The Suds Pub, Frosh Week and snowball fights in the lecture room

Story by Heather Finley

We talked to three alumni about their favourite memories and why you should come to Reunion. 🥳

U of T Engineers work hard but know how to have fun, and Alumni Reunion 2024 (May 29 – June 2) is guaranteed to be exactly that. Whether you’re a recent graduate or one of our seasoned alumni, you’ll renew friendships, laugh loudly and build new memories of the amazing community you belong to.  

We asked three Reunion Ambassadors, Holly Chen (Civ 1T4), Inga Hipsz (MechE 9T4) and Mike Papulkas (Civ8T9) to tell us about their experiences, and they are unanimous: You should go to Reunion.

What is your favourite memory from your time at U of T Engineering?  

Inga: Snowball fights in the Fluids Mechanics class, barbecuing hotdogs in the middle of winter with a blow torch, attending the Blue Jays’ World Series Championship parade, organizing Gradball, our fourth-year class trip to Montreal…U of T Engineering taught us about stepping away and having some fun, too! 

Holly: Frosh Week, Survey Camp and the Iron Ring Ceremony! And don’t forget the numerous late-night study sessions and group projects. They were truly character-building exercises. We pushed ourselves, built camaraderie and made lifelong memories while we were at it. 

Mike: Being the Suds Pub manager for three of my four years! I had such a great time organizing events like darts or euchre nights. We had volunteer DJs with their own mix tapes, and volunteer beer-pourers each Friday. I built connections to the entire U of T Engineering population, plus people from other faculties who came in for a beer.

Why is it important for U of T Engineering alumni to stay connected to each other?  

Holly: U of T engineering is such a valuable network. Staying connected helps us learn from one another, share resources and mutually support each other professionally and personally. It’s also amazing to see how far each of us has grown since graduating 10 years ago! 

Mike: My wife and I stay connected to at least 20 other classmates of mine. We’ve attended each others’ weddings, baptisms and lately, their children’s weddings. There’s an especially closeknit six couples and we regularly get together for summer picnics and New Year’s Eve. We’ve even travelled together! 

Inga: Keeping your network of U of T Engineering alumni is key. We need to support one another and work in teams as part of our profession, just like we did to get through Skule™. I have a close group of Engineering friends who see each other socially, and vacation together. They always accept me for who I am, and it means everything.

Why did you want to be an Alumni Reunion Ambassador?  

Inga: We worked really hard to earn our degrees, and this community has helped me become who I am today. We ‘grew up’ together, going from high school to adulthood, and when I’m with my Skule™ friends, I know they get that. The joy of Reunion is that we laugh at the silly things and celebrate who we’ve become. 

Mike: I’ve been our class Alumni Reunion Ambassador twice, starting at our 25th and then our 30-year anniversary. I’ve got these strong friendships and I love catching up, so I took the reins and started tracking people down just before our 25th. I’ve brought back classmates from Hong Kong, Abu Dabi and Sydney, Australia! 

Holly: It’s important to give back to the community that shaped our careers and our lives. Serving as an ambassador allows me to reconnect with old friends, meet new ones and contribute to the continued success of our alma mater. 

What are you most looking forward to at Alumni Reunion?  

Mike: At each Reunion, we bring in different classmates, so I’m looking forward to seeing who we’ll have in the class photo this year. I’m hoping to see friends from the 25th and 30th, making our 35th this year a three-peat! 

Holly: I look forward to reconnecting with former classmates, catching up and reminiscing about our time at U of T Engineering. 

Inga: Most of all, I look forward to the laughs while reminiscing about our favourite memories of when we were students. We need to celebrate people and appreciate the relationships that started long ago!

What would you say to someone who has never been to Reunion before? 

Holly: Celebrate your time at U of T Engineering! It’s a fun weekend and an incredible opportunity to reconnect with old classmates and make new connections.  

Mike: This is an absolute MUST do! U of T does a fantastic job with the pre-organization, events on campus and the glitz and glamour a night like this should justify, plus a great meal and venue. And you get to join in with the current version of the Lady Godiva Memorial Bnad, and might get to see the cannon fire again! How can you say no to that? 

Inga: Just come out! We want to spend time with you, even if it’s only for a few hours. You were a key member of our Skule™ experience, and we’d all like to reconnect with you. And you will have fun!