Last February, the Robinson Center for Young Scholars hosted an open house for Robinson Center students, parents, alumni, and parents of alumni to reconnect and meet Dr. Nancy Hertzog, the Robinson Center’s new director. Conversation was bright, friendships were formed and renewed, and chocolate flowed freely from the chocolate fountain.
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Brian Luk, ’95, ’99, ’02
Brian Luk, right, with his wife and son.
“One of the things that the older EEPers always did for the younger ones was do these movie nights where you would see these old movies, you know, Monty Python, Mel Brooks, Rocky Horror Picture Show. Since we didn’t go through high school and you don’t really know of all of these cultural references it was your duty as an older EEPer to come back and tell the younger ones what these things were about.”
Note: An “EEPer” in the Robinson Center is an Early Entrance Program student. The Early Entrance Program is the way in which gifted 7th- and 8th-grade students enter the University.
Allie Padgett, current student
“We decided we wanted to organize a dance because when we leave high school we don’t get our senior prom. You can still go, but you won’t be a senior there. We started an annual dance in the spring. It’s semi-formal, it’s a lot of fun. Everybody comes and everybody dresses up. It’s a really great experience because we get to talk with other RC students outside of just academics.”
Scenes from the Open HouseFrom left, Nancy Hertzog, director of the Robinson Center, talks with Ed Taylor, vice provost and dean of Undergraduate Academic Affairs. Nancy Robinson, director of the Robinson Center from 1981-2000, and Hertzog share a laugh.
Pm Weizenbaum, parent, and Nathan Weizenbaum, ’10
Pm Weizenbaum with her son Nathan Weizenbaum
Pm: “The day that we had our interview, at one point it’s just the parents with the faculty, and they asked what I think they ask all parents, ‘What is your worst fear about the transition school and the EEP program?’ and I said, ‘That Nathan won’t get in because I have no idea what to do with him if he doesn’t get in, because this is so perfect. I have no qualms about the program or him in the program.’”
Nathan: “I remember just before I began Transition School we went to Camp Houston, the yearly retreat that all TSers go to before starting the academic work. I was hanging out with these 15 people that I barely knew and our only connection was that we were going to be in this class with each other for the next year. We ended up sitting in a tree that we had climbed on the grounds, talking with each other for hours. We missed dinner because of this. Just the feeling of community and being with people with whom I connected with that quickly was just wonderful.”
Note: “TSers” are students in the Robinson Center’s Transition School. The Transition School is a one-year academic program that enables students to move from their traditional middle-school setting to the University of Washington with the skills and maturity needed to earn a university education.
Brian Brooke, ’90
“Back when I was just starting out in EEP [Early Entrance Program], it was a great place over there in the EEP lounge to meet friends and decompress after some difficult classes, try to get a little studying done, but it usually involved playing lots of cards.”
Scenes from the Open HouseTop row, left to right: William and Geness Reichert, parents of Nicholas Reichert, ’07, talk with Maren Halvorsen, associate director of the Robinson Center. Jack Lee and William Reichert, both parents of Robinson Center alumni. Bottom row, left to right: Sandy Cobel, parent of current student Mara Page and Geness Reichert, parent of an EEP alumnus. Ellen Wijsman and Ethan Merrit, parents of Loren Wijsman Merritt, talk with Sharon Walker, assistant director for advancement in Undergraduate Academic Affairs.
Elizabeth Purswell, ’81
“Mostly my memories are hanging out in the lounge and learning how to play hearts. That was our main thing we did.”
Scenes from the Open House
Robinson Center students and alumni gather around the chocolate fountain.
Nancy Robinson, Founder, Director, 1981-2000
“My favorite part is seeing how everybody has blossomed and how many good things they’ve done. I’m awfully proud of these kids, though I guess I can’t call all of them kids any longer.”
Scenes from the Open HouseFriendships are formed and rekindled, and memories of the Robinson Center are shared over cookies, coffee, and more chocolate.
Photos by Joan Bajorek.