Alumni Reunion Recap


MRC/Collins LLC 40th Anniversary Reunion!

Alumni Reunion


The dust has settled following our 40th anniversary reunion. Approximately 150 MRC/Collins alumni and family members attended the event which included a jazz reception in Ed Formal followed by Shortstop barbecue al fresco under a tent in the courtyard Friday evening, outings to the Lilly Library, Art Museum and Griffy Lake on Saturday, a Dagwoods lunch (courtyard again), a tour of the "club house," visits to old rooms, a banquet in the Dining Hall on Saturday, and a farewell brunch on Sunday. Former directors (Ernest Bernhardt, Carl Ziegler, and Ellen Dwyer) were on hand for photos and sociability. Old friends of course had a chance to catch up and new ones were made. Several current or just graduated Collinsites were on hand to mix with the older crowd. The open mic on Saturday evening was at turns inspiring and touching. A memorial for Elissa Bradley was held on Saturday afternoon. The weather was lovely.


I don't think we'll probably do another one of these till 45, but that doesn't mean we can't plan other events in the interim. One idea I've had is an annual dinner or party, perhaps over the winter break or, again, just after the end of classes. I'd welcome feedback on that possibility.


We have received generous response to our fundraising appeal, over $5000 since the reunion between the Collins General Fund and the Elissa Bradley Scholarship Endowment.  The Give Now button on the Collins home page now links to both the Bradley endowment and to the Collins General Fund.


As a reminder, the Bradley Endowment has been created in the memory of Elissa Bradley, a dynamic Collinsite who perished this past year. It will exist in perpetuity and "be used for undergraduate scholarships to reward students living in the Collins Living-Learning Center who have been especially active in promoting the mission of the Center as expressed in its core values: academics, community, diversity, sustainable living, and student empowerment." The first awards will be given in 2012-13.


Now we move into summer mode at Collins. The students (and alums) are gone, things have become quiet. Not for long, however, as the Groups program moves in on June 16. Each summer Groups prepares a cohort of over 200 incoming first generation and underrepresented students for their college experience. See below for a recruitment idea.


And the summer is also a relatively short one. The new IU calendar has us back for Welcome Week on August 13 with classes starting on the 20th.


It was great to meet with alumni at the reunion. I do hope to see some of you over the course of the 2012-13 academic year. Please don't hesitate to get in touch if you are in town.


Collins Awards

Funds donated by alumni and former directors to our general fund and other foundation accounts have allowed us to make several financial awards this past year.


*We gave two retention scholarships of $750 each to involved Collinsites who are returning next year:


Siarra Bazler (returning junior and BOEP co-chair)


Julia Ritter (returning junior and VP BOP)


*We gave one scholarship of $500 to defray the cost of the Sierra Nevada expeditions course:


Andrea Balzano (who also captained the Little 500 team)


*We gave four Bertotti-Goldberg Q-project prizes of $300 each:


Jensen Davis and Minelli Manoukian (Humans vs. Zombies)


Ash Kulack (Trans*/Gender Queer Issues at IU)


Veronica Simonetti (The Beehive Collective)



*We gave one Carl Ziegler service award of $300:


Rafal Swiatowski (for a yearlong story telling project at Middleway House)


*We gave two Ernest and Eva Bernhardt Awards of $75 in honor of seniors who have made the most significant contributions to Collins:


Alex Lahmeyer (co-manager of the Cheshire Cafe and much else)


Farrell Paules (literary arts coordinator and much else)


*We gave one $75 teaching award to Rich Walter (Musical Creativity).


*As a recruitment tool, I am proposing to offer two $500 scholarships to Groups students (see above) who would like to live at Collins.



Carl Ipsen

Professor of History

Director, Collins LLC





  Check out the pictures from the reunion on our Flickr account!  We loved seeing everyone and we 

  hope you enjoy these photos even if you couldn't make it!







Once again this summer, Collins LLC teamed up with IU Geology professor Michael Hamburger to sponsor a summer course entitled “Volcanoes of the Eastern Sierra Nevada. The centerpiece of the course is a 14-day expedition into those mountains. We offered one $500 scholarship to help cover one students’ expenses and may be able to do more in the future. We include one photo here, but you can see others at this site:

Here is Michael’s reflection with comments from the participants:


We’ve just returned to Bloomington late last week with fifteen tired, dirty, sunburned, joyous, and academically electrified students in tow.  They were all participants in this year’s “Volcanoes of the Eastern Sierra Nevada” class, and this year’s class was a one of our best ever.  Everyone returned home healthy, happy, and thrilled about exploring a new part of the Earth.  Few of the students had traveled the West; none had ever visited Death Valley or Yosemite; and none had ever seen an active volcano.  I know it was an eye-opening experience for all, and a life-changing experience for many.
I know it is a giant effort to put together an ‘expedition course’ like this one, and I wanted to thank all who helped in one way or another—to fund, support, recruit, arrange, and outfit our expedition once again this year.  As they say, it takes a village…
I thought you might enjoy a few quotes from the students’ reflection essays—written on the flight back to Indianapolis late Thursday night:
“This trip has been by far one of the greatest experiences of my life”
“Before this course, I still had doubts about my major, but I can now happily and confidently say that I am a Geology major!”
“I feel like I have learned more in a two-week course than I ever learn over an entire semester in most other classes.”
“The course was amazing.  I feel that it has opened up new ways of looking at the world around us.”
“I have done so much that I never would have thought possible two weeks ago.  Thank you for this opportunity!”
“I came into this class not knowing much about geology; I came away with knowledge that deepens my love and appreciation for the Earth”
“I have never learned so much nor spent time with such an eclectic group of students and faculty.  You guys did an amazing job and then some!”
“I was hoping for a ‘National Geographic’ experience, and I got so much more!”
And, from an international student:
“These past two weeks have been super-amazing for me.  I feel like I was living my American dream!  This program has widely opened my eyes and changed my perspective on how I see the world”

Thanks to all of you for your contributions to help make this course a reality!  I know it’s made a big impact on our students’ lives.

Michael Hamburger
Michael Hamburger                       
Professor of  Geophysics
Department of Geological Sciences
Indiana University