September 26, 2015

Summertime Highlights

Take a scoop of RISD, a pinch of oysters in Bristol, a dash of Gallery Night in Providence, and a heaping of Newport Polo in Portsmouth. It's a recipe for success and it served up a fantastic summer, the busiest yet for our growing regional club.

All told, CAARI wasted little time getting out and making the most out of the warm weather by organizing a diverse offering of activities to keep busy and connect with our alumni base.

Our summer kicked off in May with a walking tour at the Rhode Island School of Design’s Museum of Art. George Goodwin, Ph.D '71GSAS, an art historian and president of the Rhode Island Historical Society, led a tour through the museum's European and Americas Galleries. He engaged a ready-to-be enlightened group of roughly 15 alums, some who came with family members.  We soaked in art treasures, some historical, some more modern or fashionable and all of it distinctively Rhode Island. Mr. Goodwin delivered an informative discussion on the museum’s history and its collection.  Afterwards we trucked over to Harry’s Bar and Burgers to enjoy sliders and beverages.

Driving full swing into summer, our club participated in two timeless happy-hour events.  In July, a small but spirited group headed eastward toward a sultry Bristol sunset and some lip-smacking oysters at DeWolf’s Tavern on Thames Street.  Aaron Gleckmen ‘88CC, organized what was dubbed “$1 Oyster Night Mondays.”  It was filled with plenty of good drink, food and jocularity.  We may do it again!

In August, CAARI partnered with the Stanford Alumni Club of Rhode Island for a quick evening of beer and nosh at Faust, a German cuisine eatery located in the Dean Hotel before heading out for Providence Gallery Night Tours. Roxana Sasse '92, '11NURS coordinated the efforts between the two clubs.  It's not the first time Columbia partied with Stanford. Earlier in the year, Columbia and Stanford, along with Brown and Princeton alumni clubs gathered for a winter holiday fete.

Our summer culminated in a grand event as our club ventured into South County for Newport Polo. We organized our first all-Ivy League event partnering with local alumni clubs representing the eight Ivy-League universities.  Held at Glen Farms in Portsmouth, the Newport Polo event drew more than 70 alumni from the clubs combined. It was the first opportunity for many to watch a live polo match.

The classic 6-chukker match featured Team USA Newport versus New York, sprinkled with a touch of expert commentary from the polo grounds’ comical announcers. The sun-streaked day brought out alums, children, parents and even a few alumni party crashers – but who could blame them? CAARI saw new faces among our ranks and everyone received Columbia swag giveaways including wrist bands and sunglasses.  A year ago, Columbia alumna Greta Abbott pitched the idea to our board and led the organizing efforts. Her expert negotiation skills with Newport Polo ensured we scored tailgate spaces with good positions for optimum viewing. Ms. Abbott also arranged to have Amy Rice, who plays for Team Newport, to give an overview of the game and rules. Co-president Paul Stavrand ‘07BUS teamed with Ms. Abbott with the organizing, managed the logistics and coordinated communications with the other alumni clubs.

Marching into fall, our club has three events it’s working on.

Stay tuned...

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