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Alumni Weekend 2023: A weekend to remember

A special thank you to members of the Classes of 2018, 2013, 2008, 2003, 1998, 1993, 1988, 1983, 1978, 1973, 1968, 1963, 1958, and 1953 and to all alumni across the generations who joined in the celebration April 21-April 23, 2023!

Please enjoy a recap of the weekend's festivities, including event photos, below. If you were not able to be with us, we missed you and hope to see you next year.




Regardless of what Mother Nature threw at 5407 Roland Avenue, the Greyhounds rallied for another joyful Alumni Weekend. More than 500 alumni and their guests returned to campus for three days and two nights of festivities.

Friday, April 21

Friday featured a slate of events connecting alumni across decades, often over delicious food. The Sixth Annual Gilman Forever Luncheon drew 80 distinguished graduates and retired faculty and staff. After a surprise performance from The Traveling Men, lunch was served at tables buzzing with lively conversation. Alumni from Classes of 1950 to 1972 sat alongside former teachers to compare notes, strengthen friendships, and develop new connections. Head of School Henry P. A. Smyth shared remarks on the Gilman of today, bringing to light the enduring strength of the School that transcends generations.

The highlight of the event was the presentation of the Richard Evans '60 Alumni Spirit Award to Haswell M. Franklin, Sr. '50. The audience heard heartfelt insight from Brooke Evans Christianson on her father’s legacy of life-long dedication to the school he loved so dearly. Mac Barrett '67 set the stage for the presentation of the award by highlighting the long list of Mr. Franklin’s contributions and sharing a stirring tribute from alumnus Paul Danko '80, one that ended with the definitive statement:“Gilman continues to shine because of people like you, Haswell!”
Mr. Franklin offered a few of his favorite school memories and expressed his overwhelming gratitude for the countless blessings of his Gilman experience. In reflecting on his life, he put forth three challenges that lead to success: be well-informed, be honest, and, above all, care!
The Class of 1973 was busy on Friday. The classmates started their 50th Reunion celebration with the Third Grade Pen Pals Meetup. Having already exchanged letters throughout the school year, the correspondents met face-to-face to swap more perspectives on school life. The graduates were excited to portray for the youngsters what Gilman was like “back in the day.” They told candid stories that elicited many giggles and perhaps a few raised eyebrows. Later that evening, the graduates reconnected for cocktails in the Legg Reading Room where, from their perch, they could catch the finishing touches of a tidy Fresh-Soph lacrosse victory on Chandlee Field.
Finally on Friday, the Lumen Center played host to the second annual A Taste of Baltimore. The event featured the culinary contributions of Gilman alumni restaurateurs here in Baltimore: Phil Han '04 (Dooby’s, Sugarvale, Noona’s), Patrick Hudson '04 (True Chesapeake Oyster Co., The Local Oyster), Brendon Hudson '12 (Allora, Liliahna, Vellegia’s), Zach Ranen '14 (RAIZE) and Michael Singleton '00 (Blacksauce Kitchen). In addition, Jake Groenke '13 (Mt. Washington Wine & Spirits) curated a great beer and wine selection.
Current teachers took the opportunity to find former students for mini-reunions, including Upper School science teacher Frank Fitzgibbon, who enjoyed the chicken biscuits from Blacksauce. 
Saturday, April 22

The Class of 1973 was back on campus Saturday morning for two meaningful events. A Class of 1973 Memorial Service was held in the Fenimore Library in Carey Hall, during which widows of 1973 graduates were touched by the thoughtful and heartwarming remarks collected and shared by classmates. The group then walked over to House A for the Class of 1973 Brunch with the Head of School, a hearty daytime meal hosted by Henry and Elizabeth Smyth. The meal overflowed with positive energy, and Henry later commented on how many participants he heard confess: “I could stay here all night.”Fortunately for Henry and his family, they did not!

The early part of the afternoon was dedicated to athletics. A large crowd of alumni, families, and friends gathered for the Lacrosse Alumni Tailgate and braved the swirling wind to cheer on the varsity lacrosse team in their game against Cape Henlopen. The Greyhounds duked it out with the visitors in a competitive first stanza, then took total control in the second half to claim a decisive 17-6 victory. At halftime, members of the 1973, 1978 and 1998 championship teams were recognized in a ceremony led by Assistant Director of Athletics Ned Emala '13. The skies opened after the game’s conclusion, and indoors, more fun was had in yet another installment of the reunion weekend staple Classes without Quizzes. This year, Upper School math teacher Ian Brooks delivered an engaging lesson drawn from a class he teaches to current students. Ian provided his alumni pupils the opportunity to explore concepts like distributions, probability, graphs, and expectations, and guided an in-depth discussion on how America’s pastime has evolved over time. Attendee Harry Rudo '09 reflected, "Mr. Brooks’ class on baseball statistics was absolutely fascinating — an excellent example for the alums.”

A new and very popular addition to the weekend’s program was a late afternoon book talk, Alumni Authors, led by Michael Ginsberg '93. Michael discussed his recent work “Debt Bomb,” a page-turning political thriller. The author brought his audience under the hood to experience his planning and execution of the novel. A robust Q&A ensued, as alumni picked Michael’s brain on his research and opinions on the book’s many real-world connections and references to the geopolitical issues of the day.

Steady rains pushed the more than two hundred alumni and guests into the Lumen Center for the All-Reunion Class Cocktail Reception. The Gilman Jazz Band provided the soundtrack as old friends renewed acquaintances over drinks and heavy hors d'oeuvres. After a warm welcome from Mr. Smyth, and a series of gentle nudges towards the doors, the revelers ambled across campus to their class-specific reunion dinners.

The Lumen Center, Carey Hall, and Middle School Building were the landing zones the Reunion Class Parties of 10 inidividual classes: 1973, 1978, 1983, 1988, 1993, 1998, 2003, 2008, 2013, and 2018. Just north a few blocks away, members of the Classes of 1953, 1958, 1963, and 1968 joined forces for their own fun at the Elkridge Club.

Sunday, April 23

Sunday marked the close of the weekend’s festivities. Although the rain washed out the Gilman Gives Back service experience, the conditions were still perfect inside the Guilford Hall Brewery for the Class of 1973 Farewell Brunch. The old pals reflected on the weekend’s highlights and said their goodbyes, yet soon were working in earnest to plan the next unofficial reunions throughout the year.

We hope that you have enjoyed the recap and some photos capturing the excitement of the events and of moments spent between classmates and friends.
Thank you again to everyone who participated.

It was a great weekend to be a Greyhound!





Click on your class year to see photos and read The Cynosure, Gilman News, or Bulletin from your Gilman days!