the building was being demolished.
There was some talk at the Great Gathering about forming a new alumni association or at least a web page that could serve as a virtual meeting place for the L-S community.
This site was inspired by the Great Gathering, and we hope it will be of use to the alumni of Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School.
Nicole Digenis (alumna), Science Dept.
Organizers of the Great Gathering
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