Alumni from Years 12-15 and 21-24 came back home for five days each this August for their 30-year and 20-year reunions respectively. It almost seemed like no time had passed for those former students, who jumped right back into Pearson life complete with dorm-style accommodation, choir practices and boisterous laughter about any and no topic in particular.
Each group hosted a heartfelt memorial for former classmates on their first evening together, releasing flowers and prayers into Pedder Bay. As one alum from YR 13 put it, “I had a very emotional first few days. Being back on campus for the first time after 30 years and seeing some of my classmates again released a flood of memories. I am very grateful that I could be here. Like my two years at Pearson, I learnt so much about life and myself.”
The schedule was packed with meetings, special topic sessions, indoor and outdoor activities, but also the flexibility to just sit and catch up with each other. During and after the two Village Gatherings, many of the attendees engaged in lively discussions about scholarships, philanthropy and alumni engagement.
As tradition would expect, there were lots of opportunities to reconnect during walks to Matheson Lake, Race Rock and kayaking trips, the obligatory picnic at East Sooke Park and service projects. Highlights though were the get-together in the student’s common room on the first and the Gala Dinner on the last evening.
“It might sound silly, but I very much enjoyed jumping right back into choir practice with the songs we sang 30 years ago. Thank you to everyone who shared their soul through song,” explains Mari Cruice (YR 13/1986, Wales). “This reunion also reminded me to give thanks loud and often. I am profoundly grateful for all that people at the college have taught me. Gracias. Merci. Diolch.”
We at Pearson are overjoyed to have seen so many happy faces on campus, exploring, re-connecting, being at home (away from home) and proudly showing their families where they had spent two very formative years of their teenage lives. Needless to say, the energy on campus was wonderfully different, filled with children’s laughter, kids running around campus, going on adventures and participating in the activities that were offered throughout the 5 days. After arriving back from a Race Rocks trip a 5-year-old boy exclaimed with wondrous glee: “Are we back at Momma’s school? Are we back?”
“It was a truly magical experience for two back-to-back reunions of Pearson alum,” expressed Désirée McGraw in her thank you message to the entire Pearson Community.
“I feel inspired by all the conversations I had with alumni over the last 10 days. It is a very powerful reminder of the UWC mission. The two years our students spend at Pearson truly are the beginning of a lifelong process of transformation: It’s about changing the lives that change the world.”
Thank you for everyone who came, in person, in their hearts and virtually. It was wonderful to have you back home.