Alumni Reunion, 1928. Photo courtesy of Rollins College Archives and Special Collections.

Alumni Reunion, 1928

Early Rollins Reunions

Alumni garden party. Photo courtesy of Rollins College Archives and Special Collections.

Alumni garden party

The First Rollins Reunion

What is believed to have been the first of a long succession of reunions of Rollin students, at a point other than Winter Park, was held on the Fourth of July, 1893, on the grounds of the Columbian Exposition, more generally know as the Chicago World’s Fair.

The center of the group which assembled in Chicago on this occasion was one of the beloved teachers of those early days at Rollins College, Miss Eva J. Root. Her home was in Hinsdale, Michigan, and as soon as she announced the date when she expected to visit the World’s Fair letters were sent to her friends and former pupils suggesting that all who were coming to the “big show” arrange, if possible, to register in the Michigan Building during the week beginning July 1, 1893. The principal Rollins exhibit was shown in the booth devoted to the educational work undertaken by the Congregational Church, but as this place was not as convenient nor as sociable as the parlors provided in the state buildings, the Michigan Building was named as the rallying point. Three were already in town when the writer of this “Review” arrived in Chicago from the east: Arch Shaw, whose home was there, Adolph Hempel, who had a job in the car barns of the Intramural Railroad that conveyed visitors all around the fair grounds, and Emma Mahoney, met in the corridors of Hotel Endeavor on the lake shore at Windsor Park, on June 25th.

By the Fourth of July the following came to the rendezvous to meet Miss Root: Stuart Crawford, Emma and Walter Mahoney, Ida Misseldine, Albert Barrows, Arch Shaw, Adolph Hempel, Fred Lewton and William Ingraham, the latter superintendent of the buildings and grounds at Rollins and known to few except by his first name. Other and more largely attended reunions in later years have been much enjoyed, but none left such lasting impressions as the First Rollins Reunion.

Frederick L. Lewton
   Nov. 12, 1929

               ▼ Rollins' charter students, pictured with President Hamilton Holt, reunite on the campus.

Photos of past reunions

▲ Alumni at Semi Centennial, 1935