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George Cohen '48 and his wife, Ruth, in the shade of Lipton's private box at Crandon Park, Key Biscayne, Florida.

TEA AND TENNIS just seem to go together. That well-matched pair also brought together dozens of our grads for a spring break of their own at "The Lipton" championship tournament in Key Biscayne, Florida, in March. Organized by UMass Boston alumni relations head Jane Parker and her Southeast Florida alumni program chair, Paul Joyce, UMass Alumni Day at The Lipton was an example of brother and sister campuses playing nicely together.

Six decades of alumni from all five UMasses attended the event. From George Cohen and Robert Gordon of the class of `48 to Ronald Weinbaum of the class of '96, the Amherst campus was well-represented at the pan-UMass affair. As it happened, Cohen and Gordon had never met before the day began with brunch at the Sonesta Beach Hotel. "I guess we were just ships passing in the night," quipped Cohen, who made the journey from Aventura, Florida, where he and his wife, Ruth, an alumna of the State Teachers College which begat UMass Boston, live half the year.

President William Bulger, dressed down in a funky blue shirt for the tropical setting, welcomed the crowd with his usual wit and unwavering advocacy for the university system. Against the cerulean backdrop of ocean and sky and surrounded by swaying palms and sea grapes, Bulger recited a long list of UMass heroes, from astronauts to Nobel prize winners, then urged the gathering to "keep UMass at the forefront" as they departed for the matches.

The day hinged on the generosity of several alumni, most notably Richard Goldstein, '63, president of Unilever United States, the corporate owner of Lipton Tea, and Alan Sonnabend, a former student at UMass Amherst, alumnus of UMass Boston, and general manager of the Sonesta Beach. Besides providing tickets for the day's tennis matches, Goldstein also made Lipton's private box at Crandon Park available for the afternoon, offering refuge from the tropical sun and refreshments including, of course, lots of iced Lipton tea. The result was a cool, comfortable spot to watch the world's best tennis players serve, return, and volley at center court.

Ron Weinbaum '96 with Alison Goldman against a beautiful sunset at the Sonesta Beach Hotel.

Sonnabend became involved a few years ago when he walked past a meeting room at the hotel where Parker and Joyce were planning the first Lipton event for UMass Boston. "I noticed someone wearing a UMass T-shirt," Sonnabend said, "so I was curious." He offered the Sonesta's Palm Terrace as a gathering spot and the hotel's shuttle service to the tennis stadium.

This year's Day at The Lipton highlighted a new trend in alumni events within the university system, according to Amherst campus alumni director Susan Mattei `84G. "We've found that many of our alumni have siblings or spouses that attended other UMass campuses," Mattei said. "We had heard that older alums tend to be territorial about their campus, but that hasn't been the case at all."

Mattei also noted that university-wide functions allow the various campus alumni offices to share resources, effectively multiplying each staff by five. Alumni directors from the five campuses have been meeting for several years now to find ways to work together, Mattei said.

That appears to be paying off. Building on the success of UMass Alumni Day at The Lipton, several five-campus travel events, beginning with Alumni College in Ireland in late October, 1999, are being planned by Mattei and her colleagues.

- Ben Barnhart


RIDING THE RAILS WITH THE GENERAL COURT: On "Legislators' Day" in 1923, state government abandoned the halls of Beacon Hill and traveled west to "Mass Aggie." (Here an entourage from the campus greets the senators and representatives at the Amherst train station.) When UMass Mag returned the visit this spring, we took the turnpike and carried a camera. Below are some of the honorable alumni who serve the public as massachusetts legislators, photographed on the job at the State House.

IN THE HOUSE CHAMBER with '60s-era alumni: Massachusetts state representatives HAROLD M. LANE JR. '60, D-Holden, left, and THOMAS N. GEORGE '60, R-Yarmouth Port.

NEAR THE MEMORIAL TO THE 6TH MASSACHUSETTS REGIMENT with '70s-era alumni: from left, Representative ELLEN STORY '98H, D-Amhert, joins Senator DAVID P. MAGNANI '72G, '76G, D-Framingham; Senator STANLEY C. ROSENBERG '77, D-Amherst; Representative BENJAMIN SWAN '77G, D-SPRINGFIELD; Senator STEPHEN M. BREWER '71, D-Barre, Representative RONNY M. SYDNEY '60, D-Brookline, and Senator MICHAEL W. MORRISEY '76, D-Quincy,

IN NURSES HALL with '80s era-alumni from left, state representatives JOHN STEFANNI '86, D-Framingham and NANCY FLAVIN '87, D-Easthampton, joined by senators ANDREA F. NUCIFORO JR. '86, D-Pittsfield, and MARC R. PACHECO '73S, D-Taunton. (Here in spirit, though other obligations called, are representatives CHRISTOPHER J. HODGKINS '80, D-Lee, JIM MARZILLI, JR D-Arlington, and JOSEPH F. WAGNER '88, D-CHICOPEE.)

BESIDE THE ROYAL GOVERNORS WINDOW with alumni representing three decades: from left, state representatives RUTH W. PROVOST '72C, D-Sandwich; JOHN F. MERRIGAN '03, D-Greenfield; and JOSEPH C. SULLIVAN 81, D-Braintree.

 

OUTSIDE THE HOUSE CHAMBER GALLERY with '90s alumnus and youngest member of the state senate GUY W. GLODIS '91, D-Worcester.

ON THE GRAND STAIRCASE with alumni of the present decade: state representatives KATHI-ANNE REINSTEIN '93, D-Revere and STEPHEN KULIK '01, D-Worthington. (Unable to break away from their legislative duties were representatives PAUL K. FROST '93, R-Auburn and SHAUN P. KELLY '97G, R-Dalton.