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2020 GOTC Reflections by Dr. Margaret Kumar (CON Batch ’63), President of the North American Alumni Association

The 2020 GOTC was originally scheduled to take place in Minneapolis, MN with Alex and Priya (Mariam) Alexander (Batch ‘88) and their team of CMC Graduates in the area as Hosts. This team, especially Alex, had spent many hours planning the details of the event, when it became apparent that because of COVID, the GOTC would need to be either canceled or postponed. This was a major disappointment for many alumni who have supported and attended the reunion faithfully for years.

Thankfully, Dr. Ponna Thurairatnam (Batch ‘73) suggested the brilliant idea that the 2020 GOTC should be hosted as a virtual reunion instead. Since many of us were already using Zoom for meetings and online teaching, we happily pursued the idea, and with the assistance of the Vellore CMC Foundation, who very graciously offered to coordinate the technical aspects of the event, it came to fruition. To our delight, there were over 150 registrants from Canada, UK, India, and USA, all of whom attended this “virtual” reunion. A token collection of $10.00 was taken to help cover expenses.

The program included a CMC update provided by CMC Director, Dr. J.V. Peter, as well as inspiring short presentations by alumni, followed by entertainment and traditional baila dancing. It was a lot of fun as the camera panned over the entire group of attendees with people dancing on the floor – true GOTC style. A solemn yet powerful service ended the evening with the emotion-filled vesper and college song.

We would like to acknowledge the following people who worked hard to make this very first Virtual GOTC a successful event: Ponna Thuriaratnam, Samson Jesudass (Batch ‘86) Anita Sharan (CON Batch), Sudi Devanesen (Batch ’62), AK Dayal (Batch ’71), Kirti Shetty (Batch ‘83), Albert Johnson (Batch ‘61), and Christie Thomas (Batch ‘75). In addition, many thanks go out to John Riehl, Trish Carroll, and particularly Mabel Haro from the Foundation

Featured photo: Dr. Kalyani Premkumar’s (Batch ’76) special performance of “I’ll Never Find Another You” for eGOTC.

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