PASADENA— A century of pranks will be the focus of the evening's program when several hundred California Institute of Technology alumni and friends gather for the centennial celebration of the Caltech Alumni Association.
The Centennial Celebration Dinner will be held from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, May 17, at the Ritz-Carlton Huntington Hotel in Pasadena. The dinner highlights three days of activities from May 15-17 for the annual Reunion Weekend.
Caltech students have earned a reputation over the decades for numerous elaborate, imaginative pranks. Among the more memorable are the changing of the giant "Hollywood" sign in the Hollywood Hills so that it would read "Caltech," and the complete dismantling of an automobile and reconstructing of it in an unsuspecting student's dormitory room.
Last but not least, a group of Caltech students managed to sabotage the University of Washington cheering section's flash cards at the Rose Bowl game one year so that the cards would read "Caltech" when they were held up. Many of these pranks have been collected and published in the books Legends of Caltech and More Legends of Caltech.
Activities for Alumni Reunion Weekend and Seminar Day begin on Thursday, May 15, with reunions of the classes of 1927, 1932, 1937, 1942, and 1947. Friday's events include a biology division reunion, various class reunions, and, at 8 p.m. in Dabney Lounge, the annual Spring Concert. Featured performers at the concert will include the Caltech Men's and Women's Glee Clubs.
The Biology Reunion Symposium on Friday, May 16, begins with open houses from 9 to 11:30 a.m., followed by lunch in the Beckman Institute courtyard and a three-hour symposium from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. in Ramo Auditorium.
Seminar Day, which is Saturday, May 17, begins with registration at 8:15 a.m. in Dabney Lounge, and features sessions campuswide all morning, lunch in Dabney Garden, and additional sessions throughout the afternoon. The many presentations will include "Seismological Tools for the 21st Century," by Thomas Heaton; "Galileo at Jupiter," by Torrence V. Johnson of JPL; "How the Owl Tracks Its Prey," by Mark Konishi; and the "The Electronic Nose Project," by Nathan Lewis.
The Centennial Celebration Dinner begins with cocktails at 6:30 p.m., followed by the dinner and program at 7:30 p.m. Activities include presentations of the five best Caltech pranks, or "Legends," of all time, as well as a speech by Caltech president Thomas Everhart on his decade at the Institute.
The media are invited to the lectures and most of the activities during Alumni Reunion Weekend, Seminar Day and the Centennial Dinner. For more information, contact Patsy Gougeon at the Caltech Alumni Office at (818) 395-8366.