Four hundred and ninety-three Harvard alumni arrived in front of the Union today to "look each other over and realize how old we are," Henry Scammell '55 explained.
Student reunion workers herded a few hundred alumni children into Sever quad so their parents could enjoy a steak dinner in the Palmer-Dixon tennis building, kicking off this year's 25th reunion activities.
Alumni spent the afternoon renewing friendships and reminiscing about their days at fair Harvard.
Scammell, who came back to Harvard once before, said this time was definitely better than the last, when he was readmitted to the college after being expelled in November of his freshman year.
"I sold all my books and went out to Cronin's to spend money on booze," explained Scammell at a cocktail party for the class of '55 in Lehman Hall yesterday afternoon.
Alumni can look forward to four more days packed with activities and entertainment. David A. Aloian '49, executive director of the Associated Harvard Alumni, says this year's schedule should leave alumni with no more than 15 minutes of free time.
It includes a seminar led by President Bok and Dean Rosovsky on "Harvard Today," a Boston Pops concert planned for tomorrow, and a celebration Wednesday at the Essex Country Club.
David L. Halberstam '55 said he was pleasantly "stunned" by the sight of his old classmates at the reunion.
Halberstam said he plans to make a contribution to the Harvard Campaign's fundraising drive before he leaves on Thursday; "I'm giving more than I want to and less than they want me to," said Halberstam.
William Lawrence '55, co-chairman of fundraising for this year's reunion said that so far the class of '55 has given $1,250,000 to the University, slightly behind last year's total.