Workers put in overtime

by Tim Fitzgibbons | 6/12/94 5:00am

It all starts with the polishing of Baker Library's brass numbers.

That job, Linda Hathorn said, is the first step in the month-long preparations for the annual Commencement and Reunion events.

Hathorn, the director of conferences and events, is in charge of much of the massive preparation that goes into the week.

After the speakers are mounted on Baker, a crew of workers, from grounds crew to carpenters to electricians, begins constructing the stands and installing a sound system in front of the library.

After Green Key weekend in mid-May, crews from Facilities Operations and Management go to work making the Green look really green -- laying sod, watering and roping off well-worn paths.

College crews must set up 8,000 chairs for the graduation spectators and nearly 20 tents to shelter reunion festivities.

Crews must prepare a second site in Thompson Arena in case of rain. If it rains, graduates receive only two tickets. Leftover guests can listen to a local radio broadcast or watch on closed-circuit television in Spaulding Auditorium.

About 3,500 people -- alumni and their families -- flood the campus for class reunions which run from June 10 until June 19.

Preparations to bring alumni back to the College begin as far as a year and a half in advance, said David Orr, senior associate director of Alumni Affairs.

More than half of the alumni who return stay in College dormitories, according to Orr.

This year about 115 students are staying past the end of the term to prepare dorms for Reunion, said Lynn Krugman, ORL's Commencement and Reunion housing coordinator.

Nearly every campus dorm, including Tuck dormitories, are being used to house visitors, she said.

The students get to "make beds, clean rooms, clean bathrooms" and serve as dorm clerks, checking alumni and their families into the dormitories, Krugman said.

In addition to providing clean sheets and towels and 24-hour on-call service, students must also cater to any "special needs" of the guests.

Safety and Security also hires students to be guards for the week, some of whom have to sleep in tents overnight, said Krugman.

Dana Morawitz '94 worked as a guard for Safety and Security.

"Basically I had to make sure no one was vandalizing the tents. A lot of times there are food and flowers, and you just have to make sure no one takes off with them."