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MIT student blogger Rachel D. '16

An Alumni Barbecue by Rachel D. '16

I love living in a place with so much history!

A few weeks ago, I organized a 140+ person barbecue for the many alumni that have lived on my hall, going all the way back to the MIT class of 1968.

East Campus has a lot of history, and my floor Tetazoo is no exception.  The alumni told stories of the wondrous pranks and adventures they pulled and that went on during their time here at MIT, and they inspired us current residents to keep pushing forward and doing great things.

I found a materials scientist who graduated in the early ’70s and she told me about her awesome research in the same labs where I worked last semester.  A bunch of my friends and I sat in our lounge for hours listening to a ’71 alum go on and on about stories of the origin of many of the most famous hacks here at MIT, as well as some of the incredible feats of engineering created by students just like us.

It was incredible speaking to alumni who used to be in our shoes so many years ago!  I just kept thinking how lucky we all are to have a home like Tetazoo.

Lauren S. ’16 and Micky D. ’79 worked on completing squanch mug and shirt orders for current and past residents of Tetazoo!

And there was so much food! The alumni helped us fund the event, and Vicki C. ’13 helped me organize meat catering (since I am a vegetarian and know absolutely nothing about it) while I whipped up sign-up sheets for all our hall members to help with cooking various side dishes for vegetarians and vegans.  Again, there was so much food!! Kerry N. ’14 and I stayed up really late the night before the BBQ freaking out that there wouldn’t be enough side dishes, and the leftovers ended up lasting us over a week!  There were potatoes and salads and green beans and sauerkraut, and some alumni even brought us some extra side dishes!

There was so much meat!!!

After a morning picking apples on the East Campus annual apple picking trip, our awesome housemasters Kate and Tom Delaney came by to grab some food and say hi to our alumni and current residents.  Kate was even sporting her awesome squanch shirt!

Marvin R. ’16 and I grabbed some delicious desserts after a day of cooking and setting up for the barbecue.  Fun Fact: Marvin and I had sinus infections throughout the entire event.

The event ended up being really family-friendly.  Alumni brought their children, young and old, to show them this place they lived so long ago. We ran tours of the hall, and there were plenty of games and animals for the kids to play with outside. Our Graduate Resident Tutors (GRTs), Chris F. ’07 and Elizabeth F. ’08, brought their baby Marie F. ’31 to play in the dirt, and everyone had a great time!

A bunch of current residents, friends of hall, and kids of alumni gathered to wack our friend Austin with pool noodles.

Everyone crowded around baby Marie to admire her babyness.

Many people tried slacklining for the first time!  One of our new freshmen, Diana H. ’17, is giving it a go with the help of Becca G. ’14.

Jes P. ’15 had a conversation with some of our alumni about what things were like “back in the day, when everything was more hardk0re.”

This connect four grid was just in the courtyard. Thank you Clowns@MIT!

Will L. ’16 was really excited that we had a barbecue.

We had a bunch of the alumni and current residents sign a piece of plywood that we found, and eventually got this wonderful piece of culture that we wanted to place somewhere meaningful on hall.  We ended up using it to cover up a cursed mural on hall.  This cursed mural is cursed because everyone who has ever tried to finish the mural has not graduated from MIT.  Now that we have covered up the mural, those people as well as future generations now have hope (maybe).

Becca G. ’14 signing the plywood that will eventually be used to cover up our cursed mural.

And of course, when all was said and done, we needed to take a giant group picture to commemorate the event. This also inititated the first cross-country game of Capture the Flag ever in the history of Tetazoo.

All in all, organizing this huge barbecue was a lot of work, but it was completely worth it.  The alumni were so grateful and excited to see happy undergrads interested in their stories, and they were super excited to reunite with one another.  I’m sure class reunions are fun – but Tetazoo is our home, and reuniting people from years past who once were family and will always be family to one another is an incredible act, and I am so happy that I got the chance to play a role in keeping our family together.

**All photos taken by Acrefoot (Michael) M. ’11

The cats were also very excited to see all the alumni and hear the stories.