This article originally appeared in the summer 2011 Harker Quarterly.
On June 4, Harker welcomed back its graduates of all ages at the annual All Alumni Day. Despite considerable rain, Harker alumni arrived at Nichols Hall, built after most of the attendees had left Harker, to reminisce, catch up and honor two distinguished alumni.
For the first hour, alumni and teachers met and caught up on the developments in their lives after Harker. Many of the younger alumni found the event very helpful for discussing their current careers and networking. Dan Hudkins, the K-12 director of instructional technology, said, “It’s wonderful to see where our alumni go with the knowledge that we give them here.”
After the preliminary period of mingling and munching on the food provided by the Harker kitchen staff, the attendees moved into the auditorium to see Harriet Skapinsky and Colin Dickey ’91 receive their awards. During the evening’s introductions, Christina Yan ’93, director of alumni relations, gave Chris Nikoloff, head of school, a check for over $18,500 on behalf of the alumni who donated to Harker this school year.
Nikoloff then introduced Skapinsky, the event’s first honoree, who received the Phyllis Carley Award. Skapinsky dedicated her Harker career to the English as a Second Language (ESL) program in the 1980s and 1990s. Nikoloff the introduced Skapinsky, saying, “She was a second mother to her students at their home away from home.” Many of her former students were ecstatic to be able to submit short video clips thanking her for teaching them and allowing them to succeed; these video clips were edited together and shown to the audience. It was clear from Skapinsky’s reaction that she remembered her former students and couldn’t be more proud of their successes.
The day’s second honoree, Colin Dickey ’91, was honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award for his work exploring grave robbing; his book on the subject is “Cranioklepty: Grave Robbing and the Search for Genius.” In his short address, Dickey fondly recalled his time at Harker, saying, “Of all the institutions I’ve participated in, Harker has the biggest place in my heart.”
In the end, despite the pervasive precipitation, the event was a success, reuniting teachers and alumni alike. For more information about alumni events, email the Office of Alumni Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org.