25th Anniversary reunites past and present Scholars

October 18, 2010

By hammersmith

Here’s the verdict, right up front: The Flinn Scholars 25th Anniversary celebration was fantastic.

Just about this time, 25 years ago, the Flinn Foundation’s board of directors approved creation of the Flinn Scholarship. John Murphy and Myra Millinger got to work, were soon joined by Barbra Barnes as the Flinn Scholars Program’s first director, and about six months later, the inaugural class of Flinn Scholars were being selected.

That class of 1986 was well represented at the 25th Anniversary gathering, which was held Oct. 1-3 at the Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale. Eight members of the class were able to attend, and several helped Michael Young and Christa Thompson make the weekend a success:

  • Theresa Levy’s bossa nova music was played at the Friday night reception;
  • Nathan Johnson was a presenter on the “How Did I Get Here?” panel, and performed one of his piano compositions with 2010 Scholar Tina Cai at the Musicale;
  • Paul Burkhardt was a presenter on the “Sustainable Communities” panel.

The hotel was great, the food was great, and the rekindled friendships were great. One of the best moments was when a Scholar from one of the first classes struck up a conversation with one of the current Scholars–20 or even 25 years younger. It happened again and again over the course of the weekend.

Altogether, 135 alumni and current Scholars attended, along with many spouses, partners, and children, with every class represented by at least one Scholar. It was a good start. How about we aim for 225 at the 30th Anniversary weekend in 2015?

[About 700 more photos are posted at jamesjbarnett.com/flinn/.]