IC Holds Magical Evening in Burbank

By Patrick Bohn ’05, M.S. ’07, June 19, 2018
Disney Studios hosts hundreds of alumni and friends, capping yearlong series of 125th anniversary celebrations that spanned South Hill to SoCal
Alumni pose with Mickey Mouse for photos

Three attendees spend some quality time with Mickey Mouse at the Los Angeles event.

(Canon Brownell '15)

Ithaca College's ongoing celebration of its 125th anniversary hit the West Coast on June 14, as approximately 250 alumni gathered at Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California, for a celebration of both the college's past and its bright future. Disney CEO Bob Iger ’73 hosted the event, which included Mickey and Minnie Mouse in formal attire.

“It’s a thrill for me to be here tonight with you, my fellow Ithaca College alumni,” Iger said. “Every time I hear the words ‘Ithaca College,’ it feels like a spark has been lit within me. It’s for that reason that I’ve tried to stay connected to the school all of these years. I hope you feel some of that as well.”

The Los Angeles festivities followed regional events in New York City, Boston and Chicago. At each event, a 360-degree virtual campus tour brought alumni back to Ithaca. Attendees were also able to make a wish for IC by tossing a coin into a three-dimensional replica of the college’s iconic Dillingham fountains.

“I haven’t been to an alumni event since graduating,” said Sara Karas ’04. “But I was intrigued by this event. Seeing the virtual tour was really incredible and brought back so many memories. It felt very welcoming and comforting here.”

Current IC faculty and students took center stage at the event. Kathleen Mulligan, associate professor in the Department of Theatre Arts in the School of Humanities and Sciences, presented on her Ancestral Voices project, and, as was the case at the other regional events, had a student perform a monologue. Alex Reed, associate professor of Music Theory, History, and Composition in the School of Music presented a talk titled, “We Know More Than We Think: Punk Music and Full-Contact Aesthetics.”

President Shirley M. Collado spoke about the significance of building relationships within the Ithaca College community, citing the positive impact they have on students during their time on South Hill.

“I’ve heard stories about an alum who graduated 25 years ago who remembered a faculty member who guided them through a difficult course, or a person who enjoyed going to the dining hall every day to interact with a specific staff member,” she recalled. “These relationships are one of the biggest ingredients to IC’s academic excellence.”

Attendees wearing virtual reality headsets

Attendees at the New York Regional Event take a virtual reality tour of campus. 

(Francine Daveta)

The yearlong series of events drew nearly 5,000 people in total. Ciara Lucas ’17 emceed the event at New York City’s historic Gotham Hall on February 2. Boston’s State Room was the site for the Boston event, emceed by Ben Simmoneau ’03 and Emily Riemer ’03, Boston-area news anchors, on March 1. Genevieve Billia ’04 emceed the event at the Art Institute of Chicago on March 20. The Los Angeles event was emceed by Peter Johanns, associate professor in the Department of Media Arts, Sciences and Studies in the Roy H. Park School of Communications.

The ceremonies served as a bookend to the Weekend on South Hill event held last fall.

“We began our journey in November when our campus experienced what can only be described as pure magic,” Collado said. “We’ve recreated that magic in Boston, Chicago, and New York City, and we are doing it here again. In closing this chapter, we are at the same time opening a new one. The next chapter will continue to tell the story of how our college and our community will move forward by dreaming big and working hard to make those dreams come true.”

Crowd gathered at Disney Studios

Approximately 250 attendees gathered at Walt Disney Studios for the final regional event.

(Jacob Lifschultz '13)